Cole’s World

Life Is Elsewhere

Today marks March 16th. I casually glanced at my smartphone, only to find the countdown I had set prior to my departure now relegated to the annals of history, adorned with the inscription “25 days since.” Yes, it has been precisely 25 days since my arrival in Melbourne. Before embarking on this journey, whether engaged in light banter with my parents or amidst the joviality of a say-goodbye gathering with friends, I often jestingly remarked, “I’m traversing from the northern reaches of the northern hemisphere to the southern expanses of the southern hemisphere.”

Occasionally, in the late hours of the night, lying in bed, scrolling through social media, I see updates from family and friends living on the other side of the globe. I see them still bundled up in thick down jackets, their exhalations materializing as ephemeral plumes of warmth in the frosty air. The landscape remains steeped in the desolation inherent to the depths of winter, suffused with a pallid, seemingly interminable grayness. In such moments, I am seized by an ineffable sense of unreality—a fleeting respite wherein I am able to apprehend the essence of my being and the seismic shifts that have beset my life. But at least it proves that I’m adapting well, doesn’t it?

For the first 22 years of my life, I lived on the Chinese mainland, in Beijing. Except for occasional trips with family and friends each year, allowing me to visit different corners of the world, I never seemed to leave the place I call “home.” Well, this is my first attempt at studying and living alone in a foreign land. It’s a complete solo endeavor, handling everything I need in life.

I don’t know how many others at our uni are in the same stage as me, but I believe our feelings are roughly similar: it’s a complex mix of emotions that’s hard to accurately describe with just a few words. Excitement, trepidation, anticipation, self-doubt—none alone suffice to encapsulate the gamut of our experiences; they must be lived to be comprehended.

At the very least, I stand poised to triumphantly check off item 11 on my list of “100 things I want to do before I die”(Inspired by Chip Huyen, I have created my own list of things to do before die), which is described as: “11. Live in another country.” Yes, I did it!

About me

Yes, I’m an international student from China, aged 23 this year. If you’ve gleaned anything useful from my ramblings above, here are some additions: my name is Cole, and I’m currently enrolled in the Master of Information Technology program at the University of Melbourne, in my first semester of my first year.

And I’m an INFJ, as stereotypical as they come—I swear, every time I retake the test, those four letters just stare back at me, with the intensity only growing stronger! If anyone wants to discuss the “INFJ’s Guide to Self-Redemption,” I’m all ears!

I’m a bit of a daydreamer, often lost in thoughts of times gone by or distant futures. One of the writers I hold dear is David Foster Wallace. “To be just a little less arrogant. To have just a little critical awareness about myself and my certainties. Because a huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded.” That’s my life mantra.

I’m quite the introvert, and in those moments of solitude, my nerdy side often emerges. I consider myself a bit of a geek, but I’m not keen on defining my future into the stereotypical programmer box. I prefer to explore whatever piques my interest in any realm I fancy. Specifically, I’m passionate about Data Science, Deep Learning, UI Design, and any fun tools that can streamline my workflow and boost my efficiency.

When not buried in my text editor, I’m a huge fan of hip-hop and R&B music. (Now, I’ve also jumped on the K-pop kingdom.) J. Cole and 6lack are two of my favorite artists. So, it’s no surprise that I’ve listened to “Pretty little fears” more times than I can count.

Other tags about me: A die-hard fan of Arsenal FC, A Moba expert and also a Fps rookie, A Tabletop game lover, An Amateur in Debate competition, A Lyrics translator.

All Is Serendipity

So far, I have to say I’m already falling in love with Melbourne. This wonderful place is brimming with so many surprises. Every day, as the sun sets, I stretch lazily, and in my mind, I think, “Wow, today brought yet another new findings.” Indeed, each day unfurls before me like a new chapter in an enigmatic tome, leaving me to marvel at the endless possibilities that lie ahead.

Amidst the bustling streets, everyone I’ve met here has been incredibly friendly and kind. The sense of community that permeates the very air I breathe is palpable. I cherish any connection I make here: One day, as I was strolling down the street, I bumped into my former English teacher from China. He’s a funny Australian bloke, and I have no idea how I recognized him from behind. While waiting for the tram, a guy who was in my tute just moments ago, deeply engrossed in his notes, walked past me. We were both surprised to realize we lived on the same street. And now, including you, possibly reading these very words, we’ve all instantly formed some kind of connection at this moment.

I don’t quite know how to accurately describe this feeling: just like a feeling of destiny—a whisper of the divine that reminds us of the inherent magic of existence.

From Brunswick, Cole

One thought on “Cole’s World

  1. Great to hear you’re already making new friends and serendipitous connections. Looking forward to your next update!

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