Thoughts & Rants

The Graduate (Yep, that’s me)

I am now a graduate of Swansea University. My three years is up and now all I have is a degree to show for it. Well, I guess I should say, now I have a bachelors in media communication and I am ready for adulthood, so bring it on world! Right? Yeah, not quite. Even though I don’t know what to do next, I undoubtedly know that going to Swansea was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Although I didn’t write much in my second or third year, I can say that each year was filled with things I could have written about. (But who has that kind of time, right?) Adventures, friendships, travel, learning lessons. University is a time for drama, good and bad.

Even though my experience was different from most people I know, I still experienced the same feeling of being away from home, with an entirely different group of people, and the newfound independence and sometimes hardships that come with it. I learned a lot about myself as an individual, but also an American. For example, when I started this blog I wrote a lot about cultural differences and some of the things that were said to me because I was American, and me being offended by them. However, now after three years of getting socialized in the UK, I understand that it was just simply banter. American and British humour is very different. I learned how to take things with a grain of salt, or rather, not to take things so literally.

I also learned how to be, or sometimes just act, confident. If you knew me anywhere from five to (honestly) seventeen years old, you would probably describe me as shy. Which I have over the years come to realise that being shy is not inherently a bad thing. However, a lot of my shyness has gone away. Fine, I still don’t like talking on the phone to strangers or answering the door when the doorbell rings, but I’m not afraid to stand up and ask questions. When it comes to traveling, confident is one of the most important things to be. Confidence (and probably a naive belief that everything is going to be okay) came in handy at three in the morning in Prague, stranded at a bus stop because the buses stopped running, and having no idea where the fuck I was. But I figured it out. When moving to a new city, confidence is key in getting yourself out there and making friends. My high school teacher once told my class, fake it until you make it. If you fake confidence enough, one day you might actually believe that you are.

I also realised that living abroad for three years and traveling home for a few weeks twice a year taught me how to be adaptive to my surroundings. I already am a relatively adaptive person, however picking up every few months and moving between two countries with very different lifestyles really showed me what being adaptive is. Not only the humour and accent is different, but the entire lifestyle is. Driving everywhere versus walking, seeing family all the time to not at all, being underage to being able to buy myself a beer. It all sounds like minor and obvious things, but it can be pretty exhausting changing between the two. Although I do realise that I was extremely lucky to go home as often as I did, and in occasion it was very nice to be 4000 miles away from whatever I wanted to be away from.

Lastly, when you live abroad, you sometimes have to rely on people. Whether that be because of a language barrier, meeting new people through your friends, or having them drive you literally everywhere (thank you, pals) it’s sort of a struggle to be totally independent. I’d like to take some time to say thanks to every single person that has helped explain what something means, drive me somewhere, show me around Swansea, or invite me out with your friends, you truly helped my clueless little ass get by. Cheers! I also need to thank my friends and family. Without my parents support, emotionally and financially, I would not be here writing about this. So thank you mom and dad for letting me do what most parents would be terrified by. Lastly, thanks to my friends from home for supporting me, checking in on me, and being excited for me. Although I’ve been gone for three years, I feel that my friendships with you all have only grown stronger.

This concludes the end of my preaching, but being a normally retrospective person, it’s hard for me not to, especially when the times are changing my dudes.

And to answer probably everyone’s question, I don’t know what I am going to do next and I don’t know where I want to live either. But I do know that I am ready to be home for a while (although ask me again in January and you will probably get a different answer).

If you have any questions about my time abroad, or you want to hire me, please don’t be afraid to send me a message, I have some time to kill and a loan to pay off.

On a final note, before I moved to Swansea, everyone told me how hard it would be to leave home, but no one told me how hard it would be to leave Swansea and say goodbye to all of the friends I have made. Regardless, it was worth it. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, do it. Don’t let fear make your decisions.

This is the last post of Might as Wale, the end of an era. I do hope to continue writing, but in a new blog. I’ll keep y’all posted.

Thanks to everyone who read the whole thing and kept up with this blog, for those of you who didn’t, how rude!





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.


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.


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. 🙂

Adventures, Differences

Exams, refreshers, and husky onesies.

Exam season is officially over and refreshers has begun. Instead of exams being before Christmas break, they were spread throughout a few weeks in January. That being said, it was nice to have more time to revise (study, for all you americans) instead of going through the exam and pre-christmas stress. I had three exams, all were two hours in which I had to write two essays. I didn’t know what the questions were going to be, but I had a general idea.

Side note: In one of my essays, and I’m not ashamed of this, I wrote about The Graduate and how it changed Hollywood, so I ended it with “The Graduate was one small step for film, one giant leap for Hollywood cinema.” I mean hey, The Graduate came out only two years before the moon landing so it was definitely appropriate.

Overall, I think I did pretty good and plus, you only need 40% to pass and your marks this year don’t actually count towards your final degree. 40% seems very low, and it is, but they use a different grading system here. A  52-58 is a lower division Second Class degree (or a 2:2), 62-68 is a higher division Second Class degree (or a 2:1), and a 72-85 is a First Class degree (or a 1st). It’s different and it still confuses me, but it works.

Now on to refreshers, and to explain that, I should probably explain what freshers is first. Freshers is the first two weeks of uni where the uni hosts a different event/party every night. It’s basically like being drunk for two whole weeks. Refreshers is that again, except after exam season and it’s only one week. On my first night out someone came up to me and told me it was my birthday, so I went with it and told everyone, and I mean everyone, that it was my birthday. Someone gave me a fake rose and now it’s on my wall in my room. So it was fun to have my birthday a little early this year. Monday night was Aniball so I wore a siberian husky onesie (and no Charlie, I was not a cat). Despite how hot it was, it was really fun to go out in a onesie, plus unlike all women’s clothes these days, it had pockets! We ending Monday night with cheesy chips and curry from Swansea Kebabs. Ten out of ten recommend. Tuesday was a snapback party at the on-campus club (you read that right, the on-campus club) called Diva’s. Yes, I wore a snapback (thanks James!) and it didn’t suit me, but frankly I don’t really know who looks good in a snapback. Wednesday night everyone wore black Welsh Varsity shirts that came with our refreshers band and hit the town. The shirts are for the Swansea vs. Cardiff rugby game coming up (it’s a pretty big deal). Wednesday night I stayed in and watched a documentary about North Korea and then fell asleep to Bob’s Burgers. I what you’re thinking, I’m an animal. Tonight is the last night for refreshers and it’s at Diva’s, but on Friday’s it takes the name of Tooters (like Hooters, but also £2 for 2 drinks). It’s been a good week! Classes start again next week and then it’s back to reality.

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