Shortlisted for the Higher Education Category of the 2019 Melbourne Writers Festival's storytelling competition 'Love & Melbourne' .

The Melbourne Sky

By Olga Kostochka

Rowers on the Yarra

I open my eyes a few minutes before the alarm rings and smile – it’s a new day and I am buzzing with excitement. Before brushing my teeth and even before having the classic Melbourne flat white, I raise the curtain of the window in my room and look outside. Each morning this city fuels my passion for adventure and exploration with its sky. I once had a sudden realisation: the ever changing Melbourne weather reflects exactly what I love about the city. Melbourne to me is an array of vibrant and unexpected combinations.

There are many jokes about the Melbourne weather. My favourite one is: ‘If you don’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes’. It is absolutely true. Some days the morning sky is cold and gloomy with the cold breath of winter, which then changes to a bright blue, sunny and hot day; it is then shortly followed by a quick change of mind to pouring rain. Just like these changes, the activities and atmosphere of Melbourne is unexpected. Melbourne keeps me open-minded and excited to see something new.

Some days I get to visit a famous café in an abandoned factory building. Other days I meet a software engineer with a passion for classic novels, with whom I discuss Jane Austen and the future of a computerised world. Different every day, every hour, even every minute. The Melbourne sky amazes me and reflects the lively diversity of the city and its people. As I look up each morning, I can’t help but smile at the parallel between Melbourne and its sky. I always wonder: what will I see and who will I meet today?

People in Melbourne are just as different from one another as the Melbourne sky each day/hour/minute. These differences, however, are exactly what makes the sky and the city so unique and beautiful. We all pursue a diversity of ideas with astonishing, yet humble, boldness. Everyone seeks to do what they love, work hard at it and appreciate those around them. Regardless of how different, so many people I meet in Melbourne follow their passions wholeheartedly and are happy to share.

One day at lunch, for example, I met a girl from the Philippines who studies mechatronics. I, on the other hand, study commerce. We talked about how, as opposed to holding our individualities private, we were building a more interconnected world through encouraging and accepting our unique differences. Two girls doing such different degrees in Australia, we actually ended up chatting about the importance of sharing ideas.

Having seen so many unexpected combinations of ideas, lifestyles and experiences I have realised that just like the different clouds in the Melbourne sky, people in Melbourne can all be unique, yet float together and form something beautiful – a special and celebrated Melbourne culture.