Tag Archive: study abroad


Hello blogosphere!

Long time, no see!!

As you may have deduced, I have returned from my trip abroad and made it safely back to the lovely USA. My trip was awesome and amazing and every positive adjective you can imagine and I definitely did not want to come home, but now that I am home, I am definitely glad to be back.

The following things were what I was most excited about coming home to:

  1. Chiefy
  2. My Bed

Yeah, that’s it.

Besides being exhausted and wanting nothing to do with stairs or being awake, I have also been a complete basket case.  The reasons, however, I just don’t feel comfortable sharing with the entire world on the internet, so I apologize for that. I really didn’t need to share that part with you guys, but considering the mess I’ve been, I just haven’t been myself since I’ve been back.

I met some really great people and really, really loved every minute of the trip. It was amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m beyond glad I had the chance to experience everything I did.

Now that I’m back, I have so much to do and getting back to reality kinda blows.

I have so much work still to do for class and it seems like I have a never-ending supply of laundry. I only packed 50 pounds worth of stuff, but I just am struggling to put everything away. I hope I remember how to be in the real world and execute the functions of my job. That will be an adventure tomorrow morning. As will waking up at a normal time in EST.  My body clock is all out of whack and I never have any idea what time it is.

I just wanted to quickly update that I made it back safely and that I hadn’t abandoned my blog for forever.  I’m back and am trying to get back into the swing of things.

🙂

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So, I have been mentioning my trip to Europe a lot lately.

In case I haven’t fully explained what’s happening, that’s what this post will be about.

For three weeks, I will be in Europe.  I am doing a three-week study abroad program for my MBA and will be taking a finance class and fulfilling credits for my Capstone while I am over there.  These next three weeks will be spent in London, Paris, and Barcelona.  We will have the opportunity to tour a few companies and understand international business practices.

I am so, so excited, I cannot even tell you!

For one thing, I have never traveled anywhere that far away by myself before.  I know I won’t really be alone alone but I don’t know anyone in my study abroad program so it feels like I’m alone.  Also, I meant that in the sense that I haven’t traveled somewhere (especially this far away) without my family (or a friend) by my side or who was meeting me at my destination.  I haven’t been away from friends or family for that long before either.

I live such a sheltered life.

I have been to Europe three times before, so it won’t be completely foreign to me.  When I was in seventh grade, Tam, Drew and I ventured to Italy for Tam’s 40th birthday.  Then, my senior year of high school, Tam took us to London for spring break.  Four years later, when Drewy was a senior in high school, we went back to London for spring break but this time we added a few days in Paris.

Having never been to Spain, I am beyond excited to experience an entirely new city.  I have only heard good things about Barcelona!

Here’s the thing though: I have a crazy amount of anxiety about the trip.  I am a terrible flyer. I hate packing. I’m nervous about my Final Exam in my econ class tomorrow. I haven’t started packing.  There’s an e. coli outbreak in Europe. My mom keeps asking me questions and it’s freaking me out. What if I cry on the plane and become that girl who cried on the plane? What if I get homesick and miss my mom too much?

I wanted to let you know that this will be my last post until I return, which is July 8.  I am going on a little hiatus, if you will.  I just don’t know what kind of schedule I can maintain while I’m there, and I just really want to experience all that I can while I’m there. I do hope you understand….

Anyway, I need to review some of my econ stuff and actually start packing.

(Except, when I say that, I know that I’ll just sit on the couch and watch Tangled with Seneca, since she’s here because she can’t bear the thought of being without one leg of the tripod for three weeks.)

LAHV YEW.

Oh, here’s this for you too. I found it on tumblr somewhere.

I'm done packing.

Sweet baby Jesus. It is currently 11:34 pm Thursday, June 9.  I just realized it is Thursday and I hadn’t posted yet.

I’ve been working on a finance case study and feeling anxiety about my final project for my econ class.

I’m also getting sick again.  It started with a stuffy nose yesterday. I woke up this morning feeling like death.  I decided to skip the gym and sleep until I felt better. I finally got up at 11am because I was already disgusted with myself for sleeping that late in the day, despite the fact that I was not feeling well.  All day long I felt extreme sinus pressure and my voice sounded a little off.  Now my throat is killing me and I just hope this goes away before Thursday, when I board my plane for London.

This is how today began:

Strugz City!

Today, obviously, didn’t go as planned.

When I went to get my oil changed, I realized that the hood of my car wouldn’t pop open.  The dude at the oil change place was little to no help and when I called my parents (yes, both of them), they didn’t really tell me anything I wasn’t already thinking.  I decided to take my car to the dealership and be like WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?! Except, I didn’t tell them about the scary noise it makes; I didn’t want them to take my car away from me! I just told the man that my little latchy-thing didn’t work and that the top part of my car wouldn’t open.

I spent the next hour and forty-seven minutes of my life listening to the Doppler radar report in the sitting/waiting area in the car dealership and reading the latest Newsweek.

Turns out the latch for the hood was corroded (or something???), so, for $20, they repaired that for me.  Then, they changed my oil because the man knew that I needed to get that done.  And they replaced my air filter because mine was apparently “pretty nasty looking.”

I mean, I guess I could have said no, but meh… if it’s something I’m breathing on a regular basis, I suppose I would like that to be clean.

So, 75 dollhairs later, I left the dealership and drove like a bat out of hell to Best Buy.

While I was waiting Janine (my car) to be finished with her high-maintenance bullshit, I had received a phone call from the Geek Squad at Best Buy, alerting me that my computer (JOY!) was ready to be picked up.  When I got there, I had to wait in line (Sucktown!) but I had ample time to people-watch, one of my favorite activities.  Finally, I was reunited with my computer, who had gotten a brand new motherboard.  All of my data remained on my hard-drive and everything was normal and perfect.

Obviously, the day turned into this:

Now I’m going to continue with my finance case study and drink some tea to ease my sore throat.

Please think happy thoughts and send me some “get better” vibes so I won’t be sick while I’m in Europe!! Also, thinking some “I hope you get the job you interviewed for this week!” vibes wouldn’t hurt either.

Believe it or not, I really am trying to get all my ducks in a row…

 

I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that I have created a safe guard against my increasing anxiety as the date of my departure creeps towards me.

Just today I had a mini-meltdown in the shower as I went through my mental checklist of things to do before I leave.  And my list was mainly academic.  It had nothing to do with all the other shit outside of school I need to get ready/buy/organize/plan.  I was running through the next 15 days in my head and worrying how I was to get all of my assignments done (and on time!) prior to my flight out of the lovely US of A.

I’m not sure if I’ve told you all about my trip to Europe this summer, but please don’t worry- there is more information to come.

I just wanted to let you all know right now that I took my color coding and organization to the next level today.

In a slight attempt to further procrastinate writing my ECON paper, I opened up Microsoft Excel and began building myself an Assignment & Due Date Matrix.

Why, yes, I am aware of what a nerd I am.

You can make fun of me all you want, I don’t mind.  I’ll be sitting here, stress-free and on top of all of my assignments because of it.  AND, I’ll get to feel the satisfaction of checking something off of this very specific to-do list. It’s all pretty and perfect and it’s all mine.

The best part is that as soon as it was complete, I immediately felt better about everything. Usually, when I create a to-do list or write something in my planner, I can feel good that it’s written down and won’t be forgotten.

Now, I know that instead of dreaming about failing all three of my classes this summer, I’ll start having stress dreams about what to pack for my trip.

I fucking hate packing.

If you were going out of the country for three weeks and could only bring one fifty pound bag, one carry-on, and one personal item, what would you bring??? Also, do you have any packing strategies? I’m going to need all the help I can get.

On Monday morning, one of my coworkers alerted me that the world was predicted to be ending this coming Friday, as in Tomorrow. She said she heard on the radio that we could forget about coming into work on Saturday because the world was ending Friday night. I don’t know if this was a national prediction or if it was just one that was spread through West Michigan, but either way, I guess people were pretty serious about it on Monday morning.

Obviously, she was sharing this news with us to mock the crazy people who 1.) predicted this, and 2.) called into the radio station to discuss their plans for the week to prepare for the world ending on Friday night.  In fact, the seven minutes following her divulgence of this information, those of us in the office mocked the general public and made sarcastic comments about not being “saved” and how we’d be left on earth to face Hell (except I was serious about experiencing hell- because let’s get real, I’m definitely on God’s shit list).

Seriously, if I’m going to believe anyone about the world ending, I’m going to believe the Mayans or Aztecs or whoever the fuck came up with that calendar that ends in 2012. (I’m clearly well-versed in end-of-the-world conspiracy theories.) I just feel like that’s probably legit.  At least, more legit than some rando hyper-religious alcoholic/meth-head cult leader sitting in a lazyboy in the middle of a corn field during his four day bender shouting at his cows that the world is going to end. I mean, that profile may not be accurate, but it’s probably pretty close.

If the world does end tomorrow night, though, I’m gonna be pretty pissed.  I did not live this week as if it was my last.  I mean, I did get drunk on a Monday night and I did get to color code my planner up to the first week of July, but that is just not enough.  I mean, just today I spent my free time this evening finding a new ringtone, doodling in my econ notebook because I didn’t feel like thinking, poking around on facebook, twitter and tumblr, making dinner and taking care of Chiefy, who, incidentally, is experiencing some health issues.

The world just can’t end tomorrow. I haven’t had a chance to wear out my new ringtone. I haven’t had a chance to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I haven’t gone on my Study Abroad trip yet! I still have Taylor Swift’s concert to look forward to in July. My driver’s license doesn’t expire until 2013! I have food in the fridge that is still good after tomorrow.

Even if the world ends tomorrow and a bunch of people get to be saved by Jesus, I hope I’m left here.  With all the other ruffians and rejects. It’ll probably be more fun anyway because the only people left will be those with a sick sense of humor and a moral compass that doesn’t point due north, like myself. We’ll have a blast. And that way, I can still use my non-expired driver’s license and enjoy all the food still in the fridge. And all of Hollywood will still be here (because they’re fucked), so I can still see HP7.2 in July when I get home from Europe. Basically, my life will be no different.

So, I guess, here’s what I have to say about the end of the world, should it come tomorrow night: bring it. I’m ready.

I guess this might see unrelated, but maybe I'll do this sexy hair shake in preparation for the world ending.

Until my class ends, you’re going to be experiencing really sub-par posts.  I just can’t seem to get a handle on my time-management.  For instance, while I got home today at an hour that allowed for plenty of time to achieve all of the things I needed to complete today, my time management was seriously lacking.

For instance, I meant to go to my gym this morning.  Instead, I slept in until 9:17 am and proceeded to take a thirty minute shower.  Why the hell!? What a waste of water.  And all I did was sing loudly and stand under the hot water until I decided, oh, yeah, maybe I should stop being a life-ruiner and wasting all of this water.   I mean, I didn’t even deep condition my hair, for goodness sake.  Sometimes I justify an excessively long shower by putting on a three-to-five minute conditioning treatment. Or sometimes, I justify it by shaving my legs.  I didn’t do either of those things today. Even though my legs are embarrassingly hairy right now.

Then, because my life is obviously a mess, I went to the doctor’s office to have my blood drawn for another appointment I have next week.  (Nothing major- don’t freak out.) The only thing is, my doctor is an hour away from where I live. Why is that, you might ask? Because I never have my shit together or all my ducks in a row enough to have all of my essential, necessary-for-life things all in one place.  That would be too easy.  So, I listened to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (OH MY GAWD, IT’S SO GOOD! HOW COULD I NOT HAVE READ THIS BOOK AGAIN SINCE 2004- OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT?!) on CD for, like, 48 minutes because I had a moment of ADD while driving where it was seriously like, zomg I can’t focus on listening right now, I need to sing my face off to some Glee covers right now, in the middle of my trip back to O-Town, but after Pokerface (with the lovely Idina Menzel) I feel I can actively listen to Harry Potter again.

So, then, I panicked in the doctor’s office because I really don’t like needles and blood really freaks me out. (Do we not all remember my bloody nose?!) But, turns out, that procedure takes all of, like, 45 seconds to complete. So I was in and out of that office.

I managed to make it to the library before all 8 or 9 of my items expired and I was hit with some outrageous fees.  I also picked up a few items that were waiting for me (The Office, Season 4; Now that’s what I call Club Hits, and Total Club Hits 2). Before you even ask, I’ll tell you why I wanted some club hits.  It’s because I’ve been trying to perfect my fist-pump so I can rock the clubs like those hooligans from the Jersey Shore.  Bahahaha! No, actually, it’s because those CDs have songs I like that have been remixed to have higher beats per minute.  I’ve been trying to create a kick-ass workout playlist so I don’t want to die when I’m at the gym.

I stopped by the bank after that and transferred some funds for my Study Abroad trip, which I’m so excited for.  Have I told you all about that yet? No? Looks like that will have to come at a later date.

I did have a long, fun lunch with one member of the Tripod, which was glorious. But after that was done, I had to drive another hour back to where I actually live.  I listened to HP the whole way home this time.  I was in a bit of a food coma, so listening was really I was capable of doing anyway.

Next, I wandered around my school trying to locate the stupid Study Abroad office. It is like Narnia or something. I have looked and looked and looked on more than one occasion and I cannot find it.  It is obviously not at all like the Room of Requirement; otherwise it would have appeared to me on one of the few occasions I have been wandering around looking for it.  And don’t tell me to just ask someone, because I totally have.  The yahoos at the information desk either don’t know where it is either or they just don’t know how to effectively communicate to me where the location of the office is.  And the office where I ended up today seemed confounded and didn’t even know where it was or how to explain how to find it to me.  Some lady told me to go to the other end of the building and that Alex’s office was on the left. The left of what?! I walked to the other end of the building and looked like an idiot, wandering around trying to find an office that will not reveal itself to me.

Sucktown, population: me.

Instead, I snuck into my mom’s office, stole one of her envelopes, wrote Alex (the study abroad advisor I have been in contact with) on the envelope along with my name and student number, sealed my first payment check inside and called it good. I told those yahoos at the information desk to just put it in his mailbox.

Then I came home, and that’s where time got away from me.  One minute I was listening to my club hits and then I got a text message about a theme day at work tomorrow, Major League Baseball.  I don’t even know what that means.  I guessed that that meant I should wear something to do with the Detroit Tigers because that’s baseball.  But then I realized I, of course, do not own anything that is Tigers- related, and I won’t just not participate in theme days. I love theme days! So you can bet your bottom dollar I went out and bought a Tigers shirt that was somewhat cute- and it was 25% off to boot!

But, because we live in the middle of BFE, it takes like 40 minutes to get anywhere. So that was a giant waste of time- except for the fact that I got to listen to Harry Potter again so it wasn’t that big of a waste.

I stumbled upon a website called Tastefully Offensive, and that was a giant time-suck.  I just kept watching video after video and giggling to myself on the couch.  I had every intention of editing a group project paper, but that didn’t start until about 8 o’clock, and it was much bigger of a task than I had originally thought. So now, I’m writing this post at the last possible second and it’s all about crap you don’t care about. And my contacts are starting to stick to my eyes and I really just want to be in my bed watching Twilight or The Office or something.

So, yeah.

kaythanksloveyougoodnightbye!

With Drew studying abroad, it makes me wish I would have been brave and done study abroad while I was in college.

I was too much of a chickenshit to ever leave home.

I went to college twenty minutes away from my childhood home. With traffic, the car ride from my apartment at school to the house I grew up in was twenty minutes. I went home all the time. Sometimes, it was because I legitimately had a reason, like I forgot something. Most of the time, though, I went home for dumb, pretend reasons. I went home to hang out with my dog. I went home to steal food and avoid going grocery shopping (it stresses me out!). I went home to watch movies I wasn’t allowed to take with me back to school. I went home just to have my mom do my laundry (but not fold it, ’cause she does it wrong) and take care of me when I was hungover.

I’m still a pansy, but that is neither here nor there.

My point is that I am so envious of Drew’s European adventure. He posted pictures from his weekend trip to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam on facebook yesterday. Looking at the pictures from Paris, it made me want to go there again so bad. (We went my junior year of college and I skipped more than a week of classes to do so.) I saw his pictures of the Arc de Triomphe and immediately felt like I needed to go back. His pictures of Notre Dame were amazing, and I died a little ’cause I wanted to be there too. Someday, I’ll go back to Paris and I won’t be such a pansy and I’ll actually go to the top of Notre Dame, like Drew did. Twice.

I want to walk that street and shop 'til I drop.

My fear of heights really ruins my life. When we were in London, I couldn’t go to the tallest part of all the churches. Both times we were in London, I stopped at the first level and waited while everyone else ventured to the top to overlook the city from all of the beautiful churches. I panicked when we went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. I didn’t go to the ledge because I immediately thought I would blow off and die. I did, however, fake it and took a cheesy picture at the top anyway.

CHEEEEEEEESE

I just really, really, really want to go back to Europe. I want to go all over and see all the sights! I want to see the things I’ve seen before and I want to see and experience new things! I love seeing Drew’s pictures and find myself living vicariously through his experiences. The weekend needs to hurry up and get here so he can travel some more and take more pictures and post them ASAP!

For now, though, I’ll leave you with this photo. We were hanging out in front of Buckingham Palace, and Mom sniped a picture of her two lovely children. Family vacations are awesome.

We were obviously really ready.