From Challenges Come Changes

Hey there, how was your weekend? Mine was a busy one and quite a different one actually, full of challenges and a big change:  I started a part-time job!  To say I am happy about this is an understatement, since the last six months have been REALLY different for me. Besides quitting my full-time job, moving to a new country and becoming a student again, I wasn’t able to start working right away in Australia due to the Visa I was granted last year. The lack of an income stream is something that I certainly wasn’t used to…when you’re used to having your own money, it’s just plain hard not having it! I’ve had a job (sometimes even two or three jobs at once) ever since I was 14 years old, so I’m simply not used to not-working. I love having my own money and financial freedom, and I genuinely enjoy working, so not even having the option to work was extremely challenging.

Anyway, my student visa was FINALLY approved, so after many tears and a lot of stress (is it just me, or are money problems the worst cause of stress ever? Please tell me I’m not alone!), I applied for a few jobs, was hired, and began over the weekend. I’m working at a Café/Gelato shop right on the ocean, about five minutes from our condo. I’m so excited to be in a bright and happy environment serving gelato and coffee,  two of my most favorite things!
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On the downside, while I was very excited to be hired, I was also VERY nervous. So nervous in fact, that all weekend I was referring to my favorite quote to help get me through my shifts:

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I don’t know about you, but when I get nervous, I rely on feel-good mantras, inspirational quotes, support from my family and friends, and longggg talks with my Mom (Love you, Mom!).

Given that I’ve had many different jobs in all sorts of different industries, I whole-heartedly believe it doesn’t matter what the job description is, who you are, or how old you are; being the new girl is really scary. And being the new girl in a foreign country? It’s even scarier. I was worried about wearing the right thing, saying the right thing, doing the right thing, understanding customers… my list goes on and on.

So after two shifts in, I’m focusing on the positive. I did it, I’m doing it, and I won’t be new forever. After all, I’ve had my share of “new things” this year:
-I was the new girl at school (Uni), and I survived.
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-I was the new girl at boot-camp and the gym, and I survived (and made some great friends, too!)

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-And now I’m the new girl at work, but I know I’ll survive.
I’m confident all of the challenges I’ve faced this year are going to change me for the better.

So tell me, have you ever been “the new girl?” How do you cope with your nerves?
If you’re a student, do you have any tips for balancing school and work?

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41 thoughts on “From Challenges Come Changes

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this! For what it’s worth this post came at such the right time for me. :) this whole year for me was about being the new girl too since I moved and all to start school again. I haven’t gotten a job yet and I fully understand the financial stress. I’m looking to get one after I return from visiting home. Anyways, all I can say is that I relate and it’s great to see your story and be encouraged.

  2. I totally understand the whole “not working” thing. I know I have a little guy to take care of now (which is about 3 jobs in itself), but the months leading up to it were so weird for me. I genuinely miss teaching and love being able to contribute to my family’s income! The strangest feeling was buying Christmas presents this past year. “Merry Christmas, Husband! Here’s your gift I purchased with the $ you made!”

    Oh, and yes. Have totally been the new girl. When I first moved to Calgary and began teaching, my school’s secretary (who I was scared of) literally called me, “The Deer In Headlights Girl” for at least 7 or 8 months. Not cool.

    Glad you got some shifts under your belt. You’ll be just fine!!!

    • Thanks Kelly :) I felt most guilty about not contributing to the income stream…it was just weird! And I felt the same way about Christmas presents, I did the same thing!

  3. Yay, congrats on your new job :) working at a gelato shop sounds like so much delicious fun! Being the new girl definitely gives my type A personality some anxiety. I do rely on mantras and knowing that the first day can’t last forever. I’m sure you’ll make lots of new coworker friends in no time. Glad your visa status changed and spending money is in your future!

  4. That’s so exciting about your new job! Congratulations! I do the same thing with mantras when I’m nervous about something. Being new is really hard! It’s going to sound soo corny but one of my favorite things to tell myself in situations where I’m the new girl is from Legally Blonde when elle woods goes into harvard for the first time and says to herself (and her dog) “don’t be scared, everyone will love you.” It’s so simple but if you repeat it over and over, the message has a way of sinking in :)

  5. Love this. Its all so true and changes are tough but at the same time builds character. heck Im jealous you will now know how to make delicious coffee drinks :)

  6. CONGRATULATIONS on your new job!!!! Money is definitely the center for stress and it’s the worst to feel helpless! I’ve heard getting visas or citizenship in Australia is super challenging, so kudos to you for being patient and getting it done! I am so jealous of your new job, coffee & gelato?! Wooo! I can echo your sentiment about being new to something. It’s nerve racking – but you seem to have a history with success so this won’t be any different. yay for your new job lovely!

  7. Being the new girl is always tough, you’re right! And, once you’re settled in, it’s so easy to forget what it took to get to that level of comfort, but it’s a nice reminder that things will get easier, it just takes time! Sounds like a perfect place for you to work! congrats! xoxo

  8. CONGRATS!! I feel the same way about money, this is the first time in my life since I was 15 not having a job, and not going to lie I love it- but not having my own money sucks! Hopefully selling my art will kick off though and I’ll make some of my own moolah!

  9. CONGRATS on the new job Mere! Being the new girl can def. be a bit nerve-wracking but I have no doubt that you’ll blend in perfectly & you’ll make new friends in no time! To cope with my nerves I say a quick prayer before my day, and occasionally, I’ll text my hubby or my sis for encouragement too. :-) Hope you have a great week & p.s. I nominated you for a Liebster Award!!! :-)

  10. So proud of you!! You are an inspiration to me as well as so many others!! You are so special!! Love you!!

  11. I hear you on being ‘the new girl’! It’s hard in any situation but being in a foreign country definitely adds to the stress.
    I found that instead of trying to just ‘fit in’ with everyone else, I used the opportunity of being ‘new’ to almost force myself to be more outgoing than I am in any normal situation. Being in a completely new situation really allowed me to be the me that I really want to be – it sounds weird but it worked for me!
    And you’re right, you won’t be ‘the new girl’ for too long and having your own money makes such a HUGE difference.

  12. I hear you on being ‘the new girl’! It’s hard in any situation but being in a foreign country definitely adds to the stress.
    I found that instead of trying to just ‘fit in’ with everyone else, I used the opportunity of being ‘new’ to almost force myself to be more outgoing than I am in any normal situation. Being in a completely new situation really allowed me to be the me that I really want to be – it sounds weird but it worked for me!
    And you’re right, you won’t be ‘the new girl’ for too long and having your own money makes such a HUGE difference.

  13. Congratulations on your new job! It’s totally understandable to be nervous about it — I also get nervous about going into any new situation, so I can completely relate. (Also, you’re *SO* not alone on the money-induced freak-outs, either! I’ve had plenty of those myself, so you’re in good company.) Luckily, in many cases my nerves go away after I start whatever new thing has me so shaky — the anticipation is always the worst part, and once I’m in it, I feel better. :)

    You have so much to be proud of with all these huge leaps of faith and changes you’ve made, and soon you’ll be able to add this to the list! :)

    • Thanks for your kind words Lillian! Good to hear I’m not alone on the money thing…I have had so many meltdowns I’ve lost count! Anticipation is definitley the worst part, I agree :)

  14. Congrats on the new job! I worked at a local coffee shop for two years and I LOVED it. I STILL miss it everyday!!
    You will do great- believe in yourself! You are braver than you think!! :)

  15. Congratulations to you for starting your new job, lovely lady!

    Visas are so stressful, so I’m glad yours is finally sorted! I can’t wait til Jesse and I get married later in the year so that he can finally be a permanent resident (though we STILL have to get over the citizenship hurdle a few years down the track) and it will be easier to get things done.

  16. I hateee being the new girl. I have a job interview next week and am so nervous to be the new girl all over again in a new job. I know once I get used to it, things are great, but no one likes being new!! I will be borrowing your mantra should I get the job! ;)

    • Same here, Brittany! Thanks for your comment :) It’s never easy, but just think, it’s only a few hours of your life in that interview. Just think of it as little bits of time, that’s what I’ve been trying to do!

  17. What a fun job! You seem to have settled into your new life in Australia really well. Part of that is all the big changes you’ve made. I know they are stressful and scary, but think of all the cool people you’ve met along the way. I bet you’ll meet a lot of new locals and tourists working at the shop. You got this, girl!

  18. Pingback: Friday favorites-australia edition | What Meredith Makes

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