At the start of 2020, Melinda didn’t know how a global pandemic would define the final year of her social work degree. But Melinda hasn’t let that slow her down. She’s continued her study path, kept up a busy work schedule and even made a new friend, all while in lockdown. We spoke to Melinda to find out more about her experiences in Adelaide during the coronavirus pandemic.
Usually, I would go back to Hong Kong in the summer, but this year I decided to stay in Adelaide to work and take a summer course. As I saw the situation get worse in Asia, I was quite worried and kept checking in the make sure my family and friends were ok.
I’ve been joining in on some of the Friends of the World events, and I unexpectedly met a new friend from Japan. She was interested in learning Mandarin, and I wanted to learn Japanese, so we started messaging and having video calls to practice our new languages. We ’meet’ online once a week and we’ll meet face-to-face soon. Besides the language exchange, we’ve become good friends and laugh so much during our sessions. I really love the Friends of the World events.
I work at Unibuddy at the University of South Australia, helping with enquiries from international students. I was there over the summer, but when the campus closed, I couldn’t work there anymore. After that, I got an opportunity to work remotely on the Student Hardship Fund (COVID-19) project. The fund helps students who are struggling with living costs because of the pandemic.
I also volunteer at Oaktree in community engagement, and I’m a student ambassador with StudyAdelaide. I’m still busy, but without the Coronavirus, I’d be even busier. I love doing all this different stuff. I get to learn from every position, and it’s a way to do something more than study.
I live in a shared room, so sometimes it’s been hard to be stuck inside. I like to get out to go hiking at Morialta Conservation Park. I also made a little self-care corner where I put a diffuser, candle and things that make me feel relaxed. When I feel stressed, I go there. I have a daily routine including reading and stretching to help maintain my motivation and make sure my physical and mental health are doing well.
Adelaide is a beautiful place, and the South Australian government is doing a great job, but I hope it will be over soon. I love travelling and was planning to go to Perth to visit a friend and go to a music festival, but now I can’t. And I really want to go to Hong Kong to vote in September. I’ll have to decide when I know more about the borders. Some things are still unknown.View all Stories