In 2018, I started seriously considering going back to school. I largely applied to schools in the UK, but when I got accepted to the University of Melbourne, I thought, I liked Melbourne when I visited it in 2012, and it’s a rising arts hub. I liked the idea of living in Melbourne more than I did some of the other cities which housed the schools I had gotten into. So, I decided to sign up for their Masters in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing.
Melbourne is quite different from most of the places I have lived in. It is one of the most socially equal cities in the world, and is routinely ranked as one of the best global cities for quality of living. It isn’t as roaring or hustle-bustle as Mumbai or Tokyo, but it still has a big city feel. Living in Melbourne reminded me a lot of living in Madrid, in that both have a lot of things to do without being over-the-top, and I was living a fundamental student life, which is different from the life of working abroad or even traveling. I was meeting other people who were setting time away from their life to study, I was spending most of my day going to classes, meeting professors, and devising papers for subjects outside of my frame of interest. I am a person used to working on things which draw in the fullest range of my patient, so this was a little different for me.
At the same time, I can’t deny the fact I learnt a lot. I expanded a lot of my general knowledge about the craft of editing, the norms of the book world, and the ins-and-outs of Australian literature. I also had a lot of the time and space to work on myself. I felt that living in Melbourne, I was surrounded by a very different type of person than the type I was normally used to. Melbourne largely attracts people who are looking for good quality of life and not necessarily personal growth, so I had to learn to work around people who see the world very differently from me. I also learnt to appreciate things which I largely take for granted. Melbourne is a very good place to live in, and I realized that it is nice to appreciate an objectively good standard of living, rather than the rush, and the thrill.
Overall, I am glad to have lived in Melbourne for the time that I have, and am grateful for the University of Melbourne for giving me what it has. I still feel that if I were forced to pick one place out of the hundreds of other options to me, Melbourne still wouldn’t be in my top three, but it was a great experience for what it was.