Stress and St. Patty’s Day

It is St. Patrick’s Day and I am stressed out.

No, more than stressed. If there was an “I quit” button for my life, I would press it. I would no longer be a college student and, instead, sit on a sunny beach somewhere getting a sunburn, and ruing social expectations. I would RUE them. I have to finish applying for internships, schedule my life for next year (meaning my classes, but it feels like the same thing), write three papers, plan for club events with deadlines that are terrifyingly (if not impossibly) soon, finish basic research for my thesis, edit a paper for a conference, call my doctor like a big kid about changing my migraine medication (which doesn’t seem like that big of a deal but I keep putting it off), do my laundry (…should have done it two weeks ago…), and other various responsibilities that are giving me anxiety.

And what does that mean I can’t do?

Write a blog post.

Read.

Write.

Anything fun.

Truthfully, I’m not even going to be editing this post. I’m just going to be sending it out to you raw, because that is all I have time for. But I have been abandoning this blog for so long that I need to write something.

News Update: I am doing my laundry now. HA! Suckers left both of the machines open. I took every single one of them! (But there are only two so it isn’t that douche-y of a move, promise!)

On a lighter note, I hope everyone is having a good St. Patrick’s day. The sun was out today for the first time in… I don’t know… forever? Something like that, anyway. Stay safe, have a designated driver. Don’t take glass pints into the no-glass zones! The security guards frown on that.

I didn’t do that, though, I swear :)

Love you all, talk to you soon, hopefully!

WAIT! I almost forgot to tell everyone the funniest part of today!

I was sitting at lunch in the cafeteria when I overhear the following conversation between two guys:

Guy #1: Teal is a type of green, Bro!

Guy #2: …

Guy #1: *walks away (loudly) singing “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding*

Strangely, neither of them was wearing teal. They were both wearing neon green, so…

Boys are weird.

Twins, Not Hallucinations

Guys, guys, guys, I have something to tell you.

I almost did it. I almost fell for one of the most contrived, cliché, overused movie tropes EVER!

I was waiting in the hallway outside of my university chorus class about fifteen minutes before it started. A girl walks by that I know–she sits in my section, let’s call her Kelly–in a green shirt and blue jeans. Pretty simple, right? Well, obviously I didn’t think anything of it, because who would? It was nothing strange.

Until about two minutes later. When Kelly walks by me again, walking in the same direction she had previously, and in a completely different outfit. Red coat, white pants–no green to be found. None. Whatsoever. And, strangely, the way that building is set up, there is no way whatsoever that she could have gotten to the other end of the hallway, run up the stairs, crossed the entire building, run down the stairs, changed clothes, and made it to where I was standing in a two minute time frame. It just isn’t possible. Unless you have a team of people helping you change. And a skateboard. Or a scooter. Or a bike. It doesn’t really matter the mode of transportation as long as it is something faster than your legs.

Though, a car would be unreasonable. It’s a small hallway.

So there I was, very confused, but not questioning that this was actually Kelly because she looked like Kelly. And the thing that made it even more obvious for me: she talked like Kelly. Just. Like. Kelly.

Here is the thing: Kelly has a very distinct voice. Couldn’t tell you what it is, but there is a tonal quality that makes it really unique. She’s a good singer, too. That’s not the point, but this is just to say that I was fully convinced that, for all intents and purposes, this, in fact, was Kelly. In my head, there was no reason to doubt it.

She was on her phone, made a comment about not being able to find the person on the other line, and hung up. When I looked down the hall, her sister was waving at her.

Her identical twin sister.

Please tell me, HOW DID I NOT SEE THAT COMING? I will be honest, I’m not too awful perceptive when it comes to things like this. After seeing them together, I remembered the actual Kelly making a brief reference to her twin sister in class once, but it had just gone in one ear and then evaporated in the empty space where a brain should be (apparently).

Twins, though! I’m so mad at myself right now! How could I have fallen for that?!

You see one twin, a short amount of time passes, you see the other twin and think it’s the same person. This is how characters get confused in cheesy films.

I’m a cheesy film character!

One of the saddest moments of my life, seriously. They are twins! Duh!

I really thought I was seeing things. Or really dumb.

Now I know. I am just really dumb.

Things That Happen During a Michigan Winter

If you live in Michigan and can relate, fabulous! If you don’t, here is a list of things you definitely aren’t missing.

#1) People suddenly forget how to drive.

You live in the state that houses the “Motor City” (Detroit). The city that “put the nation on wheels.” For the other six months of the year, you seem to be able to handle yourselves with some sensibility. So what is it about the cold and snow that gives you such anxiety, you feel forced to drive 25mph on every street at every time of the day? It didn’t even snow today, or yesterday, or the day before that. The roads are clear, there is even–dare I say it–excess salt on the roadways. And yet… you drive like you’re simultaneously reading William Faulkner and having a heart attack. Slow, and with very little grace.

If you have grown up in Michigan, or even know anything about it, you’ll know that you should never drive slow here. The unspoken standard is a constant 5mph over the speed limit. If you do not drive at least that fast, someone will be tailing you. You might get a honk, or the finger, or any combination of road-rage expressions.

Obviously, drive sensibly for the weather. Don’t get into a car accident. But that’s if the roads are bad and it’s icy/snowing. On days when it’s just cold–

Drive the speed limit or STAY HOME!

Or drive like Phoebe.

driving pheobe

#17) You forget what the sun looks like.

Have I seen it recently? I don’t even remember. A lot of gray. That’s it, that’s all I see. So much gray. Even things that used to have color are now gray because there is so much salt on everything that the world has become muted. I’m also not sure if I have seen an animal other than my dog or a miserable looking human in the past week. No animals. They no longer exist. Just grayness and a depressing silence.

You could almost say the winter so far has been as dark as Batman’s soul.

batman

Shut up, Christian.

#276) You forget how to communicate with other people.

If it weren’t for the fact that I have class on a daily basis, I’m pretty sure I would never see another human being. Ever. I’m pretty good at making it on my own. I’m the type of person who doesn’t need a whole lot of human contact to feel satisfied. But in the dead of Michigan winter, it gets pretty excessive. I’ve often experienced whole weekends where I haven’t left my house–haven’t left my room!–and it occurs to me that that’s probably not the greatest thing in the world.

I mean, whatever if people think I’m a hermit. It’s a totally justifiable thing to do in this -15 degree weather. Who needs that anyway? What does it do for the earth except kill stuff? Nothing, that’s what. A whole bunch of freezing cold nothing.

I’m not even sure if, at this point, I could have a full length conversation with another human being and have it make sense. There would be words, sure, but would they all make sense together? I don’t have much confidence in that.

ross talking

Man, I guess I sort of had a Friends thing going on today. Whatever, it’s a great show that produces great gifs. I welcome them all!

I don’t know how winter is treating you, wherever you are right now, but I hope it’s warmer than it is here. If not, then I hope you have a lot of depression food to eat. My parents are currently on an eleven day cruise to the Caribbean and they left me in this, so I conned them into buying me a 5-pound tub of Twizzlers from Costco.

Haha, suckers. Who’s the real winner here?

Yeah, it’s still them.

5 Things That Feel Like the End of the World But [Probably] Aren’t

I’ve been compiling a list of these things for a little while now as they occur to me, and I thought I would share them with you. If you could experience the frustration of at least one of these things with me, I would greatly appreciate it. So I know I am not alone living an awkward, average life :)

5 Things That Feel Like the End of the World But [Probably] Aren’t

#1) Running out of contact solution when you still have a contact left in your eye.

I feel like this is just one, massive, karmic slap in the face. Although, karma implies that you’ve done something to deserve such a tragic experience. I can hardly see, as is, with one contact in and one in the case, and now you are telling me that the second contact can’t even be removed because there is no solution left?

What kind of nonsense…?

Reasonable solutions might be to share whatever contact solution is left, or (though you are not supposed to) put both contacts in the same section of the case and buy more solution tomorrow. Only, wait for it—

My eyes are two different prescriptions, so that won’t work.

I’m telling you. It really is the [almost] end of the world. So cruel.

Level of Irritation: 

Really sad Taylor Lautner. 

sad taylor lautner

#2) When you get the hiccups while brushing your teeth.

This could apply to many other situations, I think. Basically, hiccups are forever inconvenient; whatever you are doing when you get them. (Ehem–how many of you just made a dirty joke in your head?) (Oh, was it just me…? Awkward. Moving on.)

This has happened to me about three times in the past month. Why? What did I do to deserve this? I’m just trying to get ready for bed, for sleep–an activity I quite enjoy–and I get the hiccups.

Hiccups are the body’s natural reaction to some kind of change in one’s breathing pattern, right? Maybe that’s an extreme summation, but still, I was breathing normally!

Why do hiccups even exist? Who needs regulated breathing. What if we all had irregular breathing?!

Maybe that’s the secret to how mermaids breathe. What if the only thing in the way of humans becoming mermaids is hiccups? I would be so pissed. Though, obviously they do live underwater, so that’s another issue, but Ariel did not have gills, so– I’m suspicious.

And what about that Australian wind instrument? The Didgeridoo. There is no way you are going to tell me that the people who play the Didgeridoo don’t get hiccups all the time. Lies. Just lies.

Level of Irritation:

Emma Stone when she found out the Spice Girls weren’t coming.

mad emma stone

#3) Stubbing your pinky toe.

Like, sure, they exist for balance, but what does the pinky toe really do? It gets stubbed. All the time. If you ask me, this is why they are so short and ugly. Because over the course of history, humans have stubbed this toe so many times it has become deformed and tiny. Quivering in fear upon seeing every bedpost, sharp corner edge, chair leg, stair, banister, door, and computer cord. (What? It happens.)

Feet, if you ask me, are just weird in general. But that pinky toe is just some other kind of freaky. You don’t want to look at it too hard or for too long because then you start thinking about things. Important things. Philosophical things.

I’m lying. It just looks even weirder the longer you stare at it.

The things I do for you while I am writing these posts, I swear!

Level of Irritation: 

Fed up Stanley.

fed up stanley

#4) When you are watching Cupcake Wars and they cut to commercial before telling you the winner.

Even though this happens on every reality show ever, it still makes me extremely mad every time it happens. They have to keep you hooked, right, I get it, but how rude is that?

I’ve stayed with your freaking t.v. show all this time. I watched those people cooking. I watched the commercials trying to sell me cookware I don’t need. I even watched all of the commercials about all of the restaurants I can’t afford, selling their fancy food, and NOW, right when we’re about to get the resolution to the big question of the episode…

You go to yet another commercial break.

Rude. Just rude.

I just want to know if Jerry’s french toast vanilla coffee souffle cupcake is going to win, or if it’s going to be Susan’s pistachio ice cream mocha chocolate cherry cupcake. Okay? This is 55 minutes of my time I have given you. Do you know what a person can do in 55 minutes? You can watch 2.8 episodes of friends in 55 minutes. You can bake multiple batches of cupcakes in 55 minutes. I could eat 4 dinners in 55 minutes if I really wanted to. (I eat quickly.)

But no, I sacrificed my precious time for you, and you repay me by cutting to a commercial right before I am able to get the answer to the question that has haunted my mind for the last 55 minutes?

Oh, I could just–!

Level of Irritation:

VoldemortCause I’m about to Avada Kadavra all y’all’s asses! 

voldemort

#5) Reading Charles Dickens’ Bleak House for five straight hours. I’m not a huge Dickens fan to begin with, but kudos to those who are. I am more than willing to concede the fact that he is a very talented, influential, and important author. But people came to that conclusion long before me.

He’s just not my personal favorite.

And five hours of Bleak House? Well, the title of the novel is about as accurate as you can get. 1,000 pages on the Condition of England and the Law. I think my brain might have melted a little bit. I can hear it sloshing in my ears. Or maybe that’s just my attention span.

Level of Irritation:

Barney

barney

to Boo

boo

to this bunny.

sleepy bunny

Mel

The Epic Adventure of the Tree Nut Sesame Cat

Phil the Tree Nut Sesame Cat

This is Gary.

He is a Tree Nut Sesame Cat.

A rarity among mutant mammals, and with sightings numbering in the zero range for the last twenty-one years, he is an evil creation. An unfortunate myth. A nightmare that comes to torment me at the most unlikely of times. He is the black knight of allergens that pounces, silent and unpredictable, on the immune system that is my life.

He is a terror that follows me around without a word. I did tell you that Tree Nut Sesame Cats can speak, right? Well, they can. Why? Because I made them the hell up, that’s why!

When Gary talks, I imagine he would say something like: “I hate you.”

That’s it. Pretty simplistic, but terribly morbid.

Now, if you asked me yesterday if I would be telling you Gary’s story, the answer would have been no. However, as it has been lately requested by someone that you don’t know (I’m lying, it was me), to tell you the tale of Gary the Tree Nut Sesame Cat, I felt it a responsibility on my part to inform you of this majestically awful creature and his adventures tormenting my life.

You are welcome.

~~~~~

Gary’s point of view

I think I’m a pretty chill dude. I mean, I get around places pretty smoothly. I have yet to meet a cat that doesn’t like me, and I’ve always got birds riding my back, looking at me like they want to eat me up. Chicks, man. But it’s a good look, you know? Not one of those bad looks; like the ones you get when you sharpen your claws on your owner’s ugly parlor chair–the one with those stupid red shapes all over it–that looks like someone bled all over the thing.

You were just doing them a favor! But, as usual, it went unappreciated.

Not that I’ve ever done that.

I don’t have an owner. I’m a lone wolf kind of cat. Pretty intimidating, if you ask me. I live in the shadows. The ones that appear in alleys with the tossed out fish from the farmer’s market. The absence of light that exists at the edge of every forest, where even the little critters of the underground don’t crawl for fear of making it too far into the open on the other side of the darkness.

I’m an exception. I go everywhere she goes.

I even go to Disney World.

That’s where I was born. Not me in concept, just me in name. Gary, the Tree Nut Sesame Cat.

Like I said, I don’t have an owner, I just kind of do. She’s this girl I have to follow around; kind of stalker-ish, you know? She doesn’t like me much. Probably because I’m really good at hiding in stuff. I’m like a freaking chameleon. Now you see me. Now you’ll never see me again.

Boom!

I’m fabulous. My tail is a shimmery length of beautiful obsideon sesame glory, and my face is equally as inky soft. My stomach is a mixture of leafy olives and browns; a personal shade of camo that lets me blend where needed. I am a lean, mean, hiding machine. I should be a private investigator. But, unfortunately, my occupation is probably closer to a hit man. I prefer the term elite death-bringer, though. There’s more of a charm to it.

Rupee told the world about me.

Lila gave me a name.

Danny snapped the only photo of me in existence today.

Until that day I was doing so well. And now, look at me. I’m a failure. A fluke. I’ve been seen. And now I’m stuck in the shadows.

Like a monster.

~~~~~

Okay, a little bit of explanation: I’m extremely allergic to tree nuts, sesame, and cats. Gary was created as a joke after my friends discovered a typo of sorts on my Medical I.D. bracelet. That’s about as much explanation as I can give to this incredibly strange post.

I know I didn’t really tell any kind of story. It was more of a post consisting of word vomit than anything else…

I’m so sorry this was so weird! It has just been declared a snow emergency in my area of Michigan and I’m trapped inside as it snows and snows and snows and JUST KEEPS SNOWING! Also, I have an insane amount of homework to do that I’m pushing off. I mean, I had to write this obscure and completely bizarre blog post, right?

I just couldn’t let you guys down!

Plus the Superbowl is on which means, more importantly, the Superbowl commercials are on. The Seahawks have to win because that’s the team Jimmy Fallon’s puppies picked, and we can’t let those puppies down!

I will try to write you an actual post tomorrow. One that makes sense (ish). At least one that has a general point!

Mel

Terrors of a Tower and a Whole Bunch of Other Nonsense

This is it. The last tale in the Theme Park Chronicles. Not that I have been calling it that this entire time, I just thought it sounded pretty intense for the last bit. Chronicles is such a meaty word, don’t you think? Pretty epic.

But that is so not the point of anything right now. Moving on…

The Tower of Terror. Yes, this was an interesting ride for many reasons; reasons that made it most entertaining for me, I think. Let me tell you why:

Danny, boyfriend of Lila, who is sister to Rupee, who invited me. Make sense? Cool. Danny and the Tower of Terror have a long and twisted past. But, before we get to that, let me set the scene.

Inside a Disney theme park. Where? Just outside of the Tower of Terror. At dusk. The sun is setting, and the sky is a collage of pinks, purples, and blues. Every now and then a small cloud might pass by, but it is nothing like the permanently drudging overcast that is Michigan’s sky, so we will forgive said cloud.

There is a perfect view of the Tower and the night is still, so the lights from its flickering sign can be seen for quite some distance. The screams from its occupants overpower almost all of the rides in the surrounding acre of the park.

[Sudden change of tense because I took a 45 minute Netflix break]

So, there we were, standing–well, no, Lila was sitting because she hurt her back–and we had a choice to make. To go, or not to go.

I’ve probably told you this before, but I love amusement rides. As far as roller coasters are concerned: the bigger the better. I love stuff like that. Just FYI. This comes up later in the story. Kind of. Basically, this is me telling you that I was the only one super excited to go on the ride. The other two were intent on going, but doing it a bit more… hmm… begrudgingly? Reluctantly? You get the picture.

Back to Danny. You see, when Danny was a little dude, his cousin… or was it uncle… both? Probably both. Anyway, his family decided to take him on the Tower of Terror without actually explaining to him what this ride was. So, there he was, little Danny of exactly 10-ish years of age (clearly my storytelling abilities have just flourished during my break from blogging!) scared out of his mind as he plummeted to his death atop the Tower of Terror. Or so he thought.

Because of this, the Tower of Terror had always haunted his memories.

We (mostly he) decided that we had to put an end to that.

So we went on the ride; Danny, Rupee, and I. Lila stayed behind because she was unsure if the sudden, jerking motions would hurt her back. She waited outside of the gate for us, and she was almost positive she could hear Danny screaming. Or was it Rupee? (I don’t know. I was laughing too hard.)

And so it began, our trek to the top of the tower. We had gotten Fast Passes which meant we could cut in line, since Danny had already planned (for quite some time before we actually got to Disney) to conquer his fear–to battle the tower–face to face for the first time in fifteen years.

It was going to be epic.

But first we had to get there.

Problem: They have this thing that they do at Disney, which is to REALLY get into the theme of whatever ride they are constructing. This, if you ask me, is totally cool… except when the ride is super dark, and the queue line is super dark, and you and your friends have bad vision to begin with. Then you just run into everything and wind up with bruises.

But, I mean, (cough) of course that didn’t happen to us, so it’s fine.

Now, for those of you who have never been to Disney World, or perhaps haven’t had a chance to go on the Tower of Terror ride for any variety of reasons, let me first tell you that the actual dropping portion of the ride doesn’t occur until the very end of everything. First you are shuffled into a dark room where they play a Twilight Zone episode about the Tower of Terror, where people in an elevator get struck by lightning and turn to ghosts. This is in a dark room. Then they move you into a queue to wait for the actual ride. Also in a dark room. Then you get on the ride. Guess what? Dark room.

Now add to this the problem that both Danny and Rupee wear glasses, so these had to be stowed away in my jacket pockets. So I am the only one who can really see.

Now add panic.

Why?

Because, at this point, that is exactly what Danny and Rupee are doing. Panicking and regretting their life decisions. As is a random Frenchman down in the first row who keeps cursing in French. I took French in middle school, high school, and college. Frankly, I’m not that great at French, but I know a curse word when I hear one. It was hilarious.

Sorry that I laughed at you when you were clearly regretting your life decisions, strange Frenchman. My bad.

The next part of the ride sends you down a horizontal track (as you near the dropping point), and during this ride they show you a bunch of random, strange, black and white videos that are meant to freak you out even more. Along the same Twilight Zone theme, I think. I didn’t really get it. I love scary things, but this was mostly just weird. Probably because the ride itself has been around for a while, so it was probably really freaky when it first started.

The worst part about all of this is that, unless you’ve ridden before (and recently), which none of us had, you never knew when you are going to drop.

Basically, between Danny stealing all of the armrests as he attempted to conceal his detriment (which he didn’t do very well since he screamed at almost everything; even the parts that weren’t scary) and Rupee’s constant shouting for a play-by-play of what was happening, since she wasn’t wearing her glasses, by the time we reached the “dropping chamber,” neither one of them had any energy left to be afraid, so it was pretty smooth sailing after that. (Do you like how this paragraph is all one sentence? Your welcome.)

In the end, it was decided (by Danny and Rupee) that the ride itself wasn’t that scary; it was all of the thinking-too-hard-about-it beforehand that really did them in. I thought the whole thing was rather amusing, frankly. Especially the French guy down in front, though he clearly didn’t think so.

Honestly, I think we would have gone on it again if the line wasn’t so long.

But, yeah, Danny overcame his fears and redeemed himself. Rupee found out that the Tower of Terror really wasn’t as bad as she thought it was going to be. And I laughed at everyone.

I think it was time well spent.

Mel 

P.S. A bunch of other stories occurred to me while I was writing this, so there may be more theme park posts in the future. They just won’t be in order, so I guess it will be a surprise! Woot woot!

P.P.S. Sorry that this post tends to shift in and out of past and present tense–even in places it shouldn’t. These are the consequences of procrastination and getting distracted by Netflix. Don’t do it kids! DON’T GO INTO THE LIGHT.

Okay, time for homework. Whoops!

Tips and Tricks for Studying Abroad: Expenses

It’s been a while since I have continued these blog posts. My apologies.

So this is the big one, huh? Everyone is worried about cost. How expensive is it going to be? Is it even affordable? How am I going to be able to pay for this and school? Etc. etc.

Yes, studying abroad is costly. Let me get that out of the way first. I doubt you are going to come across someone in your life who has studied abroad and will tell you that it was the easiest thing they’ve ever done, and that they didn’t have to spend any money to do it. That sounds awfully unrealistic.

However, if cost is your primary reason for NOT studying abroad, well, I am here to dissuade you from your dissuasion.

You can make studying abroad affordable.

1) The plane ticket. Depending on where you are going, there really isn’t much getting around this one. It’s expensive. My ticket cost around $1500 for a round-trip to London, England. HOWEVER, I didn’t pay for it. My school did.

How?

I applied for a grant that would allow me to do research as an undergraduate while at my university in England. I will use the information (books, authors, themes, etc.) I researched in order to write my thesis in the coming years.

This was my solution, but I realize this is not something everyone can do, so, the next step would be scholarships. Keep reading!

2) The tuition and program costs. Again, this can be expensive. But do not fear!

If you live in America and receive federal aid from the government to attend university, it is very likely that this will also apply to the program you are interested in. While this did apply to my program, if you are reliant on this funding I highly suggest you talk to the organizers at your school/university to make sure this will be in play for you. If not, I know it is possible to attend study abroad programs through other universities as long as your application is accepted (though, I really don’t know much about this. Just that it is possible.)

Next: scholarships. This is something I wish I had known in advance. There are scholarships all over the place for studying abroad! Some are based on financial need, some are based on your success as a student, and some don’t even require that many qualifications, other than the fact that you’re… I don’t know… a good person and haven’t committed a capital crime. I was able to receive $3,000 worth of scholarships through my school, and this was before I even had a chance to look for scholarships in my community. Of course, the deadline had already passed for these (which is why I’m telling you about this now!)

Look around, do research, ask faculty members at your university. Scholarships are all over the place. Believe it or not, people WANT you to have these opportunities. You just have to make sure to look for them.

3) Budget? This is a key part of studying abroad, if you ask me. Before you get to your final destination, wherever that is in the world, you need to have good sense of how much money you can spend and where.

If you are attending a good study abroad program, they should have some meal costs included in the tuition/program costs. For example, we were fed three meals a day M-F and breakfast on the weekends. I knew in advance that at least 8 meals that month were going to be my responsibility, so I needed to plan for these.

*Tip: Make sure you know the exchange rate for the currency of the country you will be studying in. When I was in England, the pound to dollar rate was 1: 1.5. This meant that for every pound I was spending, it was actually costing me one dollar and fifty cents. This is ESSENTIAL to know when you are trying to budget cost! 

You also might want to budget for any of the following: gifts, clothing (seeing as how I had to buy a new wardrobe, practically), extra food/snacks, travel, amusement (seeing a play, movie, museum etc.), bus fare, text books, miscellaneous, emergency (if a visit to the hospital becomes necessary), etc. There are more that can be added to this list, I’m sure, but I can’t think of them all right now. This is also something that most programs will go over with you thoroughly before you depart!

4) Travel outside of the program. As I have said in past posts, I didn’t just stay in England when I was studying abroad. I also managed to visit Scotland, Ireland, and France while I was on that side of the ocean. Many people don’t choose to travel outside of their program due to the singular factor of expense, but let me tell you now: your plane ticket is likely the most expensive single item of the trip, so you might want to take advantage of this fact and stay a little bit longer. I knew I was not going to be over there again any time soon, so I decided to do some exploring while I had the chance. Whether this is something you think you can do or not, here are my tips for you:

a. Plan in advance. Buy your train/plane tickets, book your hostels, find useful maps and print them out. Know how you are going to get from Point A to Point B. Know everything. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. The later you wait, the more expensive tickets will get, and the less likely it will be that you will find a good hostel that isn’t completely booked.

b. When booking your hostels and travel, buy the tickets together. I’m not saying to purchase a package, I haven’t looked into those, though they may be worth a go, I don’t know. All I am saying is that you shouldn’t have, say… paid for two nights at a hostel in Paris and not have booked the train at the same time. Because, I don’t know, then you might be left with only two weeks and no way to get to Paris, no refund, and a crap ton of anxiety. And then you have to pay a sinful amount of money for a train ticket that makes you physically cringe on the inside.

Not that this happened to, uh… me… or anything. *Cough*

~~~~~

Okay, off the top of my head, this is all I have for you as far as tips on expenses. There will be more, I’m sure, in future posts about studying abroad, but they’ll come to mind when they’re no longer important. Isn’t that how most things work?

I hope this was helpful to you, and I do plan to keep adding to my Tips for Studying Abroad page even though I took a massive break from posting. Look forward to those coming to you in the near future.

Also, the last post in my Theme Park stories is coming at you tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that one too! I have a very funny story to tell you about some scaredy cats and The Tower of Terror. It’s going to be great :)

Mel

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