2020 has been a different and unprecedented year. Therefore, with 2021 right around the corner, we thought it’s time to take a quick look back at some of the things that most of us probably did (or experienced) during 2020. Do you recognise yourself in any of these? If so, share it with your friends and family 😉
1. You low-key panicked when you saw that all the toilet paper was gone from the shelves….
2. You spent hours trying to find your old jigsaw puzzles, followed by hours putting them together…
3. To make time go by, you started exploring your home for possible renovation projects…
4. Most FaceTime conversations included little interaction and were mainly used for check-ups…
5. Your house now looks like a Queensland sub-tropical forest:
6. You still can’t find the un-mute button:
7. First day of zoom class sessions VS two months in…
8. You’re currently recycling your 2020 New Year Resolutions for 2021
9. You ended up visiting most of the surrounding mountains and trails that you usually would be too busy to explore:
10. You got something stuck in your throat and desperately tried to hold your cough when surrounded by people in public:
11. You dressed up for even the smallest occasions, like grocery shopping:
12: No matter how many times you ended up using zoom, there would always be a bunch of different W’s present:
How ya goin’ mate? My name is Steven Ranweiler, and I’m visiting from Minnesota in the United States. Back home I’m studying visual arts education, and this semester abroad has been an incredible opportunity to explore more subjects and expand my horizons! I’ve dreamt of visiting Australia for years and the study abroad partnership between my home university (Minnesota State University – Moorhead) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) helped me to make that dream come true.
I’d heard that Australian culture has a more relaxed pace than life in the US, and I found that to be true in my courses. I was concerned at first to see just a few major assignments making up my grades rather than the many smaller assignments I was used to back home. However, I soon realized that with the time, resources and awesome support provided at USC, those few big projects were great for my learning and less stressful. My professors and tutors have been fantastic, and it was a joy to walk out of classes greeted by sunshine and kangaroos! After courses moved to online learning, I was able to spend even more time in the great Australian outdoors while I attended classes remotely.
By traveling the area with new friends, I’ve gotten to enjoy experiences like surfing, mountain climbing. and swimming under waterfalls! Learning about the cultures and experiences of local Australians and my fellow international students has been enlightening and meaningful.
The pandemic brought some pressure in terms of returning home earlier than expected, but I wasn’t ready to leave the dream. Travel opportunities became limited, but that wasn’t too much of an issue considering I was already in such an extraordinary place. I spent weeks examining and photographing the incredible plants, animals and fungi which are unique to this region. The birds here are impressively loud and several of them remind me of dinosaurs.
I’ve been especially enchanted by the wonders of the local tide pools. One day I counted over 100 sea cucumbers, and by snorkelling I’ve encountered 1000s of charming fish just off the shore! Experiences in beautiful and vulnerable ecosystems like these motivate me to keep pushing for conservation to protect them. I enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer with the Sea Shepherd conservation group in a beach clean-up project, and it’s been awesome studying on a campus surrounded by a wildlife reserve.
As my time here comes to end I don’t want to leave! I’m excited to see friends and family back home and share stories of this amazing experience with them, but even with great things to get back to it’s hard to leave this paradise and the wonderful new friends I’ve made.
Studying abroad at USC has been an incredible opportunity, and I enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who has the chance to do it!
With the virus spreading and we all have to self-isolate, and continue to dream about exploring the outside world; We want to provide some tips on what you can do with all the spare time that you now have:
Make something yummy to eat (Celin’s favourite is gyros, and Magnus’ is baked potato)
Watch a good movie or tv series (we would recommend Home and Away)
Sweat it out! (You don’t need the gym to work out)
Play board games or card games (we prefer UNO)
Skype family or friends (you will feel closer with the people you love)
Play digital games (or fall asleep while Magnus play digital games)
Be creative, draw or paint something (use your imagination)
Read a new book, or learn something exiting (like how pineapples are grown, search it up! You will be surprised)
Get out of your pj’s, glam up and get ready for the day (Magnus is pretty good at this one, but Celin is too much in love with her pink pyjamas)
We hope everyone found at least one new thing to do to make the day go by a little faster!