The Update Series: Travel

For the last chapter of the series, travel. I have already said before that I used to think I wanted to travel. Nothing about that has changed. I still don’t like traveling just for the heck of it. So with that said, I want to go somewhere for a reason, like a reason involving another person. Like to go visit them. Or to travel with them. I like people usually.

At some point within these last two months, I want to visit Finland to see Kirsi and I also want to see northern and western Estonia. I haven’t been to the islands yet and that’s a problem for a water-lover like myself. Whenever May hits, I hope to be away from Tartu more often than not because I will only have classes on Mondays and sometimes on Wednesdays.

I’m babbling about the little things. The travel I initially wanted to talk about was my ticket out of this country. I plan to leave Estonia at the beginning of June, as soon as I can. I am hoping to go to Thailand before coming to the States to go see Jasmine in her natural habitat. I think it would be neat to meet her dogs and to see her house and her culture, especially since this may be the only chance to do that in a while. Tickets from Sweden to Thailand are around $250. You can’t beat that by flying from the US directly to Bangkok. I am not sure how long I would stay there, but I am thinking maybe two weeks. It all depends on ticket prices.

I’m sure you are wondering about the Russia trip but I don’t feel like addressing that. It was stressful, tiring, pretty, and very fun. The end. Talk to me in person about it if you really want to know how it went.

I am looking forward to returning to Oklahoma. Of course, I have my fears and anxieties but I am also excited to only have to do things in English again. Also, there’s Walmart. I miss being able to read nutrition labels on packages and being able to go to one place to buy EVERYTHING I need. And I am ready to see my family and to have my own room with my very famous and well-known bed. Dear english teachers of the past, I hope you enjoy my run-on sentences!

The Update Series: Friends

I have written a handful of times about relationships and the importance of them. So where am I now with friendships? I have no clue. I have pretty much given up on meeting new people, that’s too much work and quite exhausting. I won’t turn down a new face if they come to me but I certainly am not going to approach them first.

I would say my friends are in tiers and then two islands. There are three tiers: upper, middle, and lower. On the top level, there are the mentors. Those are the ones that I look up to and go to talk about serious problems. I have two or three in that section. The middle tier are the close friends. Those are the people that I spend a good portion of time with. Again, there are about three in that group. And the bottom tier are the acquaintances, the people that I speak to occasionally. These people do not include people I rarely speak to; these are the people that I see at events and such that I would talk to like a friend but we don’t hang out. I will not name names because that ruins the mystery of it all and I have to remember that real people that I know read this.

Now for the islands. There are two islands. There is the island of family and a Thai, and there’s a slightly smaller island of those who have contacted me periodically while I have been living here. I miss my family and my Thai and my dog.

If I think about it for too long, I will start to psych myself out about not having friends and that whole situation freaks me out. I know that I do have friends but it’s often that it doesn’t seem so. But anyway, that’s where I am at with relationships. No boyfriend either.

The Update Series: Education

School sucks. End of story. But on the bright side, I only have one more semester after this one (as long as things transfer right and I don’t fail the classes while I am here). In all honesty, I am not a fan of what I am studying; European Studies with a concentration on Eastern Europe and Russia. I’m so tired of Russia. Why? It’s just so overwhelmingly depressing in every aspect except the space race, gymnastics, and it’s metro system.

Here’s what I think about learning: I love it. I truly do. I love to learn, I just don’t like to be tested on what I was supposed to learn from the lectures. As soon as there is the comment of “quiz”, “test”, or “paper”, I focus more on memorising the material for the short term instead of actually learning what it is that is being taught. I have noticed even more this semester as I sit in my five different masters classes and just type notes, that I have no idea what the professor is talking about. I know myself well enough that I probably won’t go back to look at the lecture notes online, just my own notes. And when a professor puts up a slide presentation of notes, all I can do is copy rather than listen to write down what is actually important. But whatever. I just need to pass the classes.

Another thing about these new courses is that there are two group assignments that I have to do. I never thought I was one of those that absolutely loathed group assignments, but then I realised, whenever only a select few in the class are actually interested in what you are interested in, the group work is almost impossible to get through without wanting to punch someone in the kidney. I understand that my ideas are not the best option every time, but that does not mean we should just accept another idea just because it sounded cool. That idea is impractical for a hypothetical semester project. It’s not a real project, dang it!

For the most part, I have no motivation to go to classes and when I am there, I have no interest in the topics to even listen. I try, don’t get me wrong. And I usually last through the first 30 minutes. Classes are 90 minutes long. The last ⅔ of class are a serious struggle. There are three phases of class: (1) copy notes, add own comments, listen and understand most of what the professor is talking about, (2) copy notes and try to listen but have no idea what the professor is talking about, (3) copy notes, think to self how much I hate school, and become discouraged because I no longer have any idea of what the professor is talking about and therefore no longer am listening. At stage 3, I also think to myself, why am I here when I am just copying what will be posted online anyway? It’s a terrible cycle, I know.

I’m burnt out. And I am not looking forward to my last semester because of that stupid capstone paper and returning to the dreaded block schedule for classes. You know the system, having classes Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday. American university is, by far, more busy work than European university.

The Update Series: Health and Spirit

I have been battling with what I believe for probably close to 3 years. Lately, it has been especially difficult but I will say that I am not ready to give up. I will keep this part vague because it’s too personal to share over a blog post. As for my actual body, I would say it’s exhausted, stressed, and a bit malnourished.

I’ll explain a bit further. I am exhausted from not enough “good, deep” sleep. And I would relate that to being stressed out. School is stressful, my place of living is stressful, my rocky relationships are stressful, living abroad is stressful. I’m so tense and because of it, I’ve been getting migraines and headaches more frequently (I have a headache right now as I type this). And what could be contributing to the headaches? Malnourishment. Now, I don’t mean that I am starving or something like that. I just mean that I am not getting enough sunlight (lack of vitamin D) and I am not eating enough of the right foods to keep my body healthy. I eat a ton of fruit compared to other food types and as for meats, I usually don’t eat it unless someone else cooks it. And because of how far I live from school at this point, I tend to miss/skip meals.

I have not lost weight since I have been living here though. Instead, I have lost fat and gained muscle. That’s probably from all the walking and climbing up and down stairs because I don’t actually do anything out of the ordinary or play sport. I’m sure that my body is actually more healthy than it was in the US because of the foods I am eating (a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, leaner meats, nearly no pre-packaged foods, and very little breads and pastas). So overall, yeah. I’m alive! Eastern Europe hasn’t killed me with their meat and potatoes.  But I really should eat more often.

The Update Series: Living Situation

Firstly, I am moving. That’s right, it is happening again!. After 7 stressful months of not feeling at home or safe to be myself in the place that is supposed to be my home, I am trying again. An old classmate from last semester has agreed to take me in, which is extremely exciting but also freaks me out a bit. I think I haven’t slept well lately because of school and my home situation so I am hoping that these last two months will finally let me be able to relax and rest.

Anyway, I’ll tell you about this lovely classmate. Her name is Anke. She is married and has a toddler boy. Her and her husband are from Germany. Anke is half-German, half- Australian and Aris is half- German, half- Greek. They are both Baha’is, musicians, and missionaries and are planning to be in Estonia for two years. I’m so tired right now and am siting in a class lecture on family and children so I apologise for this post being so dry and factual.

You may ask, so why are you moving to Aris and Anke’s place? (1) I was looking for a place to live that’s closer to the centre of town. This would help with travel time to class, allow me to not have to be so dependent on the buses, and cut down on bus costs. (2) I was looking to find a cheaper place that would be less than 175€, the current amount I am paying for rent per month. Surprisingly, Anke and Aris both agreed that they can house me for much cheaper. (3) I was hoping to find a more relaxed place to live, one that I could openly be myself and not have to feel like I am walking on glass. I have no idea if moving will help with this part but it’s worth a shot since the other two points will be an improvement.

I am nervous about living with a toddler and having to cope with the noise and tantrums. I am also nervous about moving in with a family I don’t know much about, but I guess that’s pretty much the same thing I did before with my current situation. I will say, however, that the atmosphere of the family already feels much more open and inviting.

The Update Series

It’s time to write again. I haven’t had the discipline to sit down and update you all about what is going on in my life lately. I really want to talk about the upcoming changes that are going to occur and some of the past occurrences. This will be a series of posts, one each day: Living Situation, Health and Spirit, Education, Friends, Travel.

Also, a song for the fun of things. Walk On By by Noosa.

Memories

I know that I should write about Russia or about the new semester, but instead, I want to write about this idea of memory. It’s funny because no matter how angry, upset, or hurt I may get, I can still miss the person that caused these emotions. And as I look back on photos, I am realising how I may never see these people, these memories, again. As the saying goes, Life Goes On. And in order for life to continue, we must meet new faces and make new memories, not dwell on past experiences. So here I say, thank you all for the memories, might they be good or bad, and say that I miss each and every one of you in a different and very specific way. You all have shaped me into who I am today. See you when I see you!

-Sav.

The Pit

Do you ever feel like you’re falling? Not just falling but as if you’re standing outside of your body and witnessing yourself fall? And there’s nothing you can do to stop this path? And rather than allowing yourself to fall, you grab ahold of anyone and anything you can on the path down? Not that this will keep you from falling, but maybe it will slow you down or distract you. But it doesn’t. It causes more damage along the way, distancing and destroying relationships that were once built. I’m watching myself fall, waiting to crash at the  bottom. Vomit.

New Chapter

I have officially moved, as in there is nothing that is tying me down to the dormitories any more. Also, I leave for Russia tonight. I have no idea how I feel about that, a mixture of nervousness and excitement. Tickets are all purchased and places to stay are set. Shelby is waiting for me on the other side of the water!

What’s been going on lately, you may ask? Well, I have been quite busy, but busy by choice which makes it more enjoyable. December was filled with Christmas parties and youth camp. New Year’s came and another party happened. I moved. Visiting Shelby is next. And something small that I will hide in this post, I may be staying in Estonia a bit longer than planned. I won’t speak about that quite yet though.

I honestly want to have a rant about what’s been bothering me but as soon as I come to type, those emotions dissipate and I am left with a flow of thoughts being put into words, some thoughts that were never actually solidified earlier. So I apologise if this is just word barf to you. I can say that I am anxious about this trip and I don’t know if there are other things that are bothering me lately (there probably are) enough that I have been having trouble sleeping. One example of this was a few nights ago when I couldn’t fall asleep until 6:30 and then woke up at 10:00. And last night, falling asleep at 2:00 and waking up at 6:00 and not being able to go back to sleep. So here I am, pretty much in sleep debt and exhausted, but trying to keep a positive attitude and get the tasks done that I need to do before I leave.

Shelby, this had better be worth it! As I type this, I am listening to a music group called “Sleeping At Last” (ironic, I know). Give him a listen, he’s quite nice.

The Lighthouse and The Whaler

Here’s the band I was all excited about. I can’t say that I am as excited now as I was a few days ago when I found them. The Lighthouse and The Whaler is a band from Ohio consisting of 4 guys, each with very different backgrounds. If you want to read about each person, go to their webpage. Their music is similar to Two Door Cinema Club and something folksy that I don’t care to relate them to.

I like Venice, Burst Apart, and This Is An Adventure.

Sorry for being late! Happy Wednesday!

A blog comprised of adventures and thoughts from a university student from Oklahoma.

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