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They say the hardest part of loving something is saying goodbye. I knew the day I would have to leave IHouse would come eventually, and saying goodbye was extremely difficult. But, it turns out, it isn’t as difficult as trying to summarise the best 4 years of your life into a Facebook post. So bear with me and my copious amount of grammatical errors as I try to express what Ihouse truly meant to me.

In 2014 I was feeling unmotivated, lacked inspiration and generally just wasn't happy with my life. Mum would always tell me how she thought living on university campus would be good for me. Who would have thought she would be right - moving down to Wollongong and staying at International house was the best thing to ever happen to me. From the day I arrived until the day I left, I felt I was a part of something special. This isn’t something that is achieved over night, but rather the ongoing effort by everyone to make it the best place to possibly live. From the kitchen staff working tirelessly to feed 200+ hungry uni students everyday, to the cleaning staff who are tasked with cleaning the aftermath of the night before drunken adventures, to the staff in the office who managed to keep it together after the loss of the SDO’s. (Well.. only Kim). Even the maintenance staff did some stuff occasionally… short formal dresses

Then there’s the student leaders; you never really get to appreciate what the student leader team does when you’re a resident. The ones who respond to your lockouts at ridiculous hours of the morning, the ones who run past you half-dressed to an emergency, the ones who work tirelessly preparing fun events for you to attend, the shoulder for you to lean on when you’re feeling blue, the person who smiles and asks how you are even though they may be struggling themselves. I was fortunate enough to be a student leader for 2 years and work with some amazing people. The support within the teams, constant banter and poorly made IHouse memes will be sorely missed. Even though at times I struggled with the role and have aged several years because of being a Student Leader, my confidence to overcome challenges and the experience to deal with the worst of the worst situations will stay with me for life.

However, none of these roles would matter without the residents for who it’s all done. I have countless great memories of attending events with my friends: watching movies, playing pool, sitting in the redroom all night talking about life, going to The Grand on a Wednesday night, going to harbour cruise (RIP) and formals, skipping lectures to go to unibar, the list goes on forever.

I have made lifelong friends with people from across the globe over my years at IHouse. Even though the memories of what we did may fade, I will remember every person that made my time at IHouse so incredible. I wish I could personally thank everyone, but the list would surely be in the thousands by now. The only way I can personally thank people in this post is by doing the top 2 most influential people, otherwise I would have to be writing them for the rest of my life.

Oscar Jeffreson , That harbour cruise when we realised that there was an alternative to the cheap alcohol in unlimited soft drink, and then proceeded to discuss how great Coca Cola was. From that moment we knew that we would be friends for life. I have countless memories of us hanging out, playing video games, dealing with ihouse shit, that one time you got deadmau5 and Darude mixed up to Darudes face, the list goes on forever. You have been such an incredible friend who has always been there for me throughout my time at IHouse no matter what. Saying goodbye to IHouse today and the prospect of not seeing you every day was heartbreaking, but I know that there will be plenty of more great moments for us in the future.

I was also fortunate enough at IHouse to meet the most amazing person and my partner J̶a̶s̶e̶ ̶G̶o̶o̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶ ̶K̶i̶e̶r̶a̶n̶ ̶G̶r̶e̶g̶o̶r̶y̶ Tegan Walker . All those memories of us watching movies in the redroom, you and Mayumi calling me antisocial, Jasper being a third wheel, those trips to the beach, those nights at the illa, you helping me apply to be a Student Leader, me helping you with spelling and maths. Despite your distaste for IHouse at times you still supported me this year even when you weren’t there. I couldn’t have asked for a better girlfriend (especially after helping me move all my stuff this week).

I honestly could go on forever about my time at International House. So I will just finish this off with an inspirational quote from James Walsh himself: “I don’t care if you’ve been sent a kidney you need to live, you’re not getting mail after office hours”

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