Monday, 15 July 2019

ISAT, Travels and Accidentally Moving In With My Boyfriend | Current Life Update ☆





It's already June and  this year feels as if it's just flown by.  In the beginning of this year, I was so unsure of how 2019 would be and so far, it's been one of the most mentally challenging yet rewarding years of my life. It's been ages since I've done a Current Life Update and since they were always one of my most highly requested blog posts, I decided to get back into the swing of things.

January 
Internship  
 
Internship polaroids

I started an internship with my best friend, Dimitra. She got the position of Social Media intern and my application for Online Content intern got approved. We travelled to another city every day by train and learned a variety of skills, all while we both still studied full time. The internship was 40 hours a week, school was classes twice a week and a Bachelor thesis on top of that. It was stressful, but somehow we were managing.  

Roommates
I also got new roommates. With each of them I had a different connection. With Ananda, my Dutch roommate, we often watched TV series, went shopping,  or went out for dinner together. Vanina, my Bulgarian roommate, and I were both into nail art and at the time, in the same boat with school because it was super stressful for both of us. Seamus, who is Barbadian, Irish and Indian, was quiet at first and the newest to the household. We enjoyed cooking together and arguing about politics, surprised to find ourselves often agreeing in the end. I didn't know it at the time, but we'd end up together in a few months. Phuc, (pronounced Phook) is my studious Vietnamese roommate who I rarely see. He is away from home a lot, often visiting his girlfriend in Germany or hidden amongst the hoard of students at our university's library. Home life was good and four out of five of us were international students, so it made it easier to relate to them.  Anyone who knows what my previous roommates were like knows that this was the biggest blessing for me, to have people I felt comfortable coming home to.  

February and March 

Blog Opportunities 
These two months were the months I needed in order to feel motivated regarding blogging. I was over the moon about being invited to New York Fashion week, even though I sadly couldn't attend. In addition, I was placed on Lush's PR list, collaborated with a few local brands and managed to make more social media friends within this month than I ever had in my entire blogging career. 
Friends
Socially, these two months with my real life friends were weird as heck. I had planned a trip to Slovenia to hang out with my pen-pal, Arianna, but unfortunately plans fell through because I got sick, so we rescheduled for April. I started to feel lonely, because even though
I knew I had friends I could hang out with, there didn't seem to be enough time. Internships, work, tests and a thesis were keeping us all a little too preoccupied. At this point, I was either in my room studying or working at my internship. Granted, I saw Dimitra and other work friends every day, but obviously I wanted my interaction to vary. The first great thing that happened was that one of my closest online friends, Jared, had booked tickets to come to Europe and he was going to visit me in summer! 
A poetry book one of my friends from class recommended

The second great thing was that I decided to put in a little more effort and meet new people at some of my lectures. During these two months, I became friends with three new people. It made me realize how important it is to not get comfortable in your friend group as it's necessary to gain a fresh perspective and learn new things; both things you can only really do if you step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to people you think you'd want to be friends with. 


April 
I.S.A.T
 
Members of the I.S.A.T Board
April was an interesting time. I was more involved at university and had joined an international association called International Students Association Tilburg (I.S.A.T). I met a ton of new people from all over the world. It was crazy to meet so many other international students that I had no clue were even attending the university. The work ethic was contagious. We had regular meetings and soon were partnering up with a variety of organizations and businesses. We had secured free day tickets with WooHah (one of the biggest Hip-Hop festivals in Europe) after an agreement that we'd help with volunteering and we were planning more events with Poppodium 013, a concert hall in Tilburg (the same one I saw Russ and G-Eazy perform at last year for those of you who read that post!). We were also steadily filling the board positions and recruiting new members. It was super cool to witness everything come together and great to know that I was part of something that was new and being shaped the way we wanted to shape it.It felt like we were creating our own legacy as we designed merchandise that would be personalized and planned further events to ensure we'd really get that community feeling that we were looking for. 

Slovenia 
Arianna and I
April was also the month that  I finally visited Arianna in Slovenia. I got to see her college dorm room in Ljubljana and explore all the charming streets. We had pancakes at this adorable French inspired cafĂ© once and I remember feeling so grateful to just be there, with her. We later headed to Izola, where her parents stayed. I was met with such a warm welcome. Together we toured Lake Bled, the city of Koper, saw the Walls of Piran and even went to Trieste, Italy for the day! 
Lake Bled


May
Seamus
May was the month that Seamus and I started dating. It was weird, because he was my roommate. Even though we all have different rooms, it was strange knowing he'd be there whenever I came home because it was literally his home too. Luckily, what worked in our favour, was that we had very different schedules. I needn't even have stressed because we only saw each other in the mornings as we headed out for uni or as I went to my internship. We actually had to put in effort to see each other, as funny as that might sound. Aside from cooking together and getting into debates about America's political system, we discovered we had more in common than we'd originally thought. I think we inspired each other in different ways. Seamus taught me to take breaks and to not be so hard on myself when it comes to uni.

Seamus

He continuously uses the phrase, 'Let's live a little' before he stops studying or eats something 'unhealthy'. While that may not sound very profound, it's definitely helped me feel calmer in many ways, as I'm encouraged to take some time out for myself and get in tune with what my mind needs or what my body wants. Whether that's to take a break from studying, or to eat something that has way too much sugar in it, or even going for a walk through the forest close to campus and to just be present. It's fun doing life with a partner that makes you want to feel alive and experience the simple joys that this world has to offer.

Portugal 
Touring through the Benagil caves
May was also the month that Kerry, Dimitra and I packed our bags and flew out to Portugal. God knows why considering all three of us had a thesis, an internship and exams waiting for us. Maybe Seamus' advice was being taken a little too seriously...in any case, we had a great time. 

 
Cruising through Portuguese waters
We spent a total of four days in Quarteira at the loveliest Airbnb. Here we went shopping, lazed at the beach, ate delicious local foods, fresh seafood and all the desserts our stomachs could muster. We visited the Benagil caves by boat, took photos on disposable cameras and met a lovely Brazilian couple who got us involved with the police - though maybe that's a story for another time. 

June 
Faro's city center

And this is where we are now. My internship is finished. My exams are done. My thesis is taking its sweet, sweet time. I've been accepted into two Master's programmes. Jared arrives next month and I go home in August. Some of my friends have already started traveling back to their home countries, others are staying here and waiting out the Dutch 'summer'. Things are good. They're uncertain and the future is looming like a giant, dark cloud as I get continuous questions about "what's next" and about graduation etc. I think people spend too much time wondering what's next. While it is important, we often forget about the now. And for now, I just wanna live. I wanna enjoy this summer and travel as much as I can. My birthday is next month. By the time you read this, I'll be 22.  It's strange because I still feel like I am 15; still uncertain and scared of some challenges and calling my mom whenever there's a problem or I don't know how to cook something properly. That's what all of this is right now. A huge mystery that I'm figuring out, month by month. But maybe, just maybe, that's how it should be. After all, adults don't really know what they're doing either. 

All my love, 
Miah