The Fear and Freedom of Leaving Home

Words by: Angel Tully
Art by: Brooke Stevens

Flashback to February 2021: I have just finished the best summer of my life. Year 12 is over, lockdown is over, all my friends have just turned 18 — we are thriving. After riding this high, and discovering all the joys of being independent and venturing into adult life, I knew I wanted a change; a big one at that! I could have gotten a funky new haircut, or maybe reinvented my wardrobe, but no, I decided at the ripe age of 18 that I wanted to move out, all on my own. 

The Fear and Freedom of Leaving Home

The Real Face of Self-Care

Words by: Elodie Ricaud
Art by: Naiyanat Sauratanahai

Post-lockdown, everyone is still fixated on the importance of mastering the art of self-care. And rightly so. While in certain contexts, this word has been rendered a cliché with its focus on beauty and wellness consumption, its introduction also serves a deeper purpose. It reminds us to invest in ourselves and prioritise our needs in this fast-paced, chaotic and unpredictable life. 

The Real Face of Self-Care

Currents and Their Callings

Words and art by: Madeleine Galea

I used to think I was my interests, 

favourite things, 

books, quotes, colours, foods,

the idiosyncrasies that others could see, 

the things that had come naturally, 

the things I had done,

now, I’m not sure.

I feel like a grain of sand

washing around in the ocean,

trying to gain traction,

to form an island all of my own,

Instead, I’m blown from coast to coast. 

never quite mine, 

roving right into rivers of righteous irritation,

trying to find myself among cohorts of  lost souls,

trying to build my home in a hurricane. 

Instead of me are the fragments of what people have left behind,

those I admired,  

people I have loved, 

the way I cook my eggs and order my coffee,

my own reflection, 

and maybe it’s not such a curse,

to find yourself lost

Party of One

Words by: Kiera Eardley
Art by: Natalie Tran

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” 

Michel de Montaigne might have written these words in the 16th century, but it’s still a sentiment that would resonate with introverts everywhere. In a world that places a lot of importance on life-long partners, and at an age when popular culture is screaming from all angles that you should have a huge, boisterous friendship group that does everything together and goes out every night, it’s an easy one to forget. Society is built for extroversion in many ways, and there’s a lot of good that comes from that — but at the end of the day, all you really have is yourself. And that deserves to be celebrated. 

Party of One

Mum Wang’s Private Kitchen

Words by: Kate Zhang

When I walked into the Chinese restaurant opposite Coles in Caulfield Plaza, its owner June Wang greeted me with enthusiasm and asked me what I would like to order.

“Which one do your customers like the most?” I asked Mum Wang, flipping through the menu.

“It’s a difficult question,” she replied. “Everything on my menu is created by my customers. They said to me: ‘I want to have eggplant pot.’ And then I tried to cook some for them to taste. They told me: ‘Oh, it’s delicious!’ Then I add it to the menu. Every dish was created in this way. So, my menu is filled with what my customers like.”

Mum Wang’s Private Kitchen

I Don’t Want Kids

Words by: Tess Kent
Art by: Jessica La

TW: Infertility

As if it were the most casual of conversations, my gynaecologist handed me my prescription and let slip, “when you start thinking about wanting kids, come see me 12 months earlier to begin fertility treatments”. 

I’d just come in for a check-up as my period erred on the side of few and far between. Instead, I found out that I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and potentially endometriosis, and had just been slapped with the fact that I don’t ovulate properly. Suddenly, I was very aware that having children would need to be an incredibly conscious decision for me. I would have to try very hard to conceive, and even then, it would most likely be a rigorous process of testing and heartbreak. 

I Don’t Want Kids

How I Got Here: A Recipe

Words by: Felice Lok
Art by: L. Ching

I love writing, but I didn’t always realise I did. It must have begun when my uncle would return from Sydney every Christmas and pull beautifully wrapped storybooks out of his denim satchel for me like Mary Poppins. I soon fell in love with the touch of textured paper under my fingers as I diligently sounded out the ‘big words’. When I was 12, my mum sent me to an English tutor who left me in tears after every lesson because my stories were simply not interesting enough. In hindsight, I have both of them to thank because my stories were, in fact, not interesting at all. This tutor had made me realise it wasn’t that I lacked great ideas, but that writing was a skill I had to patiently practise in order to captivatingly convey what I wanted to say. When I reached uni, I began watching Gilmore Girls and started living vicariously through the protagonist, Rory Gilmore, who inspired me to study journalism. All these people (real and fictional) made me realise the value of words. Through words, I get to read the most interesting stories, pen thoughts to paper when I am anxious, and shamelessly share carefully crafted puns with my friends. For me, words are a vehicle for self-expression which have become a significant part of who I am. 

How I Got Here: A Recipe

The Harsh Realisations of Growing Up

Words by: Daisy Henry
Art by: Stephanie Wong

Being in your twenties is a confusing time. Graduating from Year 12 feels like it could have been mere years ago and the idea of people you know getting engaged or owning property seems absurd — surely we’re too young for that! Yet as I think about it, my valedictory was six years ago, some of my friends are in long-term relationships and a lot of young people are already saving for house deposits.  Um, when did everyone turn into grown-ups?

The Harsh Realisations of Growing Up