Cool Kids on the Block

28 11 2012

Okay, so I don’t really feel like doing the homework I really need to do so I decided to get sappy for a minute and talk about a group of people that got really, really special to me here at UT! They’re some of the funniest people I know. I know I can count on them to help me out when they can. And probably my favorite thing about them is they understand why I decided to choose journalism as my profession. Of course, it’s my favorite journalism people; we’re pretty much the clique of the JEM class.

I’ve met them all at various times throughout last year and this year and they all mean something really special to me. Whether it was on the first day of my orientation at UT, through the best JEM 200 webcast Volriety, friends of friends, the COOLEST DJ’s at 90.3 The Rock, or talking to me on the first day of JEM 175 and me getting completely weirded out (I’m talking to you, Butch), we’ve all gotten close in this past year, and it means the world to me.

You guys are the only people who understand why the journalism major is important. Understand what an oxford comma is. Understand why the AP Stylebook is so important. Understand why Stovall is the only professor who can look at us and terrify and love us at the same time. Understand why when someone mentions bees, I can”t stop laughing. Understand why the phrase “kill your children” is completely acceptable. Understand why playing with iMovie and Final Cut is fun. Understand our journalism jargon, like ‘markets.’ Understand what it means to work in a Top 50 market. You all understand all the things I want in my career, and I LOVE that about you all.

So Rilwan, Rebecca, McKenzie, Butch, Maci, Jocie, Jasmine, Nadia, Andi: You all are awesome. I am going to miss you all SO SO SO much in Holland. I wish I could take you all in my suitcase because only you all could appreciate the program as much as I can. Except for Butch. We would leave him at UT.

Was that too sappy? Probably. Do I care? NAHH.

Here’s the song I’m dedicating to you ALL. Listen to it. Really. It describes EVERYTHING.


Living Quarters

26 11 2012

Well, I officially have residence in the Netherlands! It’s my own room not far from campus, so I can’t complain. Next step: book the flight!

Residence Requested!

26 11 2012

Because I have a paper due, a movie to watch, a math test and all of my Zettl’s DVD to do, what better to do than to update about my trip? On a happy note, I have reserved a room! It is at the Utrecht: Van Lieflandlaan – Willem Schuylenburglaan apartment complex.

Thankfully, it is only about a 20 minute walk from Hogeschool and 7 minutes by bike, which is SO much better than the only other option there was, Beneluxlaan, which by bike was 25 minutes. I had to choose between convenience or parties (since Beneluxlaan is the big party place for Hogeschool) and in the end, I chose convenience, especially since Lieflandlaan looks so much nicer than Beneluxlaan, and the single room is cheaper there than at Beneluxlaan!

I’m really happy that I found a place to live. Although SSH still has to review my request and let me know if I can live there, it really makes me more at ease to know I found a good place for exactly the amount I allotted (425 Euros).

I think finding a place to live while there has been my biggest concern, especially since I don’t have the luxury I do here at UT to go look at a room before I reserve it (nor do they have on-campus housing, which is just another fun little speed bump).

I sure hope SSH clears me on this apartment, because I think it is perfect for me. Sure, I’ll have to share a bathroom, shower, and kitchen, but it’s a lot better quality than I could be stuck with, so I sure as heck am not going to complain about it (even though my parents think I’ll hate having to share a bathroom). If I survived 4-H and FFA camp for the many weeks I spent sharing with 20+ girls, I can survive a semester with 10 people…hopefully.

Can’t Sleep

20 11 2012

I don’t know why, but the past few nights, I’ve had a bad case of not sleeping. And I decided that a mini rant was in order about one issue that I am having with Holland at the moment.


It sucks trying to find a place to live. The really nice place is farthest away, the most social place is still 5 km and the worst place to live (that oddly looks like a prison)  is the closest to my campus. And to top it off, SSH Short Stay (the company that “helps” you find housing) has mediocre descriptions of the buildings and accommodations.

It’s a headache nightmare, to say the least.

And I’m aggravated about it, because I like to think that where I live is where my home is, and it is safe to say that WILL be home for at least five months. I don’t want to live in a rundown building for five months and call it home.

Can I just take Vol Hall with me?

Oh, I Have Classes…

16 11 2012

I guess when you’re going on study abroad, you think a lot less about the classes you’ll be taking and more about all the fun you’re going to have. All the people you’re going to meet. All the traveling you’re going to do.
But you do have to take classes. Lucky for me, my program is specially tailored to journalism! I’ll only be in actual classes for eight weeks, where the rest of the time I’ll be research and traveling to another city [learning towards Prague, Czech Republic at the moment, but it’s still up in the air!].
Today, I got my class equivalency back from the journalism school. All my classes will transfer back, and the happy surprise is I won’t have to take a second cultural studies class! Yay!
I’ll be sure to post if anything more happens, but for the time being, it’s just waiting! More to come!

Oh, look at all the fun I’m going to have… :/

It Ain’t Easy

15 11 2012

For anyone considering studying abroad, I have one thing to say: it ain’t easy.
I’m two months shy of leaving and I’ve still come to that realization. The ridiculous amount of paperwork, monetary issue, general problems and just everything is enough to make you drop out of school and take a completely respectable job at a local fast food chain. But every time I’ve gotten upset, there has been someone there to reassure me everything will me alright, everything will work out and that it’s perfectly normal to have several breakdowns leading up to your departure
Still, I’m in a very complaining-y mood today, so I decided to do a list of things that aren’t going my way right now as I prepare for my trip.

1. Financial Aid – For the past three weeks, I have been in [for lack of a better term] a battle with UT’s financial aid concerning a budget increase. Just a quick explanation about what that is: here at UT, you get so much aid per year. Because I’m on full scholarship this year, I hit the cap of the budget, not being able to get any more aid. However, there are certain instances where you are allowed to petition for a higher budget increase to get more aid, study abroad being one of those reasons. Now, even though I had committed to my program and provided adequate proof that I was attending the program, they stonewalled me, asking for more information. I agreed, asked the guy I was communicating with in the office if he needed ANYTHING else. He said no. I waited another week until today, when I got another email saying that information actually hadn’t been enough and the committee wasn’t convinced I was studying abroad and needed the money. They said I needed documents from the PAO that they actually didn’t have. It was a big ole mess. Needless to say, I got my budget increase today after an hour and a half of arguments and aggravations. But it is still one of the high headaches
2. Housing – This is actually a two-part story. I guess we’ll start on the home end, UT. There’s only one little thing about UT Housing that’s been driving me nuts. Everything else was okay: I’m getting released from my contract, and they’re letting me stay through December to work with TAH. The one thing I do despise is the fact that I will lose my housing registration place in the system. Which means I’ll lose my place in Vol Hall. Which makes me really sad. Hopefully, my bestfriendroommate will live here next year and just pull me back in, but if she doesn’t, I’ll be lucky to get into Andy Holt. Which makes me really, really sad.
Part two of this is housing in Utrecht. I have the option to go through SSH, or Short Stay Housing, to find an apartment in Holland. The only problem is the rooms are mediocre and not very nice. The only room I am really loving is a 30 minute bike ride away from Utrecht, which is really inconvenient. The whole housing thing is beyond really irritating.

3. The Host School – Okay, so Hogeschool doesn’t actually suck. But they irritated me this morning. I submitted my application for acceptance yesterday afternoon and received an email today saying my application had been incomplete. Turns out my identity document was expired. Which it wasn’t, considering I just got my passport in the mail about a month ago. The picture was upside down…seriously?

Waiting to hear if I’ve been “officially” accepted!

4. Moving – I can imagine what you’re thinking: “You haven’t moved yet!” “Moving is the whole point of studying abroad!” Yes and yes, I know. And I am absolutely ecstatic about the whole experience. But I’d being lying if I said I weren’t terrified, mortified, petrified by the whole idea of being away from the place I have called home my entire life. I have amazing, amazing friends. Friends at ETSU. My journalism gang. My best friend who should just come to UT to be a physical therapist [whenIgetbackhinthint]. My best friend who is only person who apparently can bear to live with me! My totally amazing parents who love me through my crazy aspirations for my future. My mom’s family who mean the world to me.  I have a totally awesome support system that I won’t have once I’m there. I’ll be able to call here and there. But come home and get a hug? Out of the question. And it’s been the derivative of many crying fits the past couple of days, in addition to a bunch of other stuff!

Woah. Sorry about that emotional stuff just then. It’s been a rough couple of days, to say the least! Much of my study abroad paperwork has went though in the past couple of days, including gets my class eqivalency, budget increase [I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about it; I know my journalism peeps are], housing release and my pre-departure orientation. It’s a lot to take in! However, you are pretty caught up on my happenings in relation to study abroad!

I’ll post more when I get more info or just really irritated again! 🙂

Set in Stone

13 11 2012

Set in Stone

Well, the final piece of the puzzle just fell into place. With this $2000, the $5000 I’m already getting back from the university, my $1000 CIE scholarship and $3000 from my parents as a Christmas gift, I’m destined for the Netherlands. Although I’ve told myself I was going and committed to my program, right now it is more real than ever. I feel terrified. I feel like crying. I feel ecstatic. I feel like my heart is skipping every other beat. It’s a crazy feeling to know that five months in Holland just became a reality. It’s real. How crazy is that? Not two years ago, it was my senior year of high school, and I could only dream what college would bring me. This is a life-changing day. And I’ve been changed for the better, for good.