The Country Kid

How would you describe yourself?

Share three interesting facts about yourself with the class.

Let’s go around the room and say our names, where we’re from and why we chose this class.

Without fail, those questions come up in the first week of classes at school or uni or college or wherever. If you’ve been reading wellthisisnice since the very beginning ,the beginning being November 2011, or even if you’ve perused the about pages of the blog, you’ll know that I intended this to really be a online diary of sorts. A way of documenting my journey from high school student to university student, from country kid to city slicker, from ignorant teenager to intellectual adult… Well, maybe that last part is a bit of stretch.

Anyway. I think it’s fair to say I thought I’d lived a pretty sheltered life. Lived in the same house in the same country town (although it’s technically a “rural city”… Oh yeah, we’re a fancy people) my entire life. Surrounded by mostly the same people, hanging out in the same places, attending public school, all that jazz.

There’s something about the word “home” being only truly associated with that same old country town, for me. When it came to class orientation and “getting to know you” activities, my go-to answer or “interesting fact” was always that I wasn’t from Melbourne. Nope, I was the country kid.

In year 12 English, we did a unit on Identity and Belonging. I remember researching for this, and discussing whether or not you had to physically be in a certain place to belong there. Don’t get me wrong, I do love living in Melbourne. I have a lot of family here and also thankfully a lot of friends, both from back home who live here and new friends from uni who are all amazing individuals… But, at the same time, there’s no place like home.

Sometimes I wonder though, about how long it’ll be until my time as “the country kid” is up. How much longer do I have left to play that card? How much longer do I have to live in the city to truly consider myself a Melburnian? So far, I’m still AWESOME at getting lost in the city… I’m getting a bit better at this whole catching trains thing, though, which is nice. Hey, don’t laugh. My hometown was built in squares and has NUMBERED STREETS. None of this Elizabeth Street which is also Royal Parade which is also Sydney Road nonsense.

On one hand, I’m glad I moved away from home to pursue my studies and that kind of thing; but on the other hand, it would have been nice to stick around for another year or so. I’ve been lucky enough to make some incredible new friends here and also maintain close friendships with people from high school with people who live here and those that are scattered around the country. I guess those friendships from my past almost make me value my country home more, in a way- it’s the place we all eventually come back to and catch up with one another.

There are certainly times where I envy my classmates for being able to eat dinner with their families each night, go out with all their high school friends on weekends and keep working at the jobs they began as teenagers. Sometimes, the homesickness really gets to me, quite badly. But then I just stop and think about how amazing it actually is that I have the ability and opportunity to pursue tertiary education and other things I want to achieve and the fact that I’ve made it this far, coming from a geographical area that is classed by VTAC as “disadvantaged” (hello, special entry access scheme, lol). I never really felt disadvantaged at all, though. I feel like change is necessary for growth and the path I’ve taken has certainly shown that.

Obviously identity is something incredibly personal to each individual, but for me, I can never move forward without truly acknowledging the path I’ve taken and the strong ties I have with my past. For better or for worse, it definitely shaped me. Maybe I missed out on knowing what Mimco is (yeah, definitely had no clue on that until last year…) or the ins and outs of spray tan application (entirely by personal choice… You can get them in my hometown. It’s not like we’re stuck in the past… But like, have you seen my complexion? Not a good idea) but hey, I think I turned out okay.

Long story short, I still enjoy playing the country kid card. Maybe one day I’ll give it up, who knows… But let’s just say you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten hot chips and gravy at a country kids’ footy match on a freezing Saturday afternoon. Oh yes, I am the classiest of the classy. (And hot chips & gravy is delicious… used to be the Friday lunchtime special at the canteen, back in my day.)

Sorry for these last couple of posts, they’ve been a bit too much of ramblings for my liking, but I’m hoping to get stuck back into the whole blogging thing soon. Lots of exciting things like guest posts and a possible new look/redesign happening.

Have a nice day! x

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