How I showed those New England
wusses the way to party party
Expatriate Gemma Buxton reports from
corridors of tertiary education.
"Oh, you're going to University, be prepared for lots of partying."
I heard this comment often as I prepared to embark on my travels to
the University of New England, Armidale, as a student in Communication
Yes, there is some truth to the rumour that Uni students are poor, drink
copious amounts of alcohol and of course engage in philosophical discussions
about how they can change the world. And there is also some truth to
the suggestion that a substantial amount of the education received at
University is gained not in lecture halls, but outside them.
As corny as it may sound, meeting lots of new people in such a short
space of time and coping with extreme or difficult living conditions
can contribute to a heightened tolerance level and a widened acceptance
of other people's idiosyncrasies!
Accommodation at my Uni varies. I was one of the lucky ones, who, although
living in a six bedroom flat and thrown together with five other girls,
managed to cope well with flat mates who eventually became my good friends.
Living at University is enriching. Wright Village, (the Uni Campus flats)
is very multicultural, with students from around fifty different countries
Many arguments about the housework arose in our flat. Who's turn is
it to clean the bathroom? Who stole my casserole dish? And as a finale
to an argument, a note is written addressed to all the 'culprits':
To Flat 2 residents, I have had enough of the mess and all my bread
has been eaten, meeting 5:00 tonight. By the way, due to people not
respecting my kitchen ware, it is out of bounds from now on.
Thanks, Joe Blow
The note is nicely placed where everyone can see it. After the fourth
incriminating note is written, they are usually banned as they are considered
When people ask me where I'm from and I say Tennant Creek, they are
usually amazed. I didn't meet another person from the Territory in Armidale,
so I had no one to help me out with explaining what it's like.
We've all, at one time or another, had to explain to someone what Tennant
is like and as plain and simple as you try and make it sound, all aspects
of it, understandably, astound people.
We do live in a unique place and I enjoy explaining to people what's
it's like here.
Something that was discussed in my lectures quite often was the concept
of Self, Community, and Place. Realising what each of these are for
us, helps us to better explain to others where we come from.
As mentioned earlier, a lot of education comes from outside the lecture
halls and there are some people who believe that an education at Uni
is useless for the workforce. It is true that a lot of young people
in Tennant seem to have found themselves well on their way to a good
career, simply from starting at the bottom and working hard up the ladder.
Working towards a University Degree is a valuable thing to experience
- the people, the places, the freedom that is associated with learning.
As well as obtaining a higher education and a degree that will hopefully
get you the job you want, a trip through the University system will
also help you discover who you want to be and where you want to go.
Through studying philosophies and literature, the world becomes a much
more interesting place. Think of what else you want to do in life besides
work and use your study to find it.