It’s been exactly 3 months since I arrived in Washington D.C. I can’t believe how much I’ve learnt in such a short span of time. However, I haven’t had ample time to process and reflect on what I have learnt simply because I’ve been a busy bee racing to meet numerous deadlines over the past 4 weeks. There’s still a lot more to do in the remaining 5 weeks of semester. I can’t wait for the thanksgiving break happening in two weeks because at least I’ll get to play a bit and contemplate on my experiences this semester.
I experienced my very first tornado right here in D.C last month. I recall being in the cafeteria having lunch with friends just before my class when suddenly there was an emergency alert informing everyone to remain where they were if they were already in a building or to take cover immediately if they were walking outside. I was actually praying and hoping class would be cancelled because of the inclement weather. It would have been nice to use that extra time to study for an exam that was going to take place the following day. Unfortunately, we were only stranded where we were for about 30 minutes and were told to resume our normal activities after we were informed that the weather was no longer a hazard. I arrived in class almost drenched due to the heavy downpour.
There was one night about 2 weeks ago where I was up until 5am in the morning finishing an assignment in the computer lab with 2 of my classmates. My very first time pulling an overnighter! There were also other times when I’ve stayed awake until 3am in the morning completing other tasks. Although, it was hard having to stay awake until the wee hours of the morning, having 2 of my classmates working on their assignments present in the lab with me made it much easier to pull through the night and I actually enjoyed their company. 🙂
I have also experienced some down moments which have caught me by surprise. This partly has to do with the change in the weather. Fall has arrived and we are experiencing much colder temperatures with some gloomy days. I also noticed that I start feeling blue after I complete a long essay or when I haven’t had enough sleep. My body caves in to exhaustion which leads me to feeling slightly downcast.
One thing I’ve learnt, is not to panic when those waves of melancholy hit me and realizing that it is perfectly normal to experience those emotions. Learning to be in those moments and sitting with my emotions, and realizing that they will pass, has helped me get through them. Thankfully, those low periods haven’t lasted longer than a few hours each time they occur, and after a good night’s sleep I often feel rejuvenated.
To end off, all I can say right now is that the past 3 months at Gallaudet has changed my perspective on a lot of things. The whole experience has been more than awesome and way beyond anything I have imagined it to be. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I feel extremely blessed to be here and am certain that I am in the right place. I will never be the same person I was when I left Australia. It has opened my mind to different ways of thinking and new fields of interests. Two on-campus job opportunities have also come my way. I am extremely thankful for them because I get to develop new skills on the job as well as earn some income.
I am looking forward to learning even more in time to come. But, for now, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving break and the Christmas holidays even more as a vacation is what I really need. 😉