wow. It’s been a while. That resolution to write more went well, didn’t it. I’ve got a million excuses, mostly the complete lack of empty space on my calendar from January till now. I’ll try to backtrack and get something up, at least for some of the amazing travel that happened this spring, but for now a brief update.
I wasn’t kidding about the lack of empty space, because empty space was pretty much filled by doing things like reading for classes, and other silly things students have to do.
I went to Italy! And Austria! And Hungary! There will be photos but I’m saving them all until I actually write about them.
Turns out photographing Europe’s biggest intervarsity sporting event is a great workout. And apparently, this is what I look like while working.
I met some alpacas.
I ate a lot of ice cream. Anna crashed a lot of photos.
I finished my second year of university! I don’t have any photos, because I went from my final exam to volunteering on a “Get Out and Vote” campaign as it was the day of the General Election.
Hopefully it won’t be months until the next one, but until the.
I didn’t wait two months to write this, shocking, I know.
January was an interesting month. I kicked it (and 2017) off with a very quiet New Year’s Eve featuring Planet Earth. It really was the best NYE I could have asked for.
The rest of my time in Texas was, busy, to say the least. It’s always a rush to get all the socializing in before leaving. This was also the first time my parents didn’t take me to the airport, as my flight was out of Houston so Morgan and I left the day before. It was interesting. One of the strange things is how different leaving feels every time. It’s not exactly easier, but it’s not harder. It’s a difficult thing to describe.
The difficult thing about second semester (or term) is that there is no slow build up to life. It’s a head first dive into a very deep pool of work. Which, in short, is what my January back at uni felt like. While I ended my time at Enactus last term, I also became Women+ Officer for the university. It’s a job that I love, but is also a bit life-consuming. January had a steep learning curve adjusting to the meetings and committees I now sit on, as well as planning campaigns.
Highlights of January included some really lovely friend and family time back in Texas, my first academic research trip, and University Court, which wouldn’t have been exciting except I was able to question the Vice Chancellor about his commitment to diversifying the top levels of university administration in public when he had to admit he hadn’t done what he had promised. Wild times in the life of a Student Politics nerd! I also attended a Women’s March on Lancaster, which was a wonderful time of protest but also positivity. There were also great dogs.
I’ve also decided to try something a little fun and new, and make a monthly playlist of what I listened to, loved, and really summed up my month. So enjoy January!
In 2016 I (in no particular order)..
- saw “Gardens That Speak”, a piece of theatre that still has me thinking a year later
- performed in my first Vagina Monologues
- went to Romania
- taught art to small children
- planned a conference
- went to Edinburg
- spent my birthday in Portugal
- had a phone interview in an art museum
- went to Madrid, and spent a day in museums
- then 24 hours later went to London for a conference
- then Brighton a week later for another conference
- and a week later spent 24 hours in Brussels for yet another conference
- attempted to write about sports at Roses
- celebrated orthodox easter at a Romanian Orthodox church
- taught children to dance like bees
- passed my first year of uni
- got my first job connected to my degree
- went on a sister roadtrip
- took another trip to Dallas
- went to a lot of doctors appointments
- flew back to England
- missed a lecture on the first week for another conference and a trip to London
- cast a show, while knowing nothing about theatre
- did a lot of interviews for SCAN
- took a weekend off in Scotland
- watched, liveblogged, and spoke on radio for 7 hours for the US election
- did not process the US election, and stayed awake for 40+ hours
- saw more great theatre
- went to a political party conference as a media delegate
- ran for a student government officer position (in an avocado sweater)
- quit Enactus
- got 2 jobs
- got the officer position
- raised a lot of money for domestic violence charity
- saw my sister graduate
- made it another year around the sun
I should write these on time.
The beginning of December flew by in a whirlwind of essays, cold, and stress. I turned in around 12,000 words in essays before flying home a few days before term ended to catch Morgan’s graduation from nursing school.
She is officially old. And brilliant, and responsible, and the coolest sister I could ask for. But the only new part is old.
When you live far away, you have to cram the coming 6 months of being away into a month of time with friends
December was good. The time off was very needed, as was the time with people. The food was a nice addition as well.
It’s December 31st. I’m not sure I remember November. This has been on my to-do list for a month. I’m really bad a blogging, I know.
November was a train wreck, to be honest. I’m looking back at my calendar now and I’m not sure how it all happened. I think I say that a lot.
I got a research internship with our Peace Studies Research Institute, working on a project about refugee literacy programs. I went to Scottland. Anna made me come out of debate retirement for a day. I liveblogged and talked on radio for 7+ hours for the US election, and stayed up over 40 because of the time difference.I got a job working for our International Student office as our International Student Ambassador for the US & Canada. I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and fell in love with the Harry Potter universe all over again. I went to the Women’s Equality Party Conference as a press delegate, which was inspiring and exciting. I gave a speech for an election, in an avocado sweater. I quit Enactus. I got another job working for our Arts organization on International Outreach.
Then I slept for a weekend before essays started.
Well, that was November?
When I moved to England, I knew one person in the hemisphere. Harris has been down to visit Lancaster, we went to Copenhagen last fall, but I hadn’t managed to make it up to St. Andrews until November. Wrapping up an incredibly busy week, I took a quick 3.5 hour trip up and across the UK to enjoy a weekend off.
Priorities are food, no matter where I am. Highlights included some tacos (not the best, not the worst, but you take what you can get over here) and some incredible ice cream.
Because we’re the kind of students who don’t really have time off, Harris had to run off for most of Saturday so I took advantage of a new city to explore. Beaches are a little different when you’re wearing 4 layers and a wool coat, but still pretty. I don’t know anything about golf, but I can say I’ve stomped on the Old Course, a must do in the Home of Golf.
And because my life is a bit non-stop, I took a few hours out to work through my to do list in an incredible coffee shop I would really like to transport to Lancaster. My life is really just this view, changing ever so slightly.
Saturday also happened to be Bonfire night, so I was dragged out to West Sands (the aforementioned beach that happens to be right on the Old Course) for some fireworks. I will own up and say I gave up early, after losing the feeling in my hands, face, and feet. I’m just not meant for freezing weather and ocean wind.
Scotland is gorgeous, and the weekend was a great break from the chaos of uni life.
Coming back this year I was determined to blog more. Clearly, that didn’t go well.
October was the first full month back in England, and the start of my second year of uni. I’m not sure if it was having 3 months off that made me forget how busy things were, or if this year is just really that busy. I’m going to say the first so I feel better.
Academically, 2nd year is incredible, and incredibly hard. Since I get to choose all of my classes and they’re all major specific, I’m lucky to enjoy the topics of all of my classes. However, I think I underestimated the amount of reading and critical thinking that go into a theory-heavy course load, so although I love my classes they can be a bit draining. But if you ever want to talk about critical theories of development, I’m your girl.
(Me at ‘Peak Alex’, as Anna calls it)
I’m living in town this year, which is a nice change from campus. I knew I wanted to try and separate ‘work’ and ‘home’ – something especially difficult for students since we don’t have ‘working hours’ – and having physical distance between the two has been very helpful. Still not great about not answering emails/messages late at night, but baby steps.
To end this on a fun note, here is my Halloween story. Note: Halloween is quite different in the UK than the US, it’s more of an excuse to party than for small children to trick-or-treat. Basically, since Halloween was on a Monday night, I quickly forgot that it was Halloween and it was just another busy Monday. Anna and I however quickly remembered, when we went to get the bus back to town at 11:45 and were quickly surrounded by drunk freshers in costume. Nothing quite like the bus you take home being the bus others are taking to a night out. Clearly my life is quite exciting.
Well that was October (about a month late).