Humans of RMIT: Chaitali Bhanushali

Chaitali Bhanushali, student, Master of Urban Design, RMIT

“I was just a few weeks into my final semester of my Master of Urban Design when the lockdown happened. It would’ve been very easy to be negative and to get very stressed but I decided very early on that I cannot drown myself in negative thoughts and complain about negative situations. Rather, I decided I was going to look on the bright side and use this time I have to try and become a better person when I come out of this situation.

It was a very big decision for me to leave Mumbai, where I did my Bachelor of Architecture, and to leave behind my family and move to a new city and a new culture. So when I first stepped foot in Melbourne two years ago I promised myself that in two years time when I finish my Masters, I will be a very different person, not just academically, but also personally.

RMIT has given me so many opportunities to do this through different programs, such as building cultural intelligence, communicating with confidence and developing leadership skills.

Now, with just a few weeks until I finish my Masters, I can stop and reflect on my time at RMIT and ask myself ‘Have I changed? Have I grown up? Have I made positive changes to my life? Have I contributed to the community?’ And now that I have come so close to the end of my course, I can feel really proud that I can answer ‘yes’. And actually, these past few months in lockdown have really contributed to those changes. It has forced me to reflect a lot more and I’ve started writing a gratitude journal about all the things I am grateful for. It has also taught me patience.

A lot of our work in urban design requires us to work as part of a team and that has been challenging when we are studying from home. I have had to learn to deal with stress management and relationships in challenging circumstances.

I have learnt a lot during this COVID situation and I think when I go back to the outside world and when I enter the workforce, I will have developed many important skills that I may not otherwise have developed, and I’ll be a very different person than I was before COVID. As difficult as it has been, I am grateful for that.’