Life Update: college, time-difference, and being an adult

Expat Life

October 3, 2020

Hello everyone! I’m back after a brief break from a blog post last week. It’s been a weird few weeks which is why I wanted to write this post as an update to what’s going on in my life.

On my Instagram a couple weeks back (@Little.Miss.Expat, go follow if you don’t already!) I asked you guys if you would be interested in learning more about my international student life, and the response was a yes from 100% of people. You also said that you’d like to see more blog posts about my personal life and what’s going on, so here it is! I guess this is a good time to write some blog posts about my life because what I’m going through at the moment is really a once in a lifetime experience: attending my first year of university from half way across the world in my childhood bedroom with an 8 hour time difference in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s crazy!

So what have I been doing?

If you’re new here and you need a quick update, I’m an expat living in Dubai. I was meant to attend my first year at Georgetown University in Washington DC, however because of the pandemic I’m still at home in Dubai and I’m attending all my classes through Zoom. I’ve been at university for a little over a month now and I feel like I’ve already experienced a lot!

What’s been going well?

Even though this really isn’t what I expected my first semester of college to look like, I’m still really loving it. College is very different to High School, and in some ways that’s a bit daunting, but in other ways it’s really great. There are so many opportunities to get involved with different virtual activities and groups, and so many opportunities to get work experience and internships which I think is amazing!

In college you also have a lot more control over the classes you take, and since I don’t have to declare my major until my second year, I have the opportunity to try out a lot of different things this year. I’m taking your average class like calculus, but I’m also taking classes like climate change chemistry and a philosophy seminar about epistemology. Really cool stuff! The workload is a lot, but being interested and passionate about my classes motivates me to work hard.

Even though distance learning has provided some social barriers, luckily I’ve been able to meet some really great people. Even though I haven’t been able to meet any of my classmates in person, I’ve still made some great friends and ,after all, we’re all in this Zoom college experience together.

What have I been struggling with?

I’m not going to lie, this first month doing college online has been difficult. There are a lot of positives, but there’s no doubting that it has been tough for me, like it has for most other college freshmen.

One of the most difficult things for me has been adjusting to the 8 hour time difference. This means that I have class until 11pm and can never attend any social or extracurricular meetings because those end up being at 4 or 5am for me. It’s made getting involved in clubs and organizations really difficult which was something that I was really excited about participating in!

I’ve also been struggling with the transition to being an adult alongside my first semester of college. I guess this is something that any student experiences when they first start college, and perhaps it’s a little easier for me since I’m still living at home this semester. The whole balance between sorting out my student visa, opening bank accounts and health insurance, making sure I’m staying healthy during this pandemic, networking and trying to get internships, and just my general college workload is overwhelming some days! Maybe this is something that I’ll expand on in a future blog post but I definitely think there’s this steep learning curve and a lot of responsibility that suddenly falls onto us at the same time we’re just getting used to our first year of university.

So what’s happening next?

Well the simple answer is I actually have no idea. It all depends on the pandemic. I would love to be able to go to Washington DC next semester and not have to deal with time difference, but we’ll see what happens.

At the moment, I’ll carry on with my classes in Dubai until winter break and wait to see what happens. I’m starting to set up new routines here with my weird college class schedule, and I think I’ll share a ‘typical week in my life’ in a blog post soon.

I’m also working really hard on my store and I’m prepping a lot of Christmas products that I’m super excited about. I’m almost at 100 followers on my store’s Instagram (@_WildflowerStudios_) maybe I’ll do a giveaway or sale when I reach 100!

Whatever happens next, I’ll be sure to keep you updated on this blog. Sign up to my new newsletter using this link to stay in the loop and receive exclusive discounts!

See you next week!

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