Yes, I may be craving some good Mexican food and a real hamburger at In-N-Out, but that doesn’t mean I am ready to go back to California just yet. Can I not stay here and continue to, “go to school”? You see I don’t really call this school, even though I have learned so much more this quarter than ever before. As my fellow classmates and I say, this Winter quarter is like an educational vacation. It is freshman year all over again. Everyone is living under the same roof, with our RA’s, Tom and Jacky, attempting to steer us clear of trouble.
I said that they attempt to steer us away from those embarrassing situations. At this point of our vacation though, they know more about us than most professors should know about their students. Friday morning office hours at a wine bar to go over the group projects few have started end up turning into stories from the night before, what bars we went to, and who was the drunkest. The best piece of advice received from our professor was, “looks like some of you need a bloody mary right now.” Hats off to that.
Sometimes our professors wonder why we students think we have to drink most every night of the week. The answer is that for most of us it is illegal to drink back home. This vacation gives many of us youngsters the chance to feel like we are 21. The question, wait what if we get caught, no longer applies. And for those already 21 and over, they are just reliving their youngster years when they didn’t have to worry about jobs and such. All of us students agree on one thing though. When you get a chance to drink with your professors, never pass it up. Some of the best memories are made with a drink in hand, enjoying activities Cal Poly probably doesn’t know it is paying for, or at least wouldn’t ever pay for at home.
Unfortunately, these memory-making experiences are about to come to a screeching halt as our educational vacation nears its end. I am not sure what I am going to miss more when I get home, the laid back education or all the time spent with such a great group of people. Most quarters at Cal Poly I am kept very busy with readings, homework, and way too many midterms and finals. Here in Australia, it has been a whole different experience. Our classes revolve around the Learn by Doing Motto, with most of our time spent attending wine tasting events and visiting educational locations in person. I often feel that our professors enjoy getting out of the classroom to explore and have fun just as much as we do.
This upcoming Spring quarter is going to be a rude awakening when I have class without all of my great friends. More importantly, my classes won’t be taught by one of the two greatest professors ever. Having such a fun and outgoing group makes time fly by to fast. The people are what make this learning experience into more of a dream vacation, always willing to explore and try new things. It seems like just last week when we were overwhelmed with our jam-packed calendar of activities for the quarter. It seemed like we never had a break. Now, I just want to rewind and get to do it all over again. Maybe this time around I will let loose and hold a koala, try to surf bigger waves, and pay a lot less attention to the conversations going on in the back of the bus.
No matter how much I want to stall the end of this trip, it is inevitable that I have to go home. Now I look forward to reliving all of my Australia memories through pictures and stories I will share with friends and family. Although it won’t be the same thing, my stories and pictures will forever remind me of this educational vacation and the people I got to share it with. Hopefully our group will continue to celebrate this Australian quarter with our reunions back at Cal Poly. I know I will have to stop by office hours, in a boring office space, and visit Tom and Jacky. Can my new dysfunctional family and I all study abroad again next year and continue our journey together? Please!?