I know this is a few days late, but I thought I’d make a short post highlighting what happened in 2016:
- January: visited the English midlands including Ben’s hometown of Great Malvern and Birmingham, traveled around Germany with my grandpa, met up with my friend Amy in Giessen, Germany
- February: saw Enter Shikari, Marina and the Diamonds and The Used live in London, traveled to Budapest where i met up with my friends Rachel and Craig, went without alcohol for a month (which was a big deal at the time)
- March: traveled around Italy, saw Enter Shikari live in Venice, saw Shikari Sound System live in Southampton
- April: started medication for depression and anxiety, turned twenty-one
- May: visited Newquay with my friend Alex, visited Edinburgh with Dan, started dating Dan
- June: moved back to the United States, got a summer internship at the Pima County Democratic Party
- July: started working at Pizza Hut and Ross, saw Streetlight Manifesto live in Phoenix
- August: moved into my new apartment, started my final year of my undergraduate degree
- September: attended a family reunion on my dad’s side, started field work, went back to my jobs at university, started hummingbird research, joined clubs and societies, started my mentoring program, saw Blink-182 live in Phoenix
- October: visited the Grand Canyon with international students
- November: started wetland research, got a bike, saw Thrice live in Tucson
- December: got an internship in London starting in June, Daniel visited for three weeks over Christmas
I’m thankful for all the people in my life that made 2016 a (more or less) great one! I’m looking forward to 2017: starting my own research, graduation, moving to the United Kingdom, starting my internship and more!
My English boyfriend of about eight months came to visit for three weeks this winter break. It was the first time we got to see each other since I left the United Kingdom in June and his first time to the United States.
Monday, 12 December: After working all week, I went home for the day to pick up a car for Dan and I to use (thanks, Dad). He landed in the evening and it was so good to see him again.
Tuesday, 13 December: I took him on a tour of the Arizona State campus and we saw a movie that afternoon, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
Wednesday, 14 December: We hung out and played some mini golf at Golfland Sunsplash.
Thursday, 15 December: We made the long drive from Phoenix to Camarillo, California to visit my dad’s parents. That night, we saw Rogue One opening night. We both enjoyed it, but I think Dan liked The Force Awakens better.
I’ll start off my saying most of the month was spent with my boyfriend Dan, which I talked about in a separate post.
The first week of the month was spent finishing up coursework and taking finals. My finals went alright, but my overall grades turned out splendid, my best semester yet!
I had all my finals in one day: three finals (conservation biology, physics and environmental ethics) on Tuesday and that same night was opening night of Mamma Mia! at work. Thankfully, it was a very easy run with no incidents. It was nice to work nearly every show without having to worry about schoolwork, although it did get a little boring at times with nothing to do for two hours a night. I didn’t particularly enjoy the show (the acting and plot were weak), but I loved the music, I haven’t stopped listening to ABBA since!
The day after the last show, Daniel came to visit which, again, I’ll talk about in detail in another upcoming post. While he was here, we visited with my extended family in southern California and immediate family in Tucson as well as spending time in Phoenix at the beginning and end of his trip.
Unfortunately, my mom is not doing too well again. When Dan and I arrived at the house a few days before Christmas, she seemed a bit foggy and on Christmas Day, my dad took her to the hospital. She seems to be improving physically as well as mentally, but we’re taking it day by day and hope she gets to come home soon.
I didn’t actively listen to or watch anything new (aside from seeing a few movies in the cinema) last month, apologies. However, I have started reading Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult and am liking it a lot (it’s the first fiction book I’ve read in a while).
In early November, I went up to the northern part of Great Britain to visit my friend Tom at Lancaster University, where we also visited Glasgow and Manchester. I was a very rainy weekend, but it was great to spend time with Tom. I wrote more about it in my Great Britain exploring post here.
In late November, I met up with my dad’s parents in Prague. I took my friend from Arizona State, Emily, and we had a blast exploring the city on our own and hanging out with my grandparents. Highlights included the Lennon Wall, Prague Castle, Old Town and the opera (Carmen). I wrote more about my time there here.
November and December had no shortage of trips to London. During one trip, I saw the musicals The Book of Mormon and Kinky Boots with my roommates Ben and James. Ben and our friend Ryan returned to London for a march against climate change with about 50,000 others. It was really cool be a part of a cause I care about surrounded by others who feel the same way. For my final trip to London of the semester, I visited my high school friend Emily (not the same Emily I went to Prague and beyond with) at the university she was studying abroad at: Westminster. I took time to do some tourist-y things in London such as the Tower Bridge, Covent Garden and Camden before going to a Marina and the Diamonds gig. It was a wonderful show and great way to end my first semester in the United Kingdom. You can read more about it in my Great Britain exploring post here.
My final trip before I went home was to Paris, France with my roommate Ben. It was a blast, I wish we had more time there! Highlights included the Arc de Triumph, D’Orsay Museum, The Lourve, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. You can read more about our time in Paris here.
I set some goals at the beginning of this academic quarter in October. Here’s how it all went down:
- Stay on top of my reading assignments: While reading assignments for most of my classes take lower priority, I did a fairly good job of keeping up with practical reading assignments when I had time.
- Work 10 hours a week (on average): It’s sometimes hard to pick up shifts at my jobs as we’re a bit overstuffed, but I reckon I got to work about ten hours a week this term, although most of my hours were concentrated in a single week or two.
- Get academic help as soon as it’s needed: With my crazy academic schedule, I find it hard to always keep on top of the work much less get help. Although I reckon I got good marks this term, I will be more mindful about getting help next semester.
- Don’t watch Netflix before 8PM: I rarely had time for Netflix regardless.
- Meet up with friends: I don’t have time to meet up a lot of the time, but I get a lot of good social interaction through work and societies.
- Make time for myself: I prefer being productive with school or volunteering, so I hope I can find a way to do something productive that is also relaxing.
- Get into a routine (particularly regarding sleep): I’m always tired, so making a solid sleep schedule wasn’t difficult, I hope to nap less next term, though.
- Stay on top of this blog with at least one post a week: This hasn’t been so, particularly towards the end of the semester, but I’ll continue to try to be more on it in the future.
- Be productive between classes on campus: Most of my time between classes was spent doing research, so I’d say that’s pretty productive!
- Read for half an hour every other day: Although most of my reading was for classes, I read about 15 minutes a day on average, so I hope to read more over break and next semester.
- Listen to new music (two albums a week): My research is pretty mindless work, so on average, I’d say I got to listen to one or two albums a week.
- Watch movies (particularly “classics” I’ve never seen) (one every other week): Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to watch movies.
- Hit the gym 2-3 times a week: While exercising is important to me, especially since I’ve started my weight loss regimen, I didn’t get around to doing it as much as I’d like. However, in late November, I got a bike that I’ve been riding religiously.
- Watch documentaries: I got to watch a few in my environmental ethics class, but again, I haven’t had much time to watch anything.
- Try one new recipe a month: I have tried several new recipes this quarter, with my favorite being peanut tofu stir fry. I hope to try more vegan recipes next term.
- Get into meditation, mindfulness and yoga (to help relieve anxiety): Ironically, I haven’t had the time.
- Start studying for final exams about a week ahead of time: Some of my professors had other tests or assignments due as little as four days before the final, so studying for finals that far in advance difficult.
- Apply for internships and other professional experience opportunities for next term: I’ve been prioritizing applying for jobs in the United Kingdom (see below…).
- Apply for jobs in the United Kingdom (one a week): I’ve applied for about 25 jobs in the last month with one interview a few days ago that I felt went really well.
- Apply for graduate school programs in the United Kingdom once I get my revised transcript (one a week): Again, I’ve been prioritizing apply for jobs. Not to mention, I expect my GPA to rise after this term so once that’s in, I’ll apply for a few programs.
- Only spend $20 a month on food (dining out): I haven’t spent much money on food these last few months, which is quite unusual for me, but a good habit to get into.
Next semester, I will be sure to prioritize my goals better so I can be sure to achieve the most important ones.