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May 27, 2013 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Editorial – Space

Welcome to the second-to-last week of the trimester! While holidays may just be a few weeks away, you probably have so many due dates and exam dates looming that it seems unlikely that you’ll ever make it out the other side alive.

If this is your first Trimester at Victoria, we can promise you that despite the doom and gloom there are a few positives to look forward to: lollies handed out in final tutorials; free breakfast at the VUWSA Stress-Free Study Weeks, and a light-hearted, Space-themed issue of Salient to give you some light relief from the trials and tribulations of Trimester One.

Coming to University can be a big shock after high school. Where you once knew, or at least knew of, nearly everyone, now you’re surrounded by thousands and thousands of people you will never know, never meet, and many you will never even see. Much like thinking about your infinitesimal size in the infinitely expanding Universe, thinking about your relative insignificance in an institution the size of Victoria University can be pretty damn bleak.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. In his series, Cosmos, astronomer Carl Sagan famously explained: “We’re made of star stuff”, a neat little fact later picked up on by Moby in his hit ‘We Are All Made of Stars’. Did you know that every single atom that makes up every single one of us was produced in a star millions and millions of years ago? That’s something pretty nice to think about when you’re still 400 words down on your essay and it’s already 3 am; the line at VicBooks is so long that you’re late to class, or your flatmates’ banging keeps you awake when you’re in bed alone, again.

As humans, we have something of a fascination for the Great Beyond. Nearly everyone has dreamed about space travel at least once, has wondered whether life exists beyond the bounds of our little planet, or has responded ‘astronaut’ when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Molly had every intention of being an astronaut when she grew up. Hell, she was even prepared to do maths and physics to get to space. Until, at the age of 13, someone told her that as part of astronaut training, you have to poo on a camera (trust me on this one, it’s to do with aiming at a vacuum toilet, or something). That may have seemed like a small step for some, but for Molly it was a giant leap way, way too far.

Stella has always made an effort to point out that her name is Latin for ‘star’, as if to imply she’s destined to shine bright, like a diamond. Though in reality she is just a big ball of gas.

Our childhood dreams of space and space travel may never be realised, but that hasn’t stopped us wearing galaxy leggings or consulting our horoscopes on a monthly basis.

Sure, it can be pretty overwhelming to think about how small we are in terms of Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand, Earth, the Solar System… but we can’t let the fact that we are mere specks of star-dust get us down. We just have to make the most of what we’ve got. Sure, we might not all be astronauts, but damnit, we’ll shine bright like diamonds if we want to.


Molly & Stella


About the Author ()

Molly McCarthy and Stella Blake-Kelly are Salient Co-Editors for 2013, AKA Salient Babes.

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