Summer in the Middle of Winter - wHACK fUN

Headshot of Stella Meillon.
Stella Meillon
February 19, 2023

When I left home, temps were hitting -30 Fahrenheit and I had just finished adjusting to wearing cute boots and scarves and hats and five jackets and thick jeans. When I stepped off the plane in Sydney, it was 90 degrees and it felt like I was inhaling water with how high the humidity was. I was perhaps the most pale lass in Australia, and when I got into the sun I was so reflective I blinded our driver and he hit a pedestrian. Just kidding, but I was truly quite pale. We were greeted by the wonderful Kate Smart and a little bus shuttle hired to take us to our accommodation. Everyone was tuckered out from up to 25 hours of travel but we were all eager to meet each other and figure out our apartment situations. I was in a suite with 3 girls, 3 guys, 2 bathrooms, and a shared living/kitchen space. When I say I got lucky with my housing assignment, it’s an understatement. My roommates all get along, everyone cleans their dishes in a timely manner, and we’re all a little quirky and weird in our own ways. It’s perfect. For the most part, we each have our own thing going but every once in a while we do something with all six of us and it’s a beautiful little family. 

For the last month and a half I have romanticized life to the fullest of my ability. I have walked as far as my little legs will take me. I’ve done amazing coastal walks, seen dolphins, sea turtles, sharks (a product of my imagination), echidnas, kangaroos, koalas, and cockatoos galore. I have taken ferries and sat at little cafes overlooking the ocean and doodled and journaled and wrote poetry on the side of cliffs and gone for a swim and tried to learn how to surf. I have met the funniest and strangest amalgamations of people, from old surfers to crazy druggy ravers to book worms (or combinations of the like). I went to dance classes and played ultimate frisbee and signed up for pole dancing club (I have never pole danced nor seen someone pole dance), and committed myself to all sorts of weird clubs. 

So far, the night life has been a titch bizarre. It’s quite expensive, and things are not legally allowed to be open that late. Which ultimately means that the party starts earlier. A lot of clubs have discounted or free entry on certain nights, as long as you go before a certain time. Don't get me wrong, it’s a lot of fun once you’re there and I’ve had some great nights out. My favorite area has been Newtown. The bars vary from laid back student bar to posh cocktail bar. There are even some tucked away speakeasies, including one bar on the main street that, from the outside, is a perfect replica of a butcher shop (except for the bouncer at the door). Tons of music, some wonderfully terrible, some incredible. I’ve seen a fair amount of jazz and funk shows, as well as surf rock and country bands. My favorite experiences so far: watching the sunset from this hidden hill in Bondi, with the ocean on one side and the city on the other. There was a thunderstorm over the city while the sun went down and it was simply magical. We walked down towards the beach and went to this dive bar on the main street, where we listened to the chaotic acts that can only be the result of a combined open mic/live-art auction night. When the bar kicked us out we went for a night swim in the ocean and then ran to catch the last bus home. Another pretty radical day was botanical gardens → German pub with 10 cent wings on Monday (a pint and 20 wings and complementary bowel troubles all for 10 AUD, not a bad deal) → sea shanty night at a bar in Redfern, where the Redfern Sea Shanty Club meets and teaches the crowd of a tiny packed pub Irish sea shanties. Overall I suppose it’s been maybe just a little magical.

A wise friend once said, “a yak is probably perfectly stoked to be munchin grass.” In this case, I am the yak and munchin grass equates to exploring Sydney. And I am perhaps even more than perfectly stoked. 

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Headshot of Stella Meillon.

Stella Meillon

Stella is currently a mechanical engineering student at the University of Colorado Boulder, where her goal is to always have at least one foot out of her comfort zone. When she is not on the engineering grind, she is passionate about playing guitar, backpacking, climbing, dancing, or really anything that will get her outside and soaking up the sunshine. Being raised in a French/English bilingual household, she grew up with an appreciation for other cultures and traveling. As she continues on her journey toward adulthood, she hopes to keep experiencing the unfamiliar and become an increasingly global citizen.

Home University:
University of Colorado - Boulder
Engineering - General
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