It’s only mid-April, but it already feels like the end of the school year. I always enjoy this time of year because teachers stop assigning homework the week before AP exams start. So right now I’m spending a lot of this free time listening to the Hamilton soundtrack (I listened to it for the first time over spring break and now I’m like, why didn’t I listen to the people who’ve told me to listen to it since last September?), Wikipedia-ing the Hamilton-Reynolds sex scandal, and essentially thinking a lot about my own already-passed junior year. Coincidentally, lots of my thoughts come back to study abroad and OMG WHAT IS NEXT YEAR WHAT IS LIFE, so I thought today would be a good time to vent out some of what I’ve been thinking on a blog that won’t even be an actual study-abroad blog until next fall.
That is why this post is titled “Shower Thoughts.” It’s an unedited version of what’s running through my head circa April 19th, 2016 (but minus the profanity, haha). By this time next year I’ll be in Morocco, I’ll be eighteen years old, and I’ll be able to speak French a lot better. That’s so strange to think about, since I remember April of 2015 so clearly as the month I spent learning French every single day by watching cooking videos on YouTube—it’s a habit that I haven’t lost yet. If you want French language YouTube cooking shows, please message me tbh I spent so much time looking for good cooking shows that I gotta share them with someone.
Okay, back on topic. So here’s a pretty random, probably grammatically incorrect rant about life. It is in list form. What runs through my head isn’t usually in list form, so these following paragraphs will also be overly simplified.
- I’m going to be living in Rabat next year, most likely by myself and with a host family! This cannot be any more exciting. I’ve wanted to do this for forever and, wow, I finally have the chance. (!!!!!) I am a “youth ambassador” and I’ll be representing the US. I so, so want to talk about this to anyone I meet but then I feel like people will think I’m too self centered so I’ve been trying to bring up other topics. But, again, this is so exciting! I’ll write about my program and my next year in an upcoming post.
- Justin Trudeau picked a cabinet that represented the demographics of Canada. I don’t know how YES Abroad picks its 65 scholarship recipients, but I still find it so hard to believe (and so fortunate) that I was chosen. I’m an Asian American female who was born in China and I know that many people don’t think of a person who looks like me when they look for someone to represent the US in other countries. I have been fortunate to have lived in a fairly diverse and accepting region of the US for my whole life, and my life hasn’t really had any outright racial discrimination, but depending on where I go it’s still pretty evident that people will look at me differently because I’m Asian. I wonder how people will perceive me in Morocco. I don’t know yet.
- I’m leaving high school after junior year. That’s both good and bad. Spending my senior year in Morocco will be more of a challenge—I’m excited for that, and I consider the challenge part a good thing. I’ve taken most of the more-difficult classes at my school already, and while I know that there are a few great classes I’ll have to miss, I also know that being able to take French language classes in all subjects in Morocco will be at least comparable in difficulty. I am giving up a lot at Raleigh Charter, especially in terms of my favorite extracurricular activities, but I’m taking a risk when I go to Morocco. I have no idea what Morocco is going to be like, but I think this unpredictability is a positive part. I’ve always felt like I need this kind of unpredictability in my life in order to become a better and more-mature person. As a little kid, I was so resistant to change that I wish I’d stayed at the same school for six years instead of going to four different elementary schools. Now as I reflect on that experience, I realize that this whole “being forced through change as a kid” thing has really helped me become more open to any events that send my life on a different course. Maybe that’s why I’ve wanted to study abroad for so long.
- That whole last paragraph sounded so deep omg
- I have got to run and do yoga or join a local gym when I get to Morocco. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of eating delicious Moroccan food and there is no way that I’ll sit down on the couch after every meal because then I’ll get a whole bunch of health problems.
Hopefully I’m not going to be allergic to anything delicious.
- My parents are adopting a dog before I leave (to replace myself, haha) and I never thought I’d say this but I’m so, so excited. My mom likes schnauzers.
Regal, right? I like dogs but I don’t think I’ve really wanted one in the past three or so years. Right now I’m trying to ask my parents to adopt from a shelter or rescue. Not related to dog adoption, but some people’s dogs that I know in real life are super pretentious and have their own superiority complexes.
See, case in point. (not familiar dogs. I got this picture off of Google Images)
- Testing. I’m a few tests short of done with testing for the rest of my high school career. It’s a bittersweet moment since I kind of like playing with stickers on the AP tests while mentally screaming at CollegeBoard for how much plastic and paper they waste with all this test packaging
- Just saw a recipe on Facebook for chocolate quinoa bites this is not ok why would u do this to perfectly good quinoa
- At this time next year I’ll be knowing what college I’m going to!? That’s such a weird thought since at the same time last year I felt like college applications were an issue that affected people who were not me. Right now this whole process seems very real, as the school’s encouraging us juniors to start looking for possible colleges. I also just calculated the cost of college per day and realized that I could go on a cruise every day for a whole school year and pay less than the cost of attending college at a private school. This whole price issue has motivated me to make money but there are two barriers: 1) I won’t be here for five and a half weeks during the summer, and 2) I’m going to Morocco next year and I can’t get a job there!! So now I gotta think of a short term way for someone who can’t drive to work. For financial reasons, I won’t get my license until I after I come back from Morocco. So I’ve had to think of a short-term, month-of-August thing and I think I’ve got it.
- whoa what am I doing with my life. I am so stoked to be going to Morocco but I am also scared in a way? I’ll be going to school completely in French and I’ll be making friends who speak both French and Darija (Moroccan Arabic). I’m excited to be learning a language completely through immersion, but to be honest, I’m not sure if the whole school thing in Morocco will be a positive or a negative for me. There is, of course, all the harassment that happens in streets and within schools; I’ll learn how to deal with it, and although I’m pretty sure that I won’t actually be threatened there, I can’t really prepare for catcalls and hisses that I, as an Asian American female, will receive from men of all ages. Each place has its positive and negative parts. I feel like I’ve lived in the US for so long that it’s harder for me to fully understand other cultures than it was when I first moved here.
- I’m currently spending a lot of my free time learning Spanish. I just found a great Spotify playlist for this. I’m not picky with language-learning resources, but unfortunately lots of my Spanish podcasts have unnecessary amounts of English in them. I’m currently using a podcast specifically for vocabulary, and it’s called Vocabulearn Spanish. It’s a terrible and cheesy name for a podcast but each of its eight-or-so episodes is completely spent teaching Spanish English vocabulary to lovely background music. As I write this, I’m listening to the podcast with headphones and it does this wonderful thing where the English comes out of the left ear and the corresponding Spanish word comes out of the right ear a second later. I like this… a lot.
Okay I’ll cut this post off here! I have a pretty bad habit of rambling all the time, haha—so it kind of fits that my first post is essentially a whole post of rambling. I assure you that the post quality will increase. ^_^