Summer intake 2017 was the batch that I came here in Australia. As the days passed, I started realizing that something inside me was not okay, not the physical thing but the mental and emotional process operating inside me was definitely clumsy, which had been troubling me, they call it depression in medical term. I came here from a really small town in Nepal, but with bigger dreams and expectations, also with a heart full of courage and confidence. But Australia, it was and still is much bigger and different than what I had seen on TVs, magazines, and the Internet. I am on the fourth semester of my BICT (Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology) program at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
Recently, I started loving and enjoying my chapter of studying in Australia. But trust me, this was never easy and less complicated. I too had that worst depression phase that most of the international students face in Australia. A juvenile and spotless me, flying to Australia for study. Facing Australia and settling downs is one of the biggest challenges and hard-time I had faced up to this date. Vast difference of cultures, food, lifestyle, and language was not easy for 18 years old soul to take it. On the other hand, it was the initiation of my independent life. All of sudden, I was exposed and let to face the bigger western world which has no similarities with my home country. As a result, unfortunately, I got caught by depression and anxiety, at the same time, homesickness and nostalgia at was on its peak. Other than that, zigzag routines and insomniac as well were following me. I had no idea what was going on with my life. Sometimes, I even fought with my own thoughts to not to kill myself.
And, one day a Philippines born Australian friend of mine introduced me with ‘Crystal methamphetamine’, they call it ‘ice’ in Australia. It is one of those stimulant drugs which speed up the messages traveling between the brain and the body. It is a highly addictive and harmful toxin. And those were the days I had submitted my whole body and life to cocaine, ice and other cheap drugs found in the streets of Fortitude Valley. No one really knows that I even beg for some dollars in the weekend nights just like other white homeless beggars do. I kept skipping study sessions and failing subjects. It was until when I meet one of my hometown brother, Ankit and my current girlfriend, Aashika. They pluck me from the Toombul skateboard park and took me to Aashika’s apartment.
After 12 anti-depression counseling sessions and other several measures, I started becoming more like international students rather than dirty homeless dude roaming here and there with a small vintage bag on my waist and skateboard under the feet. The well-being and counseling services of the university as well helped me to settle down. The medical council and psychological counseling gave references to show to the university, and the academic penalties that I had to bear because of skipping class and failure in subjects were forgiven. I am happily living and enjoying here in Australia. Sometimes, I regret that I could be in the fifth semester if I had not ruined myself to lose one semester. But still it’s okay, I learned a lot of things. I am stronger than I was before. My friends, university counseling chamber, and all doctors and psychiatrists deserve all the credits for this. Besides, self-realization and ultimate love, care and support of Aashika made it even easier.