Letters

A Wednesday Update

Hiya readers! How the heck are ya? I’m still here and running this blog, only I haven’t written for almost two months. Apologies. Just like when you haven’t seen an old friend for awhile, catching up is a necessity.

Over the summer I got a dog. The cutest dog, in fact. Here’s pictures to prove it.

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See what I mean?

Her name is Mishka which means ‘little bear’ in Russian because she looks like a bear (obviously). She’s a Bernese Mountain Dog if any of you are wondering.

I love Mishka to pieces, but because of her I learned two things the hard way. First, puppies are like babies. They act like babies, they look like babies, they are babies. Puppies are fun, but some days after being at home with her all day, day after day, I felt like a housewife stuck at home with the baby. I feel for housewives who go on their fourth glass of wine by five in the evening. I really do feel for them. The second thing I learned is, I am definitely a cat person. Puppies are all fun and excitement but they have no chill. They need you to be there for them, but sometimes all I want to do is sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix. Dogs don’t like Netflix. Cats on the other hand don’t necessarily like Netflix either, but they’ll sit there with you if you give them some attention. Netflix and Purr. It’s a thing.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, because Mishka is puppy goals. People actually stop in the street and gasp when they see her. One older man, the original hipster, took a picture of her with his disposable camera.

Jump forward to early October; I saw Atmosphere and Dem Atlas at The Fleece in Bristol.

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I was curious to what type of people would show up to his concert in England, and I wasn’t very surprised with the outcome. It was as you’d expect: young hipsters, stoners, drifters, and serious Rhymesayers fans. One couple, though, was different. They were just like any other fans holding pints and fist pumping to the beat, however their grey hair and wrinkles stood out. They were probably in their mid 70s.

Later on, after Dem Atlas performed (who was incredible, by the way) I was pointing out Minnesota on the map of the US on stage to my friend Charlie, when the lady in her 70s next to me tells me she is from Wisconsin. In retrospect, of course she is. Midwestern folk really do get around. After introducing ourselves, she told me has lived in England for seven years and has been teaching here. She explained she’s been listening to Atmosphere since the 90s and it was her first time seeing him. Once Atmosphere came on, her and her English date rocked out and loved the show. She embodies everything I want to be at that age. She is me in the future.

Seeing Atmosphere and Dem Atlas was such a treat, especially seeing them in Bristol. I realised how cool the Minneapolis music scene is. I knew this, but being somewhere other than Minnesota made it even more real. Throughout the show, a really hyped fan next to me kept shouting “Minneapolis!” as if it’s something cool to shout like ‘New York’ would be. It was all very surreal.

On a final note, being in second year is nice. Being a second year is like having all the fun of sophomore year and all the intensity of junior year. And hey, I’m almost halfway through university. 🙂

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Letters, Thoughts & Rants

End of First Year

First year is coming to a close. People are packing up their rooms, saying goodbye, and leaving Swansea for the summer. I myself am leaving with an addiction to Starbucks, a newfound appreciation for folk music, and a feeling of nostalgia for the past year.

This has been the fastest yet most life changing year I’ve ever had. I can’t imagine my life before university and I can’t believe I have been away from home for so long. I’ve only been in the United States for a total of three weeks since September 2014. I have changed immensely while being here. I even look different. The Andie in September seems years younger than me right now, but I am still the same age as her, and last time I was home, I was her. (Preach time: age is really just a number. It’s all about experiences.) Before you leave, you wonder how much it will change you. There isn’t really an answer to that besides that it just does. Experiencing this year at uni has made me grow so much, and that combined with traveling has made me gain so much confidence in myself. It’s weird because I honestly can’t believe how brave I was deciding to live abroad. Obviously, I couldn’t fully grasp what I was getting myself into, but I’m glad for that. Right before I left, I was sad and a little scared to leave home. I knew I’d never be this young again and that life wasn’t so serious yet. However, looking at myself now, I am so much happier. I would have never gone out of my shell and tried new things if I didn’t leave home. I needed it. The thought of home now has evolved into something much more meaningful, even though I didn’t think it could ever expand any more.

Despite worries of homesickness, I didn’t get homesick at all this year until about April, which is an impressive amount of time without getting homesick if you ask me. I can understand why homesickness is so overwhelming now. It’s a hard thing to want to go back home when you’re so far away. It’s easy to start to dislike differences in culture and whatnot, but it’s a very bad habit to get into. I did find ways to help it a bit though. I took walks, listened to music, Skyped friends and family, watched Welsh slang YouTube videos, and I watched House Hunters International. Oddly enough, House Hunters International really helped. Most importantly though, I became friends with Leah from Canada. Having a fellow North American with whom you can share your struggles with and also share the excitement of being in another country with is really what helped me the most. Homesickness is an isolating feeling and people can never really understand it unless they leave home and experience it themselves, but it is something that you can get through. Overall though, it was a lot less of a problem than I thought it would be.

To answer everyones question: my favourite part was probably meeting all of the different people from different places with different accents. It’s cool to learn about people and culture and where everyone is from! And by the way, asking what someone’s favourite part was is a very broad question and it’s difficult to answer because you can’t just choose one favourite part out of a big life changing experience. 🙂

At this point it will be hard to revert back to US spelling and slang, but I am going to try to keep my UK side as well. Personally, I think it’s better. Heehee.

Seeing how much I’ve changed in just one year, I can’t imagine what I’ll be like at the end. It’s a bit overwhelming at times, but knowing how many friends I’ve made, how many places I’ve been, and how much I’ve grown as a person, I would never change my decision to come here. Plus now I only have two years left of university 😉

Knowing that in a few days I get to wake up in my own home and see my friends, my family, and my cat has brought many tears to my eyes.

I love you Wales, but I am ready for you, Minnesota! Bring on the humidity, stormy nights, and even the mosquitos!

Me in September

Me in September

Me in June!

Me in June!

Song of the day:

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Letters

For the Seniors

Dear Seniors,

As I sit here at my desk in my room I remember how stressful and terrifying the thought of the upcoming year was.

Tenses are high, the pressure is on, and everyone is questioning you. Parents, teachers, strangers even, stress how important your decision is, to the point where you’d almost rather just not go.

But I have something to tell you. Being in that position not even a year ago, to now going to uni in Wales, I can both understand you and help you. Whatever you do, you’ll be fine. Seriously.

1. Look around. Google search different colleges. Don’t stick to one college because that one might not work out. Don’t be afraid to try something new. If you don’t want to go, don’t. You might change your mind later but you might not. College isn’t for everyone.

2. Do what you want to do, not what your parents, friends, significant other, teachers, coaches want you to do. No matter how ridiculous it seems, it feels right, just do it. Trust your gut.

3. Get out. At the National Honor Society induction ceremony last year, physics teacher Mr. Wacker said to leave Minnesota/home as soon as you can. Just get out and experience different things, and once your done, come back if you want to. Having left, I feel closer to home in a way than ever before. I appreciate it more.

4. Going off that point, study abroad. Everyone told me how their study abroad experience was their favourite time in college, so I decided to study abroad the whole time. You’ll meet really great people, learn about a different culture, eat new food, and experience life in a totally different way.

5. You always have time to change your mind. If you don’t like what you chose, you can change it. Switch colleges. Whatever you choose, it’s not set in stone. In the fall of 2013 I was trying to find universities to go to in England. I applied to a few home universities in case, but decided they weren’t right for me. After awhile I gave up and decided to take a gap year. That was my plan up until prom season in May when everyone was talking about their plans for next year. I decided I wanted to do something after all, so in June I searched for universities in Wales and found Swansea. I applied and got accepted at the end of June. It was a completely last minute decision, but it worked out. For some reason, going to college in the US just didn’t feel right for me. It seemed almost impossible to go to college abroad but I was very dedicated and very willing to make it happen. And I did.

6. This is cheesy but completely true. Have a fun last semester. My last semester of senior year was probably the most stressful semester I’ve had, but also the most fun. I know you’re losing motivation; the senior slide is completely real, but try not to let that get in the way. Make the most of it. You should go to class, but you should also ditch at least once. Sorry teachers if you’re reading this, but it’s true. As cheesy as this is, and to quote one of my yearbooks, you’ll remember the time you ditched, not the time you didn’t.

I’m happy with my decision despite how stressful and scary it was. Am I homesick? Sometimes, but it’s not that bad. I miss my friends and family, but I also miss small things driving, Target, Chipotle, and the cities. For awhile I let that bring me down, but going home made it easier because I realised I missed things that Swansea has that White Bear doesn’t. I learned to appreciate both for what they have and don’t have, and now I’m fine. Honestly, Skype, Viber, and streaming The Current online has made it a lot easier as well. It makes me feel less far away from home.

I hope this helped, but even if it didn’t, thanks for reading. Good luck to all of you with whatever your decision may be. You’ll be fine. Have fun and throw a grad party because why not.

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Letters

One Lovely Blog Award!

Good morning world and all who inhabit it, I bear good news! Kiana (That’s What Ki Said) nominated me for a lovely blog award. Thanks Kiana! Unlike her, I’m going to write this on time. 🙂 Alright, let’s get this over with.

Here are the rules for the award:

1. You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.

2. You must list the rules and display the award.

3. You must add 7 facts about yourself.

4. You must nominate other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

5. You must display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

1.  I make a lot of impulse decisions. Not once, but twice I have cut my hair out of the blue. One day I wanted bangs, so I went and got them. The other day, recently, I came back from dinner and cut a few inches off of my hair. I then walked into my friend Kadie’s room and casually said “so I cut my hair” and continued on with my day. I also have dyed my hair pink, pierced my nose, completely redecorated my room, went parasailing, booked a trip to Amsterdam with my friend Daisy, and found a university on google, applied, and moved to Wales. All instinct. I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t think about them much before I did any of them, I just trust my gut.

2.  Debby Ryan followed me on twitter once. You’ve all seen The Suite Life on Deck. Remember Bailey? Yes, that girl, she followed me once. I asked for recommendations of things to do in Los Angeles, she asked for recommendations for things to do in Minneapolis, and we helped each other out. She even wished me happy birthday. Alas, a few days later she unfollowed me. Debby, I thought we had something special…

3. I’ve met basically everyone from Owl City, except Adam Young. I’ve met the drummer, guitarists, pianist, two of them even play at my church every weekend, I’ve met Austin from Swimming with Dolphins which is a group Adam used to be in, and I have even seen his parents on multiple occasions (I’m not a stalker….anymore). Adam lives one hour away from me and I’ve never met the guy, although my dad has. Adam was on a plane that he was flying once. They met and my dad brought back autographs for my friend Amber and I. It was a pretty big deal. Although I’m not a hootowl anymore, I probably won’t be able to contain myself if I ever do meet him in the future.

4. I’ve never seen Lord of the Rings, The Notebook, or any Indiana Jones film. Being a film student and all, I should probably watch them. I will get around to it…maybe…

5.  I drink my coffee black and my tea without anything. I don’t understand how people can put sugar in coffee. Cream I get, and I drink it with sometimes, just not everyday. Tea on the other hand, I never drink it with anything. Milk and sugar? No thank you. Just no. Please don’t. Stop. (Update: the day after I posted this someone made me tea with sugar and milk and it was tolerable. I was clearly making it wrong.)

6. It took me a little over three years to get over my obsession of Hannah Montana. I mean, Who Said I can’t like Hannah Montana for three years, I Got Nerve, deal with it. I was just Pumping up the Party because This is the Life. I wanted The Best of Both Worlds, ya know? I’m Just Like You, but the Other Side of Me was obsessed. Nobody’s Perfect, okay?

7. Last but not least, I’ve only water-skied once in my life. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is. When I was younger, the first question that my dads friends would ask me was if I waterskied. I grew up on a lake, my dad, grandpa, and aunt waterski professionally, my sister and cousins were all in waterski competitions when they were younger, and my dad is the president of the USA Waterski Foundation. Yes, the daughter of the president of the USA Waterski foundation has only skied once in her life. Not for any particular reason, I was just never really interested, but now that I’m older I’d like to try again this summer.

Now I’d like to take this time to nominate other blogs! You should check them out.

1. HeyPoofy (I know Kiana already nominated this blog, but she gets a double nomination because she’s just that special.)

2. Porkchop Enthusiasm

That’s all folks.

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Letters

Letter to My Thirteen Year Old Self

First, I’d like to thank Kiana (http://kianahasablog.wordpress.com) for tagging me for this wonderful yet weird nostalgia adventure! If you don’t follow her blog, grab some ice cream and some tissues because you’re gonna need to rethink your life.

Dear Andie,

Let’s get down to business. Bright pink eyeshadow doesn’t suit you, but wear the hell out of it if it makes you happy. Judging people for what they wear or what they look like isn’t cool. Stop doing it. And friends who do it-set them straight. At the age of 18 in the month of October half of your hair will be blue. So think about that.

Thirteen is a weird age. You have no idea who you are, but you’re not alone. Everyone’s confused, lonely, and going through that ‘random’ phase just like you are. You love Hannah Montana, you spend a lot of time at the mall, and you buy a lot of Caribou coffee coolers. These things make you happy, but just like everything else, make sure what makes you happy doesn’t hurt other people, or hurt future you. Don’t worry, Hannah Montana doesn’t hurt future you. Although coffee coolers may have added to the big bum situation…which I’m still learning to love.

There’s a lot that I could talk about it but I am just going to keep this as simple as possible. Love yourself. People can call you quiet and weird, which is true, but don’t let stereotypes hold you back. If you want to be loud one day then be loud, if you don’t want to say anything then that’s cool too. Don’t be overwhelmed with what the future has in store for you. Also don’t worry what the teachers say about high school, the teachers there are a lot nicer than they were said to be. Life isn’t a popularity contest so put your focus elsewhere. Don’t worry about boys, you’re thirteen, you have better things to do. Open your mind and don’t be afraid to speak your opinion. Watch Mamma Mia as many times as you want because if someone says that it’s not fun to sing along to, they’re lying. The world didn’t end in 2012 so don’t worry about it. Hug your cats everyday, drink tea, and compliment people. Life’s a weird but very cool thing. Things will change but you can handle it.

Oh, and pay attention in Algebra please.

Later hosen,

18 year old Andie.

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