Australia · Brisbane

My Journey So Far

Hey everyone, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything and oh my it’s already halfway through 2017! So much has happened lately, like terrorist attacks or just freak accidents happening to good people being at the wrong place at the wrong time. This made me think that life is short and that we should all always think positively, be with people who make you happy, get yourself away from negativity and always smile.

I have thought long about whether to share my story with you all, at first I was hesitant because I didn’t want people to think, “She’s only doing this for attention!” However after some encouragement and support, I am ready to share my story. In this post today I will be talking about my transferal between universities, failures and my attempted suicide.

For those who don’t know I am an international student and this was when a problem occurred that put me in panic mode: basically high school in Australia you choose the universities that you want you enroll in through a website called QTAC. As for me I wasn’t suppose to do that but to enroll directly to my preferred universities, unfortunately no one knew…not even the teachers! So when all my friends got their preferences I got 0…at the time I was freaking out big time because I thought, “I have no idea what I’m going to do!” as there are expiration dates on student visas and I was close in having to leave Australia. Luckily (but not really…we’ll get to that part later), I found James Cook University Brisbane (JCUB) who generally accepts international students and so I filled out an application, mailed them the required documents and few days later I got my letter of offer…and I was off to Brisbane!

At first I wasn’t keen on this university because they run on trimesters and I thought to myself, “I don’t get much holidays!” but then again education first. I didn’t make many friends because the majority of the students were all from the same country so of course they easily made friends with one another. And even then if they spoke to me I found it hard at times to understand because of the language barrier, but the main thing that I disliked most were most of the students did not give a crap about their education as they would literally talk throughout the whole class. When I found out that for one of my subjects was group work I was very angry, I wanted to do the assignment alone but was not allowed.

I guess that’s why I didn’t have much friends because I was always angry whenever I attend classes and I would sit by myself because no one wanted to be on the same table as the pissed off Asian girl. It got to the point where I rang my mum and I told her I wanted to quit uni and do a beauty course, but she gave me encouragement and support and of course I didn’t want to let my parents down so I continued. 2014 went by and I had failed 2 subjects in which I had to repeat in the next trimester in 2015.

2015 came and I was still not happy but I did make a few friends (thumbs up!) and we were all in the same boat, they didn’t like JCUB and were planning to transfer to another university. At first I didn’t know we could do that so I asked for more info and did my research on QUT, UQ and Griffith. I applied for all three of them and thank you god I got an offer letter from QUT, but it stated that I still have to complete my trimester so they can see whether I can transfer some credit points over. I think because of that I had the motivation and I studied to the best of my ability and when my results came out – I passed!! I might add that I cried when I called my parents to tell them the good news.

The following day I took my results to QUT to get it certified and I was so excited (but life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to be) because I found out that of my subjects were not up to QUT’s standards, therefore my credit points couldn’t be transferred and I will have to repeat it…again.

I was much happier studying at QUT as I made friends and the people are so much better than the ones at JCUB and time went by so fast that my first semester at QUT was over. I might as well add that the work at QUT was very different compared to JCUB as the standards are much higher and I guess that’s why I failed 3 subjects. I was back in PNG for the holidays when results were released and when I had seen what I got I couldn’t face my parents, I felt so ashamed of myself and I ran upstairs crying. My mum came after me and asked what was wrong so I told her, at first she was shocked that I had failed 3 subjects but she did comforted me by saying it was my first semester and that I can try my best next time. My godmother also came and comforted me, she then explained my god-brother had failed in his first year but when he repeated it he had passed. I still felt upset and couldn’t bear to face my dad because I know how hard he works to support me (as an international student I’m not eligible for HECS, so my fees are paid upfront).

2016 came and it was the year I had to repeat my subjects I got called into QUT as they wanted to talk to me about my study plan, the staff there were very helpful and understanding when I told them about my situation. They gave me assistance on some of the areas of my study and suggested I should only take 3 subjects to make sure I was getting back on track, I was very grateful for that. Due to me being on a student visa it was going to expire in mid July 2017 and I was yet to complete all my subjects needed for my degree; time was running out so the enrolment officer suggested I do a summer semester. As much as I loved going on holidays I did want to graduate in time so I got enrolled in summer semester. Fortunately I had passed all my subjects in both semesters, so it was to pass the ones in the summer semester.

And now it is 2017! Unfortunately I only passed one subject in the summer semester and the one that I failed was the one subject that I had previously failed before, I was devastated but I had applied to do the supplementary exam. I had really believed I had studied hard for it but when I got my results back – I failed, which meant I would have to repeat it in the following semester because it was too late for me to enroll back into the subject. I felt so worthless and I was worried about everything: my grades, my student visa, whether I’ll even get a job or whether I’ll even graduate.

Once again I had to go see the enrolment officers and suggested I should have only done 3 subjects, but if I were drop 1 subject I had to pay a penalty fee because it was passed census date (at the time I was thinking, “Why bother telling me this useless information then?”) I was so angry because I thought I would pass…

Now this was when I started to get depressed and to be honest I have never felt this way before as I did have mild depression in high school and I would self-harm; but this feeling I had was something new to me. I started to lose interest in the things I liked doing: posting photos on Instagram or writing my story. I was constantly tired, both physically and mentally, I couldn’t sleep at night and I would just lie in bed thinking if life was worth it. I tried hard to not show it to my family and friends so I would just smile and pretend everything was okay. First round of assignments were due soon and I had completed a few with the exception of one.

That particular day I was home alone and I felt like absolute crap, I was crying non-stop and I had written a letter about was going on and why I chose to end my life. Then at night I had gotten a box cutter locked my door and was ready to do it; but I couldn’t bring myself to it because all I could think of were my parents. It was the week my parents were coming to visit me during the Easter break and I had an image of how my parents would react if my parents found out that their only child had killed herself.

The next day my roommate had asked me a question and I replied dully, she then asked if I was okay and that was when I broke down. I told her what has been happening and how I felt, I showed her the scars on my wrist and she explained to me that she had to tell someone. I begged her not to but she convinced me that it’s for my own good and in the end I agreed. That day was the due date for a subject that I had gotten an extension for (I didn’t do it) and I had a lecture as well, my roommate suggested I should stay home and rest, and she called our friend over to keep an eye on since she had classes.

Weeks went by and I had people from the acute care team come to check up on me and as they saw I was doing better they suggested I should check out Headspace, and I did and have been getting help from them and have also told my best friend and dad.

The reason why I decided to post this is because it’s a time where exams are happening and the nervous wait for results to be released and yes you may have failed but it doesn’t mean you should give up. What matters most is your mental health and I want everyone to know that there are always people who will be there to support you and love you.

-F xo

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