Well ladies and gentlemen, it was definitely entertaining for everyone staying in our room that night. Everyone was looking forward to seeing my attempts at getting into bed, and to be honest, I don’t blame them. I knew I would look ridiculous; but what can you do? I had to sit back and have a laugh about it too!
Luckily though, all of the girls in our room were kind enough to instruct me on how to climb this piece of furniture; and once I was up there, I was not climbing back down until morning. For a while, I was too afraid to move, thinking I would plummet to the ground, but, much to my surprise….. It didn’t! Everyone else was right, I was worrying a bit too much about it!
Morning rolled around quickly and we all started preparing for the day. First things first, trying not to crash land onto the carpet from the top bunk. I somehow managed to climb back down, unhurt, but still fearful of bunk beds and heights! After such a big challenge, breakfast was definitely a welcome reward!
We were then separated into groups for team building activities. I was in the smallest group, but, I think we were the best! I mean, it was amazing how quickly we thought of a team name!
So ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you, TEAM SPARKLE!!!!! We were a group that not only had a team name, but we also had a team handshake/dance. Our first activity was all about listening to instructions and working as a team, so we split up into groups of 3. We were given square, triangle, rectangle and circle cut-outs of sizes and colours. One person from each group would read out instructions on what shapes to use and we would have to make an artistic design. Instead of competing with the other groups, we all started working together and each group helped one another. Afterwards we progressed to a slightly more difficult challenge, we had to make a 3×4 square “masterpiece”, but it had to be PERFECT! The slightest mistake would result in us having to build it again, from scratch.
After lunch it was time for Team Sparkle to move onto the Crate Challenge. One person would be harnessed up, with 4 people bilaying him/her. The bilay team would lift the person and he/she would have to build a crate tower and stand on it. We tried to go as high as we possibly could.
My dear readers, I don’t know if you realised from my previous paragraphs, but I am actually extremely afraid of heights (do many people fear the top bunk of a bunk bed? I do not know). However this was a different challenge, a bigger challenge, a scary challenge, a challenge that not I would have ever thought of completing!
I decided, I was going to sit this activity out.
That was until, the instructor and Team Sparkle convinced me otherwise. Taking my glasses off, I let them hook me up to the dreaded rope and harness. I could feel my knees knocking together like I was suffering from coldness, but no, this was from FEAR. I was lifted off the ground and there were screams of panic, but I was up there now, I had to finish what I had started. I surprised myself, I actually did it.
My point is, being a Griffith Mate at Griffith University has changed me. There are always new challenges and obstacles to face, but I am not alone. Without the help and advice that I received from my roommates I would have panicked even more about climbing to the top bunk, but most of all; without the beautiful, kind and caring people of Team Sparkle, I would never have attempted the Crate Challenge. I know that the friends I have made from this program will always be there to support me, encourage me, and make me enjoy life.
Even though I can hardly move from the pain of a severe sunburn, making me resemble a roasted tomato; the memories that I will have of the Mates Retreat will be with me forever!
Special thanks to Griffith Mates Kasun, Braulio and Shabnam for sharing their retreat photos.