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I'M BACK BABY! One Year Update

I'M BACK YALL!


Y'all, can you believe it has been one year since I moved to the UK? It feels like just yesterday I was young and lost around town, feeling scared and sad but yet somehow confident I would end up in the best places. Well, my life has been such a whirlwind since I moved here. So I thought an excellent way to reintroduce the blog would be to give a lovely update on what's been happening for the last year. So let's get into it!

University:

My adjustment to university was really difficult. I found it hard to get any information about the class schedule, timing when to register for classes, all of it. When I would reach out to the university to get questions answered, they were basically just telling me to wait. I thought my first semester was going to start at the beginning of September and I still didn't have any information regarding when to sign up for classes or what classes were needed, who my advisor was, or books and other materials I needed. I was maxed out and stressed, but when the middle of September rolled around, I got my answers because the university signed up for my classes on my behalf. I somehow managed to get my schedule, my books, and my plan, all organized before the first day. And it went well. I was really excited to learn about my degree and the papers that were going to be graded. I let some of my professors who were kind and caring. And I met some awesome classmates that helped support each other along the way.


I was really excited to start classes and at first, the classes went really well. I spent a bunch of time planning out my schedule, focusing on the paper, highlighting, all the things to become that “basic college girl”. I had my desk decked out in all things I hoped would help meet my expectations and get on whatever the English equivalent of the “dean's list” is. I was less than confident in my skills and abilities but excited to get into a new rhythm of classes, going to study in the library, going to work part-time, making friends, and just beginning to build roots here… or somewhere close to here. However, I quickly found out about the “normal” education process in the UK and how it differs from The States. I signed up for a program that was mostly online since I knew that was my best earning style. But their online program still had a lot of face-to-face scheduled time, a lot of time requirements to meet, and overall, more demanding in the timeframes of completing tasks that I’m not used to. Along with the fact of miscommunications between professors and the lack of professionalism within the course, it was a really challenging year.


The past year has been extremely challenging. Where I started excited to plan every day to the minute and have every day filled with some new adventure, the academic course hit me over the head with struggles of meeting expectations and what felt like me fighting with professors over my already secure knowledge of healthcare education. I felt like I didn't even know the words coming out of their mouths when lecturing. I was quickly overcome with fear of my place, fear of my visa, and fear of my plans falling apart. I struggled to motivate myself to continue classes and coursework. I asked for extensions on assignments and did not want to meet with anyone about my classwork. I would constantly roll my eyes, not check my progress, or my emails, or discuss university in any capacity because it would give me anxiety. Something that I loved so much, learning, was destroyed and I wanted to quit so many times. Luckily, I didn't.


I have completed my course and I will be receiving a master's. I’m not sure if I filled out the incorrect application or if it was misfiled by the university but the course I completed was a master's course. Do I feel like I need yet another master? No. Did I still work hard to earn a completed grade? Yes. But I left a lot of things until the last minute, which I wish I hadn’t. But I’m graduating and I’ve completed my extended education. Forever. Probably. Hopefully.


So, if you read all of that and still don't know what's happening, I will quickly break it down for you now: I dropped out of my doctorate degree, I got a master's, I will NEVER go back to university… Hopefully.


Work:

I currently am working at a healthcare clinic that caters to vulnerable people. It has been such an encouraging experience that I have and it makes me feel like I'm not even working. I am learning LOADS about healthcare in the UK and universal healthcare, which was my goal and I learned literally 0 things about universal healthcare in my course (The reason is that the course wanted


me to focus on my country's healthcare system so all my papers were discussing where the US landed in healthcare. Spoiler, Healthcare in America is really really really bad… in case you didn't know.)


I enjoy my job and I enjoy the responsibilities that differ from day to day. My visa only allows me to work 20 hours when I'm currently in classes so I spent the last 8ish months working 20 hours per week, two full 8-hour days, and one 5-hour day. It was really awesome to go to classes and work part-time and still have time to balance my life situation. The benefits of working in the UK are that you have about 28 days of “PTO”, not including bank holidays (which are 12 I think), and then you still have 12 weeks of sick leave. It's really nice not having to plan how being sick is going to affect my plans for PTO and stuff like that because they are different things. Not only that but workdays are typically about 37.5 hours rather than 40 hours a week. My work specifically (not sure about other places within the UK) focuses on taking two 10-minute breaks a day as well, which is vitally important. The work-life balance in the UK is much more focused and balanced.


Unfortunately, I am currently looking for a new position. Unfortunately, the management side of this organization is really struggling and it is hurting the company. Many people on my team are looking for positions elsewhere or looking to limit their hours to part-time, just so they can find other jobs to pay their bills and not be around the toxic management within the organization. Regardless of what staff is saying about the management of my department, nothing is getting done and it is ultimately affecting patient care and other factors of the organization. Because of that, I am on the market for a new job.


Personal life:

I am, however, not on the market for a man. I found me a man (FINALLY!!). The second week of being in the UK, I walked into a bar and the rest is history. Not really but I wish. He was the bartender at this bar and only because of him, I kept coming back. We quickly became friends and I fought feelings for him for 3 months. I had his work schedule memorized and I would only ever come in when he was working so I could talk with him. I found the slowest days and slowest times and oftentimes, it would just be us two in the pub talking, flirting, and becoming 2 peas in a pod. I would always walk home with a smile on my face, texting my friend about “cute bartender”.


It wasn't until he traded shifts with another worker for a week and I didn't see him at all that I realized how much I liked him. And I think he felt the same way because when I saw him the next time, he hugged me for the first time and I was absolutely obsessed. After that, It was basically my mission to learn his name and be his. Our story is much longer than that and it has a bunch of twists and turns but I'll leave it at that for now. (Maybe I'll write a post about it…. Hummmmm). We currently live together, thinking about getting some farm animals in a couple of years, and are planning to build a house in Ireland. My days of being single are gone. However, the posts about traveling as a single girl are not. DO NOT LOOSE HOPE! I traveled alone for 26 years and I have 26 years of experience. But a lot of my stories might involve him, some of my photos might include him, well see how involved he wants to be.


Elsewhere in my personal life, I am trying SO HARD to be a nail girly. Over the last 4 months probably I have been using press-on nails and every variation of press-on nails, nail glue, nail dehydrator, growth serum, and all other things. Has it worked? No. Am I doing something wrong? Absolutely. Do I know what I need to do to fix it? Absolutely not. But I'm still doing it because I need a hobby that isn't spending all my money on traveling while I'm in between jobs and drinking. Oh yes, I drink now. Not a lot, but much more than before. Only because it’s the culture and it's the ONLY thing that you can do in Bradford. Honestly, there is nothing to do here except to drink. It's wild. I'll discuss it in a later post.


Overall, this year has been absolutely wild and a dream and all the things in between. I finally feel like I can be who I was meant to be. So long are the days of continuously looking and searching for it in people, places, moving, and things. I didn't know that I could be so content with staying and living and all the things. I am happy to be sharing this part of me with you and sharing the things I am passionate about, and the things I am thinking, in hopes that I can support someone who also feels the same as I did.


Thank you for being here! I am happy you are here, sunshine!










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1 Comment


kara.king01
Sep 01, 2023

I’m so excited for you!!! you amaze me!!!!

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