23.

by Jolyn Low

It is the last week of term for those of us university students down under. And whilst I am glad that the semester is over and I am that much closer to a very distant graduation, I’m dreading the eventual cramming before final examinations. I told myself that I have 10 days to make it through the 102 lectures that we had this semester, and it doesn’t seem like enough time to grasp the little details. I feel very unprepared for this final examination period. It’s also the first time I’m having 70% of my final grade on one single day, where failure of a practical examination is the kiss of death.

Whilst degenerating (because it is acceptable at week 14 in vet school) I was asking myself if I had all the power in the world to change one thing about myself, what is the one thing that I would change.

Driving to school makes me think about how the country would change if everyone drove like I did. It’s one of scenarios where you amplify your best and worst characteristics to identify them. If so, I think the world would be very relaxed, if slow because I am the worst at accelerating quickly. I don’t get why people are so uptight and adamant about dashing off from the traffic light if they are only going to be stopped at the next. I do do my fair share of beating red lights though, I’d admit to that. The world would also be very quiet and people would be scarce because I avoid people and would really rather listen than speak my mind. I think that this arises from people not accepting what I think, and it not being worth the effort to speak. There are moments when I’m all for being social but I find myself so damn exhausted and drained after, which is kind of a good thing. But only in the correct circumstance.

Then I asked myself what was the purpose of living, really. I don’t have anything going for me. I chose a dead-end career where I will never be as wealthy or acknowledged as a “real doctor”, let alone as well-paid as other office jobs. This is considering the amount of knowledge that I will have to learn of all the species, including those I will never treat, and the amount of risk I put myself through every single day. I literally don’t know if I would die from a spooky horse kicking or a fearful cow. Even a 50kg dog can easily pin me and rip me up. One wrong move or bad luck can literally kill me. I think that I wouldn’t even care if I die, because life is very futile and everything I do I feel like I do in vain. Literally, what’s the point of putting myself through all the literal shit that I do when it is completely fine to strip down and post pretty pictures (of one’s body) online for money. They will earn money much more easily than I ever will (debatable fact though), and despite the fact that such work never lasts, who cares when there is very quick gratification for an otherwise very simple job?

That brings me to what I considered. I was thinking that having all the money in the world would be the best, because then I’d live like a queen driving a BMW to uni every day. Then being vain, I considered the fact that with a good body, I would be able to make money selling it, hence reducing the need for money because I’d be able to earn it all by myself. But no, maybe I just need to be funny. Or pretty. Because why work hard when you can use your face/body to make money or at the very least, snag a partner with money? Then I realised that I would never be able to win in any way and gave up. I decided that I would wish that I was never born at all.

But then again, things aren’t so bad really. If I think back about my achievements in the past year I think I’ve done pretty well. From having never touched a cow before, or weighing the same as the sheep that I am supposed to tip, I’d managed to do exceedingly well during my handling exams. I don’t spend half an hour on two lecture slides, and neither am I failing anything despite my laziness as of yet. I drove 3 hours down and back up and survived a week on a dairy farm. And unbeknownst to me I had my parents worried as hell because if you think about it, their 20 year old daughter was making her way to a foreign place alone with no one to help if she crashed along the highways in an less-than-reliable car, and completely at the mercy of the people she was going to be with for the next week. I personally didn’t feel quite that scared but when I think about it, I have been quite lucky in that regards. I even got an excellent review from a farmer because they liked the way I worked with the horses at their farm. 20 is a very young age in the big picture of things. And to be away from home, being independent yet being able to sustain a job whilst studying is a pretty remarkable thing.

I like to think it’s all about perspective. Whenever we have noisy dogs at the clinic that keep barking throughout the night I don’t get flustered because I can’t do anything about it. So I just chill and take it as it comes. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still bloody annoying. Honey did the funniest thing a few nights ago – she heard the barks through the phone and started barking back. I want to go home to cuddle the her and take her on long walks but I don’t think that it’s happening because every time I go back I get very frustrated and angry that I’d really rather be completely drunk and out of my mind (creating tinder when tipsy is actually quite amusing, I highly recommend). I don’t feel like I fit in very well. I don’t feel like I click with old friends sometimes, which is a pity because all I want in the future is to settle down in that little island and call it home.

When I turn 24 (which is still very far off lord help me), I want to be quietly confident, comfortable in my own skin, more kind, and more mature when I finally take on the working world. I want to find my place in the world, or even make it. I reckon I just want to be the best version of me that I can possibly be. God be willing, I also want to find my partner in crime and have fun being domestic. Nice apartment (designed by yours truly), loving dog (hopefully still the buns), boh-chup cat, I want the works. In exchange, take all my sacrifices and youthful suffering.

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