On Monday I officially graduated. I dressed myself up in an oversized cap and gown, concentrated really hard on not falling in my heels while strolling across the stage at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, gave a little doff to the Chancellor and was finally handed my piece of paper: Bachelor of Design (Architectural Studies). As one of my friends eloquently described: “This dainty little piece of paper represents years of exhaustive dedication, numerous pen strokes and thousands of ideas, together with a hoard of friendships and memories.”
I don’t attend to live music events very often, but whenever I do I always enjoy myself. There is something amazing about that unmistakable feeling of hearing your favourite songs being played live. I distinctly remember being at Suncorp Stadium last December and hearing the entire crowd singing ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’ by U2; I had goosebumps and shivers down my spine. This is a famous international band and those types of experiences are expected, but the array of talent on offer at the Battle of the Bands this weekend, didn’t leave me disappointed.
They say that admittance is the first step to recovery. Well then, let me start by saying I’m suffering from a major case of “Post-Travel Depression”. My PTD is so bad that whenever someone asks me what my six weeks abroad was like, my mind goes into a complete daydream of random Vienna flashbacks. Pretty much all I can manage to communicate is a wimpy stutter that sounds something like ‘it was amazing’.
My mother is very superstitious and so when I arrived in Vienna a week ago and saw that the time was 11:11, I figured that must be good luck. It’s these little things that become the big things on a journey like this. Traveling to a destination by myself that I have never been to before, where I know no one and cannot speak the local language. All the ingredients for an interesting mid-year overseas adventure.
The end of semester design critique is a unique, and necessary, part of the design degree. Having recently completed my 7th semester at QUT I have noticed a distinct pattern emerges around the last week of semester amongst all design students leading up to presentations. It’s very intense and honestly, I think that even three weeks later I am still recovering. Although at this present moment I am recovering in Vienna, Austria (but I’ll get back to that later).
As a design student, I sit for hours every week in lectures hearing about the great buildings and cities of the world. From Madrid to Tokyo, each time I scribble the name onto my ‘must see’ list and to be honest, it’s beginning to get quite extensive. So in my attempt to fill the void of regret I have for not going on a semester exchange; I figured a short overseas adventure before I graduate was just the thing I needed to propel myself into the real world.
Being a fourth year student definitely has its advantages. I know which lecture theatres require you to wear a jumper in the middle of summer. I know the cheapest places to print assignments. Most importantly, I know what time to get to Subway so you’ll avoid the huge line. So, what shall I do with all of this useful information?
For those last few weeks of semester, I was so caught up in my own little world of assignments, that I lost all sense of time and whether or not it was even morning or night. I literally laughed out loud when I looked at the date on my phone and realised that it was suddenly mid-November – I could have sworn it was still October!
The highlight of my week was noticing the pantone markers in Ted Mosby’s living room. Wow, how interesting is my life right now? Endless episodes of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ as I’m drawing and trying to stay mentally sane during these final weeks of semester. I can count the hours of sleep I get each night on one hand and with only four days to go until final design is due, I’m stressing out! Don’t you ever wish you could skip to the end, so you could find out how out everything works out?
Ahh group assignments. Like a first date, everyone has had a bad experience. In one of my units this semester ‘Collaborative Design’, its whole purpose was to understand and reflect on what working in a team is like. I know… how thrilling, right? Well, throw in a mix of design disciplines and an international design competition and I found myself in one my favourite subjects so far.