Journey to Success Fabulousness

Written by Innie Anindita

Since I was 7-years-old, I was eager to become an adult. I remember those moments when I had a calculator in my hand and I was calculating how old I would be in x years. I was eager to never have to attend school again, go shopping when I felt like it and go on endless vacations. As I reflect on this moment, I guess I was pretty naïve about the whole ‘adulthood’ thing. Although, one thing I was certain about during my childhood was that I wanted to be able to explore.

My eagerness to ‘explore’ can be explained through my hectic timeline. From as young as I remember, my parents were prime advocates for adventure. During my ‘Indonesia’ days, I was brought up by my grand-parents whilst my parents were studying overseas. My father was in the US completing his Masters in software engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles and my mother was working as an electrical engineer in Tokyo, Japan.

Soon-after my dad completed his degree in the US and my mother completed her placement in Japan, they decided to relocate to Singapore. I lived in Singapore for a year before permanently moving to Australia. In 2001 my parents decided to call Melbourne home.

Since our relocation, I had trouble trying to adjust to the new scenery that was before me. I lived in Toorak during my childhood. I was surrounded by flashy estates and the hustle and bustle of cars and trams in my neighbourhood. One thing I was eternally grateful for was the cool yet hormonal weather patterns that Melbourne had.

I could honestly say that life was great… until school started. I undertook prep at Glenferrie Primary School. I remember having to get up at 6am, be ready for school by 7am and arrive at before-school-care at 8am. Early morning commutes was annoying. But the euphoric rush I would get when I aboard the tram and train still lingers till this day. I honestly loved seeing the city flash before my eyes. I truly felt invincible.

However, school was another story. Having settled in Melbourne for under a month, I struggled to accustom myself to the ‘Australian way of life’. First, my English wasn’t that great and I struggled to complete school work. Second, making friends was hard because surely no-one would befriend a girl with a mushroom haircut and harry potter glasses.

Realising the struggle, my mother decided to take measures. My mother made me attend Kumon. I remember those afternoons where I had to enslave myself with countless of English and Math booklets. Despite the pain and agony, my English began to improve and I was back on track (not really). After I finished preparatory school, my parents had the ‘bright idea’ to send me to Minaret College. I stayed there for Year 1 and 2 before moving to Sydney.

My family’s relocation to Sydney provoked the me to ask the following questions.

  • Does Sydney have its own currency?
  • Do Sydney-siders visit the Sydney Opera House and climb the Harbour Bridge on a daily basis.


However, having lived in Sydney for 10 years, I can confirm that:

  • Sydney does not have its own currency.
  • Sydney-siders rarely frequent the Opera House nor do they climb the Harbour Bridge on a daily basis.


Fast Forward to 2012..

Despite hearing comments about how amazing Sydney was, it didn’t cut it for me. I just felt like I was missing something. I felt that life in Sydney was highly pretentious for my liking. Under the supervision of my Uncle, I decided to call Melbourne home. I was determined to find myself and make the most of what Melbourne has to offer.

The first month was daunting. I spent the month, touring schools in my area. Eventually, my uncle and aunt didn’t want me to get left behind. I ended up having to re-settle to Minaret College. After sitting some entry tests, I mentally prepared myself for the next 4 years at Minaret College.

I remember my first day just like it happened yesterday. I struggled to walk in my potato-sack thing they called a uniform. I also struggled to wear a headscarf (thanks, Ayisha for helping me fix it on my first day). I guess I was so nervous that I went completely overboard with applying my foundation as well.

In order for me to avoid nightmares, long story short, I hated every single day I spent at Minaret. I honestly felt like I never fit in, even though I tried to make myself look like I was ‘tolerating’ everything. The only way I could find solace at school was to focus on my academic performance. I was determined to study environmental law or just plain environmental science when I graduated high school.


When I graduated from Minaret, I was determined to make a name for myself, study Environmental Science or Law at a prestigious university and make new friends. I imagined myself studying in Sydney or Melbourne, but I never imagined myself relocating to Canberra.

When people think of Canberra, they immediately associate it with the Parliament House, War Memorial and Questacon. Settling in Canberra was rough. I was finally independent.

Even though I’m ridiculously bored and broke, I’m eternally grateful for my parents for allowing me to have the freedom to ‘explore’. Studying inter-state allowed me to become responsible and independent. It had made me aware of what I wanted to achieve in life, make new friends and find myself as an individual. A major positive, is how amazing my apartment is and how amazing life is once you move out. The negative side is having to feed yourself, do laundry, find employment and pay rent at the end of every month.

So what’s next for Innie? Next year, I will be undertaking field school in Vietnam in the summer and moving to Sweden in second semester where I will be finishing my last year at Stockholm University.

In closing, I urge everyone to aim high and achieve whatever you want in life. Everyone has the capacity to achieve their dreams as long as you put all your love and dedication to it! The only person stopping you from achieving is having a negative mindset and having negative people around you.

To all the dreamers out there, I believe in you.

In typical Hiba Fashion,

Keep Smiling




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