help me what do I do with my life

Sunday, December 31, 2017

sunset over University of Glasgow, Scotland, on one of my last nights there
I don't know what to do with my life, which is expected because I'm 22 years old and about to graduate college in May. I know I'm not special; most people don't know what to do at this point in their lives and that's a-okay.

But I'm me and I like having plans!

I have two options, really (I know I have unlimited options because I'm young but I'm trying to narrow them down so I can actually decide on something okay!!!). Either apply to EPIK (a teaching English program) now and go to South Korea in August 2018 or chill for a few months after graduation, go back to Europe for a bit, then come back to the US and apply for teaching abroad then. I'm leaning towards the later plan, but once I come back to the US to get my TEFL certification I'll have to be in the US for EIGHT MONTHS as I'm applying. That's such a long time! And it's not that I hate the US, I love my country so much, but there's just so much of the world to see! The thought of spending another 8 months in my hometown makes my skin crawl. I've lived in the same house as far as my memory goes back (we moved here when I was 3), and I just need to GET OUT.

So do I apply to teach in South Korea now, and miss out on my trip to Europe at the end of 2018?

And then what am I supposed to do after THAT? I have vague ideas in my head of getting a nursing degree so I can be a traveling nurse, and I'm also interested in public (mainly women's) health. Do I join the Peace Corps? Do I become a nurse and try to work with Doctors Without Borders? Do I get a masters in reproductive health and work in the ~industry~?  Do I try my luck and apply to every single fully-funded MFA for Creative Nonfiction in America? WHAT? DO? I? DO?

If you're older and wiser than me, please leave advice below or link me to older and wiser people that have all the advice. 

Consume This #6

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Consume This is my monthly curated list of interesting links for you to read, watch, and listen.  If you come across something you think I’ll like, tweet at me.


why are nannies never included on social media

a mom writes about her daughter and the teen makes comments within the text

women's health care and Star Wars

to begin is to break your own heart

the best books to become a better writer

why are all rom-com protagonists journalists and why do they suck

you've probably read this already but here you go: Cat Person

related: when saying 'yes' is easier than saying 'no'

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

W A T C H I N G  &  L I S T E N I N G 

a skit on how annoying study abroad kids are

has reading become competitive? (really enjoying Ariel Bisset's conversational videos)

my intense winter break French study plan

Friday, December 8, 2017

65 days ago (according to my Duolingo streak) I started learning French. I was tired of being monolingual and knew I needed to commit to one language instead of bouncing between many whenever I get bored.

So I downloaded Duolingo, started using other apps, began listening to French music, and bought basic grammar books.

I have one semester left as a college student and decided to take French 200, which entails:
This course focuses on practical work in the four basic skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) of foreign language competency. It will review and build on students' prior knowledge with the goal of developing their functional and communicative abilities. Readings, videos and other media will broaden students' knowledge of French and Francophone cultures and strengthen their command of the language. 
I can learn French grammar and vocab on my own, but I'm struggling most with the communication part. Forming my own sentences. Listening to others. Expressing myself. Which is why I really want to take a class!

It's recommended to have 2 semesters of French under your belt before taking this course, but I don't have time for that. (I also took a 200-level Latin course after 3 years of not taking Latin and got an A, so I'm sure I can scrape by in French.) I plan to immerse myself in 3 weeks of intense French studying so I don't completely drown next semester.

This is what I'm going to do to prepare myself:

Daily Goals:

  1. 1 practice Duolingo lesson
  2. 1 new Duolingo lesson
  3. 100 flashcards on Lingvist (takes about 15 minutes)
  4. 1 Coffee Break podcast (about 30-minute lessons)
  5. 1 Youtube video of a French speaker (with English subtitles, obviously)
  6. 20 minutes listening to French songs 
  7. translate & understand 1 French song
  8. watch an episode of a French TV show or 30 minutes of a movie
  9. 25 minutes studying my grammar book
  10. talk with my French-speaking friends! (thankfully I have a lot of bilingual friends that are very excited I'm trying to learn a new language)
All in all, it's about 2.5 hours of French studying a day with is A LOT and I don't expect myself to complete everything every day, especially after I get my wisdom teeth out on the 27th (!!!!). The main goal is to learn a little bit every day. Language learning is all about repetition! 

On an ideal day, I'll complete all ten of those tasks. At a bare minimum, even on my worst days (aka high on opioids post-wisdom teeth surgery), I aim to do at least 4 from above. 

Reminder: it's okay to get frustrated while learning a new language, as long as you do not stop!


Do you have any language learning advice? Share below!

NOBODY CARES and other holiday thoughts

Friday, December 1, 2017

This post is a part of the monthly travel linkup! I've missed the past few months because I was trying to revamp this blog, but now I'm back, baby! I'm excited to start participating again. :)

It's easy to feel like you're under a microscope during the holiday season. You see family members that you probably only see once or twice a year, so they're all asking the same questions.

What are you up to now?
How's school going?
What are you going to do after you graduate?
Have any jobs lined up?
Dating anyone special?

Just kidding, no one asks me that last question because everyone knows I'm chronically single. As for those other questions, they freakin suck. 

With a family full of doctors and nurses and chemical engineers and stay-at-home moms and electricians and accountants, it's hard to say, "I don't want to get a ~real~ job anytime soon, I want to see the world while I'm young and healthy". 

They thought it was really cool when I did a semester abroad and a summer in Europe, but now it's time for me to get ~serious~. But hey! I don't want to get serious just yet! Or in other terms, I'm super serious about traveling and seeing as much as I can before the world gets dark.

It's easy to get wrapped up in my thoughts with all of these questions flying at me. Maybe I should get a longterm job right out of college. Maybe I should start applying to graduate school immediately. Maybe I should start getting qualifications that'll land me a high-paying job. I'm so silly, thinking I can just travel wherever without a solid job to return to!

It's easy to feel like you're under a microscope during the holidays and to get anxious, but then I remember that NOBODY CARES. Aside from my parents and grandparents, who will always worry no matter what, NOBODY REALLY CARES about what I do with my life.

Sure, they might as at holiday parties on my birthday, but outside of those two instances, no one is concerned with what I'm doing. I hadn't seen most of the family members I saw at Thanksgiving in almost 11 months. You know how much time was spent talking about my 8 month trip to Scotland and Europe? Probably a max of 5 minutes. And 3 of those minutes were spent talking about THEIR Eurotrips when they were young.


It's not a big deal that I want to go back to Europe for four months after I graduate. It's not a big deal that I want to go teach English in South Korea. It's not a big deal that I want to be an au pair in France or a tour guide in the American midwest. Nobody gives more thought to these plans than me.

The point of this post is to remind you to not get too wrapped up in what others think. 

If they are judging you, the judgment will only last a few seconds, and who cares anyway! 

Holiday season mantra: NOBODY! CARES!

Live your life the way you want, boo boo. 
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