Beyond being an “international student”


April 7, 2024

There was a time with this blog where I would never ever miss a week of posting; even if it meant sacrificing something else to write a post or sitting down to write a blog post in the most random of places, I would always get one out every single Sunday. Since coming to college, I’ve taken a different approach to this blog where I’ve still posted pretty regularly every Sunday but I do give myself breaks during finals week or over the holidays. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about not being as regular as I used to be on this platform and less active on my social media accounts, however, I feel as though this blog has entered into a different phase since I’ve come to Georgetown.

Back when I started this blog in high school I used to write posts just for the sake of getting a post out every week. But that didn’t always mean that they were good posts, at the time I always thought that I was putting out something good, but I think that it took me a while to really find my niche and the posts that really resonated with readers. My favorite blog posts to write now are not the ones where I’m just sharing a bunch of photos or a list of recommendations, but the ones where I feel like I’m genuinely having a conversation with my audience. I like to sit down on a Friday or Saturday afternoon and just write about what’s top of mind. I used to think that I shouldn’t publish these kinds of posts because they would get less views, but I’ve found that the posts where people write to me the most about or say they enjoyed are these more conversational posts, like this one, where I just be myself and talk about what’s going on. 

(Side note, but some of my favorite posts are these ones if you want to give them a read: Feeling Seen and Represented, Growing Pains, Hi World!, and Being the Smartest Person in the Room.

I feel as though writing in this style since I came to college (so for the past four years which is crazy to say) has made me a much better writer. I don’t mean that it’s helped me write with perfect grammar or clarity (I probably still don’t do too well in those), but it’s just trained me to become so much better at articulating thoughts that are on my mind or reflections that most people don’t usually put into words or writing. I was thinking about this recently, as I gave the Senior Speech at Georgetown for our admitted students and I felt as though it was easy for me to reflect back on the past four years and put together a speech; I honestly had so much fun putting that speech together and sharing my own personal reflections. This got me thinking about how engaging in this style of writing every week has also helped me a lot in my personal life. I feel like because I’ve gotten into the practice of articulating those random trains of thought each week and crafting them into some sort of coherent spiel, I’ve also gotten a lot more skilled at organizing those thoughts in my own mind. I feel like through the eight years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve gotten to know myself so much better and I think that reflects on the relationships in my life too. 

The reason I was thinking all those big thoughts recently was because 1) I’ve been majorly procrastinating all of my work so I’m searching my brain for things to think about (hey, I’m a second semester senior so I deserve to procrastinate a bit!) and 2) because as a second semester senior I’ve been putting a lot of future plans into motion recently like planning my postgrad trips, looking for an apartment, and nailing down the details about starting work in the fall. This got me thinking about what my identity will be like in the future? I’m no longer going to be an international student; sure, I’ll still be dealing with all of the international visa struggles (which is absolutely not ideal), but my identity as an international student who is only here for a set period of time kind of dissolves once I graduate. Sure I’m still an expatriate who is here in the US for a temporary period of time, but I guess now that I’m graduating, the question is, how temporary is that period of time? I will still never be able to consider myself American and I’ll always have other roots that are a big part of who I am, but I’m no longer that expat who moved here for four years and then intended to go back home. Touring apartments and planning out my postgrad live in DC made me realize how much I’ve fallen in love with DC since moving here for college and just how much I’m not ready to say goodbye yet.

With my identity as an international/expat/TCK being a bit more murky these days, it’s also been a lot harder to think about what my identity on this blog is going to be. This blog’s identity went through a big change between high school and college when I geared my content more towards the very real struggles I was facing as someone who moved away from home for the first time, and now I’m sitting here wondering how the identity of this blog is going to change in the next phase of my life. The move isn’t as temporary anymore and I’m more assimilated in DC, but I’m also going to be going through a very big transition into real adulthood. I have no idea what my content will look like or what I’ll be sharing on this blog. I don’t know if I’ll end up changing the name of this blog (idk, maybe Little Miss Expat won’t fit my identity forever) or if I’ll start posting more or less frequently. But what I do know is that I still love to sit down and pour my little heart out into these posts; I love stringing together words to form some sort of coherent thought and knowing that at least one person out there reads these and resonates with them. So, I’m just gonna keep writing because I love it! I have no idea what the next period of my life will bring, but rest assured, if you’re checking in on this blog, you’ll definitely hear about it!

See you next week,

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