Like a teen again

12 Sep

A lot changes when you’re 18. You finish high school. You can vote. You apply for university (if you want to). But when I was 18, I was over here. I wasn’t allowed to vote here, and I never registered to vote in the U.S. because I was here. I did actually apply for a university course as an international student when I was 19, but months later got a letter back saying they didn’t offer that course anymore. By then it was too late to apply for another course. Awesome. So I had to quickly apply to do a TAFE (like a vocational college) course instead. I had to do some form of higher education to get a new visa so I could stay here. I’d already used my working visa (which for an American in Australia, you can only do once and only for 4 months).

So, I did one year of Commercial Photography at TAFE, which wasn’t at all like the brochure made it out to be. I didn’t want to work with large format cameras and do studio shots of vegetables and the like. I’m not even remotely interested in that kind of photography. The course brochure didn’t even say commercial photography, it just said photography and had a description talking about portraits and landscapes and studio lighting for portraits. Oh well, it got me in the country at least, however much it sucked.

Last night, I paid my application fee and pushed that little submit button on my university application. Finally. Now I have to wait until January to hear back. Oh the waiting. I’m not sure how university applications work in the U.S., but over here, all I had to do was go to the University Admissions Committee website, fill out all of my info, qualifications, and preferences, pay the fee, and then hit submit. You can put down up to 9 preferences which can be for any university in Australia, in any course. So if I wanted to apply for Forensic Science at my local uni and then 8 other universities as well, I could. Not that I did. I can’t really go too far to do my course. Kids and stuff.  So I applied for Forensic Science at 2 different schools and then a bunch of other science courses at the closest university.

Easy. Only one application to fill out, and that’s that. They start at your top preference and if you get in to that course, they stop there. If you don’t get in (because too many other people applied for the same course and they have better academic scores and so forth), they move to your second choice, and so on. It’s quite a good system.

My preferences. Minus the where-they-are-details. There are weirdos on the interwebs.

I went to an open day at the university I want to go to a few weeks ago because I had no idea how to apply or what to do to get in. I went to lectures all day about the courses I was interested in, and how to apply as a “mature aged student.” I’m pretty sure I was the oldest one in the room even at the “applying for uni as a mature aged student” lecture. Sigh. Not that anyone probably noticed, since I was smaller than all of them (I’m only 5 foot 2!), and wearing my super awesome pink sequinned Vans. Or maybe they all thought I was that weird try-hard old person who looked ridiculous in young persons clothes. Sigh.

They had  all sorts of booths set up, a petting zoo, aboriginal performances, and…wait for it… people passing out freshly cooked Australian icons. I tried some kangaroo and some crocodile while I was there. They were actually pretty good. I know, right? The girl who won’t even eat beef eats kangaroo.

Aboriginal boy doing a traditional dance

There were also people dressed up as random things walking around and taking photos with people. Not what you’d expect from a university open day, but it was fun. Yes, I did take a photography course, but these photos were all taken with a $50 point and shoot, so don’t judge my skills by these photos (or pretty much any on this blog actually). Plus I didn’t feel like getting out of my seat to take the picture, so….

Not quite sure what that is

Not only did I apply for uni this weekend, but I voted. For the first time ever, at the ripe age of 29. I was actually quite excited until we got there and were told we were in the wrong place. We went to Aaron’s old primary school, where he’s always voted. They couldn’t find our names and told us we had to go to one closer to our house (that was only about a 5 minute drive mind you). Fine. Whatever. We went to his high school instead.

The line there was horrendous, so Aaron waited in line while I followed the inquisitive exploring kids around as they ran weaved in and out of the line and tried to touch peoples bicycles and pointed at stuff.

“Der!” Daniel would say with glee whilst pointing to a tree. Or a bush. Or any plant. He loves plants. Every time we go anywhere he points out all the plants and trees. He’s random.

When we finally got in, we got our giant vote ballots (seriously, they are about the size of 2 sheets of paper joined together) only to find out that the people we wanted to vote for weren’t on our ballots. What? Apparently they break up our council (like a county) into quadrants and in each one there are different people to vote for. I have no idea why since the people who get elected will be running the entire council, not just our quadrant (I think), but whatever.

Daniel was attempting to flail out of my arms so he could run wild in the school as I tried to make sense of the weird above the line or below the line voting system. Not the pleasant voting experience I imagined, but I got to vote none the less. Sigh.

Below the line voting. Photo credit: AEC

Above the line voting. Photo credit: AEC

Voting. You can’t see, but I was holding Daniel with my other arm.

When we finished, we went to the shopping centre and bought Hannah a pair of running shoes for the race next weekend. She’s so excited! We’re all going in a fun run. But you’ll hear about that later.


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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

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5 Responses to “Like a teen again”

  1. LBcruiseshipblogger September 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    It’s much easier here, our ballots just come in the mail. They did away with places to go vote to save money a couple years ago or so. Usually there’s nobody worth voting for though.

  2. C September 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Hey, when you say “Work Visa” are you referring to the working holiday scheme? If so, it’s changed quite a bit since your day apparently since we can actually stay for a year. Granted it’s still only once, but it’s 3x as long!

    • Mommy Adventures September 14, 2012 at 8:46 am #

      It may have changed since then, but it’s also different depending on which country you are from. Back then people from other countries could go for a year, but Americans could only go for 4 months. I have no idea how it is now though!

      • C September 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

        Commonwealth and (I think EU countries) countries get 2 years, as long as they do 3 months of farmwork.
        Americans get one year, no possibility of a second.
        as of now anyway, that’s how I am here. 🙂

      • Mommy Adventures September 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

        If only it was that way when I did it! Humph. But good that you can do it 🙂

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