university study abroad consortium

So here we are

Here we are. In approximately 14 hours, I will be climbing into my family’s car so that my parents and brother can bring me to the airport and my journey can begin.

Honestly I’ve been trying not to think about it. If I think about it too much then I won’t be able to sleep and I’ll be exhausted the whole trip. I can’t sleep on planes. It’s always rough going from the US over the Atlantic. For some reason I have less trouble adjusting to going back. Maybe I just haven’t done it for long enough. Not sure. All I know is that I’ll likely spend my first week in the UK in a confused and adrenaline fueled blur.

Spent most of the day with my dearest ladies, Andi and the Rina. The Rina helped me wax and paint my nails so I dont’ have to worry about silly tedious beauty stuff for awhile. Then she made lemon bars and the three of us ate the whole pan and told the dirtiest jokes we knew for a few hours. I really suck at goodbyes so we just did this awkward group hug and made cat noises at each other for awhile.

So it’s near three here and I’m nowhere near sleeping. I’ll likely catch up on my dash and then try to finish my fashion corset and watch Repo! before I hit the bed for real. I hope to sleep late so I can just wake up, get in a shower, finalize packing and leave. I hate awkwardly lingering around when I have somewhere to travel to.

See you soon,

Nell

HARK! Internets at last!

I have arrived and finally have working internet! Huzzah! I’m still exhausted beyond belief, but am working on getting settled. Can’t really put together coherent sentences together, so I’ll just make a list of highlights/noteworthy events:

  • No one next to me on the plane so i actually got to spread out and sleep in flight for the first time in my life
  • Sweet old Irish woman across the aisle though. Called me “dearie”
  • Peed like four times mid flight. Got suspicious looks from attendants.
  • Ate every inch of the two in flight meals even though they were gross as usual.
  • Got off without a hitch in Heathrow.
  • Customs seemed concerningly easy to pass through? Will ask program directors if I should be worried.
  • Took a bus to BRIGHTON. Fairly uneventful.
  • Took a taxi to the campus. Looked like a total tourist counting out the fare.
  • Went directly to the residence office. Was given key and important boring paperwork by guy with unfairly awesome eyelashes.
  • Went directly to room.
  • Set down luggage.
  • Explored communal parts of flat. Helped self to grimy but mercifully free towels, pillows and blankets.
  • Slept for about five hours.
  • Woke in the middle of the night to full bladder and freezing cold. Found no toilet paper in flat and the heater not running.
  • Went on a hallway journey to warm up. Conveniently saw poster on how to run the heater.
  • Returned to room, ran heater, read Cloud Atlas for approx. 1 hour.
  • Slept on and off until 7am.
  • Got up, dressed, put on corset for day 1 of waist training, makeup, packed rucksack with important stuffs.
  • Realized I hadn’t eaten in over 20 hours.
  • Went directly to campus cafe.
  • Was helped by a nice lady that called me “luv” every other sentence.
  • Ate a glorious crossaint and drank some sub par tea. Read more Cloud Atlas.
  • Went to my orientation meeting. Met a lot of people who’s names I don’t remember and signed up for ALL the fieldtrips.
  • Went to a quiet corner to read in between activities. Read Cloud Atlas. Cried a little.
  • Got student card.
  • Ate free pizza.
  • Finished Cloud Atlas.
  • Did library tour.
  • Went back to flat to put on another layer as it was getting windy. Removed corset as back was starting to get a little stiff.
  • Took bus downtown for shopping. Embarrassed self with money again.
  • Bought a pay-by-minute phone with an international card.
  • Bought an extra blankie.
  • Bought a bottle of wine. Embarrassed self at self-checkout.
  • Got back on bus as wind and rain picked up.
  • Returned to flat in horrid weather conditions.
  • Borrowed plug converter from kindly neighbor as I could not find one at the shops we went to.
  • Set up internet. Charged electronics.
  • Checked email. Called mother.
  • Went to sleep for five hours. Woke up.
  • Got back on computer and here we are.
  • THERE’S TWO BRITISH BUNNIES OUTSIDE MY WINDOW AS WE SPEAK.

So thusfar that is my trip! More coherent updates once things start happening.

See you all soon,

Nell

Hark! Good news at last!

FINAL CONFIRMATION HAS BEEN SENT AND PLANE TICKETS HAVE BEEN PURCHASED!

I know it was pretty doofy of me to be so panicked about the whole thing, but I feel SO much better with an actual file saying Brighton and USAC cannot back out at this point. Unless I fail to pay or something, but lets worry about that later, hm?

So the info was sent to the mothership and the purchase was made.

I try to keep at least a slight level of professionalism on this url as I refer to it as my “serious business” blog, but if you will pardon my excitement

I’M OFF TO BRIGHTON ON JANUARY 26TH BITCHES

I’m having a moment here, in case you can’t tell.

-Nell

... *deep breath* I did it.

I made my payment to ensure my place at Brighton. I talked to my school’s financial aid director in person for the first time, and he was much more helpful than whoever I was emailing all summer. He said I was already doing everything I should be and there was nothing to worry about. So I made the call to the mothership and authorized the actual monetary transaction. I’ve been a mess of feelings all day.

Excitement: Not too complex. I’ll be doing something I’ve dreamed about for years- actually spending months of my life in another country, studying at a large university. I could make incredible friends, have all kinds of adventures, learn things I never could at home, fall in love, break some hearts- the possibilities are cheesy and endless.

Panic, sheer bloody panic sir: I am going to spend YEARS of my life paying for this. Really. It’s going to be insane. I’m trying to get my stomach accustomed to one exclusively rice meal per day. It’s not going well. I really like food. On the bright side, this will hopefully result in less snacking and maybe some accidental fitness, which would be nice. It also might force me to be kinder to my hair. Oh woe these hideous roots! *dramatically swoons onto a fainting couch in vain horror*

Doubt: What if this was a terrible idea? What if Brighton is, in essence, no different from Marshall or Blaine? What if I can’t handle the workload of a more rigorous education? Fuck me, what if living outside of the US isn’t my cup of tea? What if the total cost ends up being more than I’m projecting and I need to take out more loans that I can’t pay back in the near future? What if something happens and I have to cancel my plans? I’m running myself in circles thinking of everything that could make this not worth it.

Vengeful overconfidence: I am going to CONQUER this experience. It’s going to be everything I’ve ever wanted and I’m going to be everyone I’ve ever admired. No one in Brighton knows me and will likely never see me again after the semester ends. I’ll see that the problem with Minnesota isn’t me, it’s the culture around me. I’ve been a big fish in a little bowl. Or- maybe a fancy snobby fish in a tacky, plastic bowl. I don’t really know. All I know is that there is a great possibility that I could finally find a place I belong, a place where I feel appreciated not just because the people around me feel obligated to be “Minnesota nice,” but because they actually value what I have to offer the world.

Speaking of how out of place I feel in MN, I have reached a new level of clichely Minnesotan behavior. I call it passive aggressive apology. I keep sending my USAC adviser the wrong information and every time I do, my signing off gets progressively more desperate to let her know I appreciate and pity how difficult it must be to deal with me. In the past month, I have gone from signing off with:

“Thanks,”

to “Thank you,”

to “Thank you so much,”

“Thank you so much for your help,”

“Thank you so much for your patience,”

to “Thank you so much for your patience and understanding,”

You think she knows I’m aware of my own incompetence yet?

Anyway, despite all my hyper-ventilating, things are moving steadily and it all is starting to seem a little more real. With any luck, I should be shopping the high street and seeing shows before they hit West End in just five short months.

Oh holy gods that sounds beautifully close!

-Nell