Griffith born and bred journalist-in-waiting Andrea Martinello opens up about uni life and living away from home in her new column for The Area News.
I will always be a Griffith girl at heart.
I realised this after high school, when I was eager to move on and start my adventure at university.
After living in Canberra for almost three years I’ve learned to appreciate my small-town upbringing.
For others too this is the case, friends who’ve also migrated from home for university have said they miss Griffith’s unique Italian cuisine, especially the ‘toppa pizza’, and – who can forget - Bertoldo’s chicken chips.
Missing our family was another common thread we all talked about.
My poor mum has to put up with my almost daily phone calls about minor crisis’, from how to use the washing machine to filling in as a university professor checking over my essays.
Mum’s visits are always great, especially when she comes equipped with frozen tubs of pasta sauce.
After a few lectures about how the kitchen could be cleaner and stories about our crazy family, my homesickness disappears.
I didn’t realise some of the difficulties of city living; I’d always be getting lost, there are way more than three traffic lights and I am still recovering from the shock that we have to pay for parking absolutely everywhere.
According to Austrade, students in the cities can pay an average of $200 a week on accommodation for share houses or on campus.
On behalf of all of the kids who have moved out of home, we apologise for taking years of free rent from our parents for granted!
I’ve definitely learned the hard way about the importance of budgeting, by accepting I have to prioritise rent over shopping sprees.
Budgeting is often a foreign concept for us students and money can run out fast, especially with a few nights out a week.
This year Centrelink is giving Austudy and Youth Allowance payments to 1424 recipients from the Riverina.
The process of applying for Centerlink can often be compared to the agonising task of cutting off a limb, but it’s worth the while making being independent from your family that little bit easier.
Melbourne and Wollongong have been rated the top cities for students according to Student Cities Australia.
But despite the temptations of endless opportunity and freedom, no matter where I am, I share with most locals a sense of belonging in Griffith and it’s people.
The process of applying for Centerlink can often be compared to the agonising task of cutting off a limb ...Andrea Martinello