Minor Setbacks & Winter Wonderland

I’ve fallen behind on my blogs and it’s not because of midterms or essays or presentations.  Media Communication majors didn’t have midterm exams this time around, which was a relief.  I submitted my first essay of 1000 words and my presentation about the history and process of dubbing and subtitling was not only done with two other people who shared the workload but it was a blast.  So it wasn’t school that kept me from sticking to my weekly schedule.  It was me.

I had a troublesome couple of weeks and I let that get in the way of my experiencing London.  It started when I opened a bank account at Barclays.  My debit card was immediately stolen and funds were stolen from my brand new account.  Instead of handling the situation like professionals the people at Barclays lost their minds.  They kept transferring me to different departments and each person that I spoke too was ruder than the last.  At least by the end of it, after I wrote a letter of complaint to the CEO of Barclays of course, I was able to get my stolen money back PLUS an additional £100 for the drama these ridiculous customer service reps caused me.  So that felt like a small victory.

Where school is concerned, I just have to remember that every institution has its good and bad parts.  My campus is gorgeous.  Every time I get to school I have a breathtaking view of the building and the surrounding property and it’s just awesome.  Unfortunately, some of the people who work at my school don’t have the best attitudes.  They pass the buck a lot.  They say inappropriate things like, “that’s above my pay grade” when asked questions they really should be able to answer.  

But again these are small, insignificant moments.  They don’t really matter and I shouldn’t have let them get in the way of enjoying my first six weeks in London.  Setbacks happen.  People will make life difficult either intentionally or simply because they don’t know any better.  I can’t let that stop me from doing what I need to do.  It’s my job to deal with these setbacks and shove on.

So I’m back.  Here are some bright spots I’ve had over the past couple of weeks.

While looking for the Student Union office, I got lost and somehow wound up in the Film/TV department.  I met some of the teachers and actually got to spend some time with the undergrads as they rehearsed their TV studio project.  It was just like old times – I was even put to work and got to be the floor manager for a bit – except these undergrads were so serious.  I was so impressed with how focused everyone was.  When I was a freshman at NYU I was laughing and goofing off and flirting with my classmates so much it’s a wonder I managed to learn anything.  Ah well, we all have our paths.

Andrea had his birthday party at the Blue’s Kitchen.  We ate a ton of BBQ and drank Prosecco while a live band played some of my favorite blues music.  It was loud and super crowded and I’d made the mistake of wearing heels but boy did I love my dress.

Black Dress

It’s a Mia Plunge Neck Bodycon Midi from Boohoo.com and I’m officially addicted to shopping that site.  Up until now I never thought I could wear bodycon but that’s all changed now.  In fact, I’ve already put three more bodycon dresses on my wishlist.

I also went to Winter Wonderland.  The beer was nice as were the giant Bratwursts.  Actually, the bratwurst was my favorite part of the whole day.  Yum!

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tree clock

Hopefully it’ll be a little colder next time I go so that I can enjoy my first mulled wine experience.  But for a first time around, Winter Wonderland was pretty magical.  It definitely helped me get into the Holiday spirit.

After our visit to Winter Wonderland we stopped by Harrods to check out their Christmas window displays.

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Which brings us to Thanksgiving.  My first Thanksgiving in another country was interesting.  First of all, as I am not particularly homesick, I didn’t feel the need to actually celebrate Thanksgiving.  But Andrea wanted to celebrate as he’s never participated in Thanksgiving festivities so I finally agreed.

We made baked macaroni, fried chicken, cornbread from scratch and some other delicious fixings and invited a few friends over for dinner.  It was nice.  Even though I got a migraine, argued with Andrea about how to fry the chicken and discovered that the stuffing in the UK is VERY different from the stuffing I’m used to eating – I don’t regret hosting the meal.  I did, however, miss having a turkey and apple pie though.  Ah well.  Maybe next year.

One really cool thing that came out of the event was this gravy boat which, for some reason, Andrea insisted on buying.

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I’ve never had a gravy boat before.  At home, whenever we made gravy for the mashed potatoes we just left it in the pot and spooned it directly onto the mashed potatoes.  This was a new experience for me and I rather enjoyed it.  It made celebrating Thanksgiving in another country that much more special.  I also really liked how seriously Andrea took the tradition despite it not being part of his culture.

Next up is a Christmas dinner, which will feature a turkey plus Secret Santa so I’m really looking forward to that.  Today I’m going to go buy what I think will be the perfect gift for the person to whom I will be Secret Santa.  Then it’s off to the museum for the rest of the day.

Hope everyone’s having a great weekend so far!

All New Things

I anticipated taking on a lot of new things when I moved to London. LondonPaying almost double for a grande Americano at Starbucks was one I was prepared for.  Cleaning Day was not.  But when you live in a shared space compromise plays an important part of establishing a healthy, happy living environment.  So it looks like my cleaning day falls on Saturdays.

Still doing the healthy eating thing.  It actually hasn’t been as challenging as I thought it would be.  The past week I’ve eaten the most delicious healthy homemade meals all for about £4 each.  I had to get creative because London is expensive and I have to pinch pennies (pences?) if I’m going to survive.  So far I think I’m doing OK.  The biggest challenge is finding healthy snacks to eat and resisting the cookies and cakes that I’m always craving.  But at least as far as the meals are concerned, I don’t have to worry too much about doing the actual cooking.  Yay!  I will do a post about a week of fabulous healthy dinners soon.

I had my first official week of classes and I think I’m really going to enjoy this first semester.  I’m still job and internship hunting.  My social life seems to be picking up as well.  Bowling was a lot of fun.  Also went to the cinema for the first time.  Did you know they don’t serve butter for your popcorn in movie theaters??  I was appalled.  But at least I know for next time that I have my choice between sweet or salty popcorn.

Because of workload and job/internship hunt I may have to scale back to weekly blogs for now because things are getting busy.

But I think it’s a good problem to have.

Outfit of the Day (#OOTD)

Shirt – Forever 21

Faux Leather Skirt – Forever 21

Tights – Primark

Blazer – Primark

Sunglasses – Michael Kors

Officially a London Student

After the chaos of my whirlwind orientation day settled down I had a chance to collect my thoughts and the realization that I’m actually back in school finally hit.

London

I’m experiencing at least 50 different shades of anxiety, nervousness and fear but overall I’m excited to have yet another opportunity to go back to school and also explore another new city.  hashtag blessed =)

London is amazing.

I try very hard not to look around in wonder like a tourist but sometimes it simply can’t be helped.  I’m still adjusting.  Haven’t figured everything out yet and I’m not quite ready to give up my trademark shorts and sheer shirts but I’m sure I’ll find a way to keep part of the old me and somehow blend it with the new me to come.

London

Classes start this week.

Already I have a sneaking suspicion that life is about to get truly hectic for the next few months.  I’m OK with that and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to handle it.  But this won’t be like undergrad or musical theatre school.  This time around I’ll actually have to show up for class (sober) and do the work.

Also, I have to maintain a B average.  Not that I ever had bad grades in school but it’s one of the first things they stressed during orientation so I’m assuming they take that sort of thing pretty seriously around here.  It’s a good thing though because I definitely slacked off way too much at NYU.  I plan to make up for it this time around.

I do hope I won’t get too busy to keep up with my blogs and Youtube videos.  I truly hope there will be time to fully enjoy London.  Speaking of which, it looks like bowling and salsa dancing lessons may be in my immediate future.  Additionally, I may have found a free outdoor bootcamp to attend on weekends.  And I managed to find a Black hair supply store as well as a Black hair salon right near where I live.  Yay!

Let’s see what else is in store for me.

 

Outfit / #OOTD

Sweater – The Limited

Scarf – Primark

Cut Offs – Macys

Tights – Primark

About Grad School | I Got A Scholarship!

In my last video, “Half Year Assessment” I mentioned that I’d gotten into a Postgraduate school in London to study for a Master’s in Media Communications.

I didn’t mean to do this but I kind of glossed over this bit of news in favor of making the point that 2014 is half over and I still have so much more work to do.

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Sigh.

I have a habit of doing this.  I focus on the future and I don’t always allow myself to live in the present.  I also don’t give myself enough credit sometimes.  Also, I focus on the negative instead of the positive way too often.  I hate to admit this but I tend to be a “glass half empty” type of person and it’s such a bummer because I like to think of myself as a “silver lining” type of person.

In this case I really let myself down by not sharing the news of my acceptance into Grad School sooner.  I didn’t even really give myself a chance to celebrate, instead I immediately started worrying about the tuition cost and doing scholarship research.  Not to mention I never went long without thinking of my massive ‘To Do’ list and the other things that still needed to be checked off.

The funny thing is one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to be less hard on myself and to give myself a little credit.  I’ve accomplished a lot over the past few months.  No – I’m not a homeowner or a wife or mother and I haven’t sold that first screenplay or even gotten published yet but that doesn’t take away from the things that I have done.  I need to remember that.

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The truth is I’m ecstatic to have gotten accepted into school.  I’m thrilled.  I’m truly truly excited because honestly one of the reasons why I’d put off even applying for so long was because of fear of rejection.  But I didn’t get rejected.

They said “Yes!”

So…yay!  For real, Yaaaaaaay!  I got accepted into Grad School.  In London!  I’m so so so happy and grateful and thankful and all that good stuff.

Also, I’ve been awarded a merit scholarship.  Again, my mind is blown because I had to write an essay in order to be considered for the scholarship and I’d put it off for a long time because essays totally scare me.  But apparently they must’ve liked what I had to say because again – they said, “Yes!”

The scholarship doesn’t cover my full tuition but every little bit helps.

I still have a long way to go to getting to London though.

There’s a $2500 fee (School Registration + Visa application) that needs to be taken care of before I can even think about booking a flight.

And I have about 6 weeks to get that together.

Oh, I do like to hold things until the last minute, don’t I?

Well, I still work in retail so it looks like I’ll have to try fundraising again.  My last Go Fund Me campaign was a success.  I’m still so grateful to all the people who contributed and helped me get to London back in March.  I did not get the internship with MTV but I’m still happy that I made it as far as I did.

Now I want to try again.

So I’ll start my new Go Fund Me campaign in the next couple of days.  I hope you’ll check it out and perhaps consider donating.

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A year in London feels like a dream.  But nothing is impossible so here I go again – chasing the thing I want most.  London.

Once again it feels like it could be within reach.