Name: Bethany Castle
Dreams of: being a psychologist
With less than a week to go until my big move to the city, everything is slowly falling into place. I’ve just turned 18, and I feel more and more independent, mature and ready to tackle this new life. Already I have come across many obstacles that have proved to me just how challenging life is after high school.
Over the past few weeks, I have been applying for various jobs in Adelaide. I am disadvantaged already, given my loss of work experience in 2020 and my limited means of travel as I do not have my licence – another aspect of my life that was impacted by Covid last year. I have been using job-seeking websites to find casual work in cafes, restaurants and bars relatively close to my residence. Being so limited as to how much I can work and how far I can travel to work makes this search incredibly difficult. Still, I have been sending off my applications to many cafes and restaurants. I have yet to receive any job offers. It’s disheartening, yet I am aware that there are always new job opportunities appearing, and as I work towards getting my licence, I will have much more choice in what I can do.
Due to the uncertainty that came from Centrelink initially rejecting my application for student support, I have had to spend more time searching for jobs rather than preparing to move. In fact, I spent the last few days in Adelaide consulting with Centrelink workers in person to try to figure out what I am eligible for. I am incredibly grateful to have found out that I will be able to receive some payments and support, but I am exhausted and irritated by the contradicting information I was given by various Centrelink representatives. I had to jump through many hoops to find out if I was even eligible for support, and take time out of my preparation to move, to travel up to Adelaide and speak with someone in person just to get some answers.
If I didn’t have the support of my family, then I would have felt deserted. Left in the dark. This makes me feel so angry for other new students in the same position as myself. Some people don’t have the support or the knowledge to be able to navigate the government support system.
However, I only have time to be selfish right now. Everything is happening all at once and I’m trying to get things done day by day to make my transition to student life as easy and seamless as possible. There are so many things to think about – jobs, support, scholarships, textbooks, timetables, living expenses. I’m finally beginning to see what life will be like once I’m an adult. I’m apprehensive yet certain that I will be able to take control of it with enough support from my friends and family.
I’ve been so busy that I’ve barely had enough time to write this diary entry. The small things like eating healthily, exercising and socialising have been put aside out of necessity. I know, however, that I will get to enjoy the rewards of my own unique, independent lifestyle very soon, and that motivates me to keep working hard towards that goal.
If I can get through this, then I can get through anything.