Groundhog Day 2016 Resolutions: November Check-In

Just one month left here in Ghana. I’ve been trying to take it easy, especially since next week is the last week of classes, and then I have revision week and final exams. I have reading to go through, and prep for a last minute exam in one of my classes — the professor was gone and then things were pushed back, and so on, so we’re taking the 2nd midterm during our last class, and then we have a final in that class on the Sunday of revision week. It seems silly to me, but what can you do?

There’s been a bit of a stir here, since my last post: there was a big fight in my dorm after a white student used a racial slur against a Black student and spat on another Black student. It was all international students, and we ended up having a big forum with the International Programs office to talk about the incident and what would happen next. It was pretty stressful for a while, but life has mostly moved on. Now, however, a lot of folks are feeling very upset and lost after the US election results. (I wrote a piece on Medium about my own feelings towards the election, which you can read here.) There’s a lot of disappointment and frustration, and some fear. The US still impacts so much of our lives here, and soon we’ll be headed back. Honestly, I have pretty mixed feelings about it. (More on that here.) I wish I could stay longer.

Since my exams are all frontloaded, I’m planning to spend the last two weeks I’m here travelling, funds allowing. I’d like to visit Kumasi, Mole, and the Volta Region, and I’m not sure how realistic that is, but I’m going to try to do at least one. If you can help me cover the last $341 of my tuition and fees, pay for food and toiletries, and support me in visiting other parts of Ghana before I have to leave, please donate on Crowdrise. I’ve received so much support, and I’m so grateful for everyone helping me. This has been an amazing experience — thank you.

Review post, as always, is below the cut.

 


Goals:

  1. Build up my small press
  2. Consciously love and care for myself
  3. Continue learning and expanding my skill set

Month in Review:

What worked? What didn’t?
1) On hiatus.

2) I’ve been getting back into using my bullet journal, not just to record to do lists, but to track my habits/mood/environment, to set short and long term goals, to be mindful of my accomplishments and things to be grateful for, and to plan my life. I’ve also been taking time to do things that make me happy, like hand-lettering and illustration work. I’ve had some pretty interesting conversations, and have been able to talk about history a lot, which always makes me happy. Recording my accomplishments and gratitude daily helps me to see the things that make my life good, and I can look back over them if I’m feeling depressed or worried. My health and habit tracker includes a section for mood, which helps me reflect and be more aware of myself and my body. Overall, have been working on not stressing too much.

I have struggled with eating enough and drinking enough water, though, especially if I stay up later than I mean to. (Been struggling with insomnia the past week or so.) I don’t have much food stored in the room, and the refrigerators are communal (and full), so I haven’t wanted to use them. That makes it hard to just grab something to eat when I’m hungry. I’ve been eating food bought in the kitchen downstairs or at the night market for most of my meals, and it’s relatively cheap, but not very convenient. I try to have snacks on hand, but they cost a little more. The biggest issue is having protein on hand. My snacks tend to be carb heavy, and less sustaining. I really miss my kitchen appliances and my pantry, some days.

3) I have been working on preparing for the next two terms, using my bullet journal. I have signed up for classes next term. I had to get a special override to take HST 491 and HST 300 concurrently, since 300 is a prereq for 491, but the prof was great about it. I am signed up for 17 credits currently, but I will have to replace HST 312 with UNST 407 if I get into the McNair program. (Just received notice they will begin the second round of considerations on Monday, 14 Nov., so keep your fingers crossed for me, please!) I may audit 312, but I may also just drop it — I don’t want to get overwhelmed, since it is my second-to-last term, if all goes well. I am nervous, but also very ready to be finished with undergrad!

Planning the Next Month:

What am I working on going forward?
1) On hiatus.

2) I need to stock up on snacks and maybe start setting timers to keep me mindful of food and water. I also need to set aside time to rest and work on art or leisure reading, and not let studying and exam stress consume all my time. I also need to figure out if I actually will be able to travel for my last two weeks here, which means budgeting. Need to make sure I’m sleeping enough, as well, and not look at my phone before bed.

3) My dance final is during revision week, and the rest of my finals are over that weekend and on the following Tuesday. That means my last exam is the 29th, but my flight isn’t until December 15th. I’m planning to spend the last two weeks travelling, funds permitting, and would love to go visit places I didn’t make it to before. I have to prep for my HIST 315 “midterm,” and then start making revision charts and schedules for my final exams. By the next review, I’ll be preparing to fly back to the US, exams behind me!

 

 

Support my semester abroad: FundraiserZazzleBookSpoken Word AlbumPatreon

See all of the Groundhog Day Resolutions posts here.

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