It’s the first day of school for my friends and would be for me too if I wasn’t studying abroad this year. Every scholastic year anticipation of this day fills me with an unique restless energy including this year not because of starting my new classes but I just applied for my student visa yesterday and as I’ve been telling my friends
I’m fear sweating for the next 7-10 days.
It’s a really scary application process. It’s expensive(1) and it is the single lynch pin that could ruin the effort of the tens of hours I’ve spent getting signatures and the pages of paperwork I’ve had to fill out and the money I’ve already spent into the program. Real talk: I’m almost a full year invested into this process. I took the first step of submitting my application to my school’s study abroad program as early as permitted in late September or early October. Ever since then my life has been a roller coaster but everything I’ve done had the baseline motivation of “I’m going to England”.
After a full year’s worth of personal(2) strife, professional(3) trials, and scholastic(4) auto-flogging, filling in the time between deadlines and approvals, I’m literally as close as I can get to being given the green light and all this pressure sitting on one final bureaucratic signature is an extremely intense feeling.
- For me $446 + $150 for international insurance or some such
- Coping with loss, struggling with drinking, getting sober, and staying sober, anticipated grief, moving, the brief fear of homelessness, friends moving to the 4 corners of the earth, generally trying to get my life back on the right track
- Working crap food job, trying to balance hours and homework load (4 nights a week or 26 hrs at work while taking 12 credit hours both fall and spring term [see footnote 4]), drama coupled with working said crap food job
- Fall term was my first term at full time University level courses since 2007-8 scholastic year where I went to Mizzou for my freshmen year taking 20 credit hours a term. I burnt out pretty hard after that first year, ergo the seven year break. Fall term 2015 I took some heavy stuff, Calculus I and Statics/Probabilities (Past me: “Yea I always liked math and I kinda want a challenge. Nice way to finish my Math/Science requirements.” Present me: “You right stupid feckin’ idiot.”), and some lighter stuff, theater 101 and Anthropology of Native American Spirituality, the same mentioned previously in footnote 5 of “Getting to know the Neighbloggerhood”, then Spring Term 2016 I took a bunch of literary and writing courses which were fun but the work load got really intense with working all week and maintaining a regular drinking habit. Basically my week was like this: M-F School (8am), Work, Bed(Midnight); S-S: Homework 8am – 7pmish, drink to sleep, repeat. It was pretty rough. Things are easier now and things should be easier in England. I’m only taking 16 credit hours, equivalent, and my visa allows me to work up to 20 hours a week but no more.