OzTREKK Ambassadors: Why I chose to study at the University of Sydney
Since being an OzTREKK ambassador, I’ve been asked why I chose to move to Sydney for my post-grad endless times. My answers have been pretty generic:
I fell in love with Sydney when I was here during my exchange in my undergrad.
I want to move to a different country to get an international experience.
It is hard to get into a Canadian university so it is just easier to apply to Australia.
Although these are all true, I haven’t been completely honest with myself or with others. The truth is that I’m pretty embarrassed with what has happened and I’ve avoided talking about it. But recently it has hit me that I am actually quite proud of myself for taking such a big risk and pushing myself outside my comfort zone, so I thought I’d share my story of why I picked Sydney.
Embrace yourself for the most cliché reason ever: I chose to do my post-grad in Sydney to be with a guy (barf).
I met him two years ago when I was on exchange. I knew at the time that it would never work because he’s from Sydney and I’m from Vancouver, but ever since I left Sydney, we had a hard time ending our relationship. We did long distance for another year and a half. I decided I wanted to move somewhere outside Vancouver for my post-grad anyways, and universities in Canada are generally tough to get into—so Sydney would be a good option, especially since I got so sick of doing long distance not knowing if it will ever end.
To my surprise, I got into chiropractic at CMCC in Canada and was stuck between choosing chiro in Canada or occupational therapy at the University of Sydney. Every person in my family tried to push me toward doing chiro since it was closer to home, it would be domestic fees, and you would get the “doctor” title. Something about chiro didn’t appeal to me the same way as it used to and I wasn’t sure if it was because I really wanted to move to Sydney to be with this person or because chiro just isn’t something I want to do anymore. This caused a lot of anxiety and pressure for me because I was very afraid of making the wrong decision and nothing scares me more than disappointing my mother—Asian stereotype, but very true.
After countless sleepless nights stressing about what to pick, I finally decided that I wanted to take my offer at USyd for OT. It was very hard to confront my parents because they all felt I was basing this life decision on a guy that I had only met briefly on exchange. Four months before my big move to Australia, we broke up. To be honest, this broke my mom’s heart more than it broke mine. She was shattered that not only did I have to move to a foreign country all alone and far away from any family, but I also had to be constantly reminded of the bitter memories of this person that I was initially very excited to finally get to be with.
My mom tried everything to talk me out of it. She even got my older sister and younger sister involved to “talk some sense” into me. Despite the unfortunate turnout with my relationship and my family’s concerns for me, I pushed through and carried on with my decision. Maybe I was just stubborn, but I was determined to prove that I made the right decision.
Fast forward to the present, I am extremely grateful for everything that has happened. Yes, the relationship is what pushed me in the direction to do my post grad in Sydney but it was not something that I did for someone else. At the time, I doubted myself, but I know now that this decision was what’s best for myself and not what others told me was best. I took a risk to just drop everything and move countries. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to move to a city that brings back a lot of bitter memories. I forced myself to have to try twice as hard to branch out and make new friends and not to be stuck in the past.
I am honestly surrounded by some of the best people now and I love everything that I am studying. Super cheesy, but I don’t think I can be in a better place. My situation isn’t exactly something that everybody would relate to, but I guess the purpose of this blog is to demonstrate how scary it was for me to move here with the burden of letting down my family and the emotional barriers I had with my ex-boyfriend. But I put all this down and did this for me, just like you can do it for you. Thanks for reading my long, sappy blog. 🙂
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