My life changed at ANU

Teauama Timiti (BA '20)
13 Dec 2022

If I had to describe the most unforgettable experience I've had at The Australian National University (ANU), it would be the time when I sat at my desk in the ANU Sports building for the POLS1006 final examination.

I remember my hands shaking and my heart pounding at the tick of the clock, and I'm pretty sure there were a few tears as well. I was nervous for my first paper at ANU. I had only studied science subjects during my high school days and had transitioned to study arts at ANU. I did not know what to expect. Walking back to my dormitory, I recall having a lot of doubt in myself and wondering how I would survive the next five semesters at ANU.
Flash forward two semesters later, and I found myself sitting in the same building for another examination. Just as I was about to start writing in my answer sheet, I heard the tick of the clock. I remembered instantly the day I sat in the exam room two semesters back and how nervous I was. This time around, I was collected and calm.
ANU transformed me into a confident, outspoken, open-minded and hard-working person. The amazing engagement with peers, networks, tutors and lecturers has taught me how to build long-lasting networks and friendships which, to this day, I still apply to my workplace and community. ANU truly nurtures the young and timid to become leaders. Lecturers encourage students to explore their inner leadership by creating courses with assignments like war situation simulation exercises and debates, as well as guest lecturers and speakers from Australian and overseas leaders. Having the opportunity to engage with such leaders was an inspiration and motivation to work towards making the impossible goals possible.
I have lost three close family members throughout my stay in Canberra and at times my parents would get really sick and need assistance. A part of me still believes that if I had not pursued my studies at ANU but rather in Fiji where it is closer to my home country of Kiribati, I would have been able to be there for my late family members and my parents when they needed me the most. They have been my backbone of support during my studies, and I will always be grateful for them. But I know that the sacrifice from my family and I will have a lasting impact on my career, my family and my home country.
On this note, I would like to give credit to my family and lost loved ones for their continued support during my studies. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Australia Awards scholarships for the opportunity to study at one of the world's leading universities. Moreover, I thank my friends and the community at ANU who have made the bumpy journey an enjoyable one. Lastly, I thank the Almighty God for his abundant blessings and his guidance. I bestow upon you all the blessings of our nation Kiribati - te mauri (health), te raoi (peace) and te tabomoa (prosperity).

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