Meg Takes Melbourne #06 – A Melbourne Bucket List to See the Year Out.

Is it just me or is this semester flying by?

Aside from juggling a current flu (sickness travels fast around college) and assignments that are beginning to pile up, I’m forgetting I’m nearing the end of my college experience. Next year I’ll be moving into an apartment with some close friends I’ve made on college, but it will be nothing like the experiences I’ve shared here.

To finish the year off before I have to become a full adult next year as a true Melbournian, I’ve decided to compile a list of dream places I want to visit as I still attempt to take on Melbourne!

Ride a Rollercoaster at Luna Park

I’m not usually a rides person, but I’m sure I would make a (slight) exception for Luna Park. I’ve never actually been to Luna Park in my entire life, so I think ending the year with a thrill won’t be too bad. Besides, free entry. Literally symphonies to any student’s ear.

Fangirl heavily at the Jurassic World Exhibition

Now THIS is more up my nerdy avenue. Last year I spent $50 worth on movie tickets to see Jurassic World five times. Yes, you read that right. In Year 12 I skipped an important meeting about uni to go and see it alone (well hey, I ended up here right?) Obviously I owe it to myself to finally see the goodness of the Jurassic period as real life as it can get. If you’re going anytime soon, I’ll be the one crying while singing the Jurassic Park theme.

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…Continue to fangirl heavily over how cool space is at Scienceworks Planetarium

Yet another nerdy venture I’m dying to see. If it’s not dinosaurs, its space. I haven’t visited Scienceworks in about ten years, so to be able to relive the childhood memories of cool science, especially through a planetarium show, is something I can’t wait to do. I’ll be able to live my wild dream of being an astronaut.

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Watch a Live Gig at Palais Theatre

As a sucker for live music venues, I’m quite disappointed in myself for not seeing a gig at the beloved Palais Theatre this year. Although I’ve set foot in the hallowed halls of the venue before, rounding out the year without seeing a great (preferably acoustic) live performance.

Pretend to be important and ride on a horse and carriage around Melbourne

Although this is #couplegoals, I will happily do this single and alone as I wave to all my Melbournian peasants from below.

Get lost at Hanging Rock

Now this one is a little further out of town, but it’s literally been one of the most intriguing and mysterious places I went to as a child and have been kicking to return. I’m an absolute sucker for mysteries and conspiracy theories, and all the oddities surrounding Hanging Rock are incredibly intriguing. There’s also Straws Lane close by which has an optical illusion, where the landscape tricks the mind into thinking they’re going uphill by putting a car in neutral, when in reality it’s travelling downhill. There’s also been sightings of mysterious objects and discs in the sky. That’s some trippy stuff.

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By Meg Kennedy 

Meg Takes Melbourne #05 – Starting off the semester with Selena Gomez and The 1975.

After spending my mid-year break binge watching too much Netflix and not seeing enough daylight for accurate Vitamin D absorption, it was finally time to return to the white halls of Menzies College to begin my second semester at La Trobe University.

Although by now I like to no longer consider myself a ‘Jaffy’ (if you don’t know what that means, ask your nearest college friend), I must confess that part of me felt like I was beginning the year all over again – new lecturers and tutors, new classmates and new classrooms, forcing me to dust off the ol’ ‘Lost on Campus’ app and subtly pretend I knew exactly where I was going.

But the arrival of a new semester wasn’t just met with stress and an overdose of coffee, I was also lucky enough to return to my beloved Melbourne for some great concerts.

First off was The 1975, who are one of my favourite bands and was lucky enough to see them a second time this year. I last saw them at one of my favourite Melbourne music venues, Festival Hall, but this time around Matty Healy’s energy on stage is incredible and their live shows always make me feel as though I’m on top of the world.

Fast forward two weeks and I am officially living out the dream of my 12-year-old self, where Selena Gomez and Joe Jonas’ band DNCE played Margaret Court Arena. I managed to stand in the second row (!!) and captured some amazing pictures and videos and even as I’m writing this I want to relive the concert all over again.

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One thing I’ve noticed at concerts lately is that musicians really do love the Melbourne music scene.

No matter how big or small the venue, from Rod Laver Arena to Max Watts, there is always an incomparable energy in the air no matter what. Melbourne is home to some amazing talent, whether it be the busker on the side of the street to international pop stars who have come to Australia for the first time on an area tour. As music is a huge passion of mine, to be able to live in a city where that is accessible but also widely celebrated is more than I could ask for.

I hope everyone had a great start to Semester 2, and I hope your study playlists are going strong!

By Meg Kennedy 

Meg Takes Melbourne #04 – A city experience unlike any other.

I’ve walked down Bourke St Mall numerous times, become somewhat of an expert in using trams, eaten at a sushi restaurant in Swanston St and walked through the sand of St Kilda Beach. However, there was still one thing I needed to cross of my Melbourne Bucket List – attending the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day at the Shrine of Remembrance.

It’s become a tradition for me to attend the Dawn Service back at home in Ballarat. Although it might have been a pain to get up so early in the morning, there’s no other feeling that comes close to seeing the sun rise as the bugle plays and ‘The Last Post’ rings out into the silence of crowd.

Getting to relive the Dawn Service at the most popular place in Victoria was an experience like any other and one I will never forget. From waking up at 3:30am to catch a train into Melbourne from La Trobe, there was already a quietness that surrounded everyone who was attending the service. Walking up to the Shrine from Flinders St Station had an aura about it I had never encountered in Melbourne. I had become so used to wrapping my head around the hustle and bustle that the silence and darkness of the city was an all-new and alien world.

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45,000 people, dead silent. There was a particular eeriness about it that I couldn’t even describe. There was a new side of Melbourne I saw, one that seemed to only appear at this very moment every year.

It made me realise that, we as a community of Australians, have the ability to come and stand together for at least once out of our busy lives to commemorate those who lost their lives in war. I know, you’ve been taught about this since school, but to really live it and experience the ability for people to come together is one of the most surreal experiences.

As the sun rose the city began to return to the Melbourne I had become familiar with. Tram bells ringing, car horns tooting and the chatter of people never seeming to fade away. People began to return to their lives, as did I. But I will never, ever forget the feeling of standing in a crowd of thousands in the middle of a city, not one uttering a word, and the most deafening sound surrounding me – silence.

(Now onto a lighter note, I finally get to reveal my no-makeup-still-half-asleep-from-catching-the train-at-4am face in the picture below. Points for spotting the Menzies College/La Trobe pride.)

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By Meg Kennedy

Meg Takes Melbourne #03 – Melbourne, the greatest teacher you could ask for.

So I’m back again for the second week in a row! I thought this little double shot (coffee puns, get it?!) of my experiences in the big smoke would be a great way to share what I’ve learnt so far from my time in Melbourne.

Coffee isn’t all that bad.

It’s become a renowned fact that Melbourne is the coffee capital of the world; you can almost smell it wandering through the streets. I decided to ‘accentuate my palette’ give coffee an actual crack, and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Although to my disappointment my inner adult didn’t suddenly emerge from the depths; pantsuit and briefcase in hand, rather I felt I finally was beginning to become a city local. But serious question – WHY ARE THERE SO MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF COFFEE? ISN’T IT JUST ALL THE SAME INGREDIENTS???

Walk fast.

I come from a slow-paced environment. When there’s nothing going on, you can afford to have a bit of a stroll. But especially in the CBD of `Melbourne, there is not one second wasted on taking in the atmosphere. To be able to process everything around me was impossible, and there was too much for my easily distracted mind to focus on.

Look a tram! Wow, a busker! So many pretty things!

Don’t get lost in the crowd, you can take it all in later at some of the beautiful gardens and spots that surround Melbourne.

I solemnly swear I am…never driving in Melbourne.

If I can’t even walk myself around the city without my mind being overly stimulated from all the activity, then actually driving in the city is bound to cause an accident. If my driving down Plenty Rd is anything to go by, my skills are literally screaming that I would never be able to cope in the city. Public transport may be more of a nuisance than a blessing at times, but it is by far worth it. Unfortunately, I will just have to contain my in-car karaoke to myself.

Finally, don’t be afraid to be THAT person.

One thing that would always annoy me when I came into Melbourne as a kid was that people were always taking photographs of the city. “Why are you taking photos of boring buildings?” I would ask myself. “It isn’t even that nice to look at!”

Melbourne – the iPhone photographer’s dream. (Am I a professional yet?)

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Now that everyone has professional-quality camera on them at all time in the form of an iPhone, it’s even more common to see a person taking a random snap or fifty. I’ve decided to embrace my photographer side, no less thanks to writing for this very blog, and it’s probably helped me learn the biggest lesson of all – take the opportunity. Melbourne is the hub of trying something new and something different, and by putting in the effort in such a vibrant place will reap rewards. It’s easy to imagine Melbourne as the gloomy-four-seasons-in-one-day-constantly-raining-greyscale city, but by making the most out of any time you step foot into the streets of the urban life it will make your experience worth it.

By Meg Kennedy

Meg Takes Melbourne #02: Laughter is the best medicine. So are crappy clichés.

If there is anything that draws me to Melbourne the most, it’s the fact that we as a city have a set time every year to all come together for a few weeks and share a good laugh. That’s the epitome of a utopian city in my books.

On the 2nd of April I was able to finally take part in the laugh festival that is the Melbourne Comedy Festival. I’ve always been a huge fan of stand-up comedy and thanks to a kind floor mate, I was able to grab tickets to the hilarious Joel Creasey’s show The Crown Prince at Max Watt’s House of Music.

Though he might not be everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to his comedy style, I personally consider Joel one of the best comedians for our generation. He knows exactly what’s up in the Millennial bracket and in my opinion, this is what makes him so hilarious.

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I love the greats of stand-up comedy, but we’ve been the butt of the joke for too long. We’re “the selfie generation”; the ones that get a medal just for participating, the ones that have grown up to be narcissistic and self-absorbed because of the evil entity that is the internet. This is all I hear about us in stand-up comedy and frankly, it’s getting boring. It’s refreshing to finally see a comedian who belongs to this generation and is able to retort back, and Joel does this in a way that makes you wish you were his best friend.

(By also commencing his show with “Boy, do we have so much gossip to get through tonight!”, as a future journalist I had never been more excited in my life. I’m now officially an insider.)

Being in the atmosphere of the Festival made me realise how important it is for Melbourne to have an outlet of humour every year – something that we can just sit back and enjoy.

Sometimes when I go into the city I feel as though I’m walking into a concrete jungle, as people in business clothes rush around to go to the places they need to be, surrounded by the greyness of the buildings around me. Melbourne can be so fast paced and serious it’s hard to keep up, so seeing a different side of the city in a relaxed, excited atmosphere made me realise that it’s okay to have a laugh every once in a while because we all deserve it.

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Just like the outside of the Melbourne Town Hall, it’s okay add a bit of colour in your life.

 

By Meg Kennedy

Meg Takes Melbourne #01: ‘Just a small town girl, living in a slightly intimidating, yet exciting world…’

The night before I moved onto campus at La Trobe was one of the most stressful nights of my life. I remember tossing and turning, trying so hard to get to sleep, the reality finally setting in, that my routine of living on a small farm out in the middle of nowhere was going to be turned on its head completely.

I had only been into the city a few times a year to attend the odd concert or shopping trip, but thinking that the marvellous Melbourne would be right on my back doorstep 24/7 was both extremely exhilarating and deathly terrifying at the same.

(I know what you’re thinking. “Meg, what are you talking about? La Trobe is barely in the city!” I understand your concern, but my country logic revolves around the fact that if there is a tram near, we’re in the city.)

My transition into university was not going to be just an academic one, but a life one. I was about to become a resident of Menzies College, one of the residential colleges at La Trobe. I was lucky enough to have friends from high school moving onto campus as well, but even that couldn’t stop me from having an internal meltdown.

Some thoughts that passed my mind include but are not limited to –

How will I actually look after myself entirely?

Will people like me?

Will I be known as that weird girl on the floor who brought all her favourite novels with her and gets judged the rest of the year?

Fast forward a month later, and I can finally that I’m becoming a Melbourne local. Although the PTV app is my bible and I still feel nauseous by the amount of cars that surround me every time cross the road to get to Kingsbury McDonalds (#unilyf), I’m slowly, but surely getting there.

Living on college has given me the chance to make so many memories, even this early into the year, and ease me into the metro life. I have made so many close friends, shared hilarious, amazing experiences that I may or may not remember, and overall I finally feel like I’m home again.

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One of the many reasons I chose La Trobe as my university was because it does really remind me home, even if it’s in the city. Not just because of the beautiful, natural surroundings I get to see every day on campus; but of the welcoming, friendly atmosphere that has made this transition so much easier.

A new favourite view of mine is the glimpse of the city in the distance from the tram stop out the front of La Trobe. Poking out behind the silhouette of gum trees is a dazzling spectacle in the night. I might guilty be romanticising this idea, but I really think that it sums up what I’m feeling right now – remnants of my home in the natural bushland remain, but there it is; coming out behind the trees, the looming lights of the city ready for me to experience a new chapter in my life, something that I absolutely cannot wait to share.

By Meg Kennedy