Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Recap

With another year drawing to a close in the next few days, it's time for my yearly recap of what I've been up to, what I've learned, where I went, etc. It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone so quickly. I literally feel as if I was just sitting in my econometrics lecture post Christmas 2012. 

Albeit, time does fly, and 2013 was a year of growth and struggle. This year pushed me to new heights, changed me personally, academically, and professionally, and allowed me to see more of the world. I gained close friends along the way and said goodbye to those who were not meant to be part of my life. I traveled to numerous new cities and countries in search of a better understanding of the world, the view of the United States, and to get to know myself better.  


In January, after a month home in the States for a break, I started my second term at the London School of Economics. In January, I attended the Democrats Abroad Inaugural Ball with my friend, Zaina.  In the midst of schoolwork and travel plans, I also lent a hand during the SU London Center's orientation where I was reunited with friends from over the years. 


February was a busy month as I traveled to Princeton for the reading weekend of the Journal of Public and International Affairs. Within a few days of getting back from a weekend in the States, I headed to Dublin for a friend's birthday/girls' weekend.  In line with my goals of doing more tourist activities in London, I took a day trip to Oxford, a walking tour of St. Paul's/The City, and saw several musicals


March is my favorite month of the year, and this year was no different. At the start of March, I traveled to Amsterdam and Prague. March is also my birthday month. Turning 23 in London was an absolute blast! Following the completion of the Lent Term, the MPA held its annual ball before we headed off for a five-week break.  At the end of March, my Dad and I started our Father-Daughter Eurotrip that we had already dreamed about taking!


March quickly turned into April when my Dad and I were on our Eurotrip. We traveled to Ireland, Germany, and France in the first week or so. I took a solo trip to Scotland before venturing to Italy with my friend, Nicole. The last week of April was spent back in London preparing for one of the hardest periods of my life: exams. 


May was a rough month in my life this year. If you read through past posts, it's because of the way the UK higher education system is set up. Studying for six weeks straight was horrible. I did take a few breaks during this month.


June was exam month. Three exams in three days. One was a 100% of my grade. The other exam took place a week after.  The first two weeks of June combined with May were very long and stressful. Thankfully, I was rewarded with being able to spend the summer at home. The day I traveled home, my brother and his family also arrived home.  Oh, and I also went to the Sound for Change Concert and saw some of my favorite musicians perform including Queen Bey and Jay-Z!


July was a month of celebrations as I got word that I was officially advancing to the second year of the MPA. I was also reunited with one of my best friends from college for a weekend. We toured Seneca Falls, took a trip to CUSE, and laughed for hours. 


August was a slow month in terms of blog activity. But, I was busy celebrating my parents' birthdays, reading, reuniting with friends, and preparing to return to London. 


September was my last month of summer vacation. I started the month off in CT/NYC visiting some of my closest friends  and sightseeing. I was also able to run into one of my closest mentors and friends in the first week. The rest of the month was spent visiting Syracuse to see friends that are still undergrads or grad students, running errands to get ready to go back to London, and enjoying my last few days of freedom. 


October was my first month back in London after my summer in the States. It was also the month I started interning with the US Embassy as well as the month I started my second year at LSE. I was selected to be a part of the G4S Capstone group and elected to write a policy paper for the year instead of a dissertation.  As it could be my final year in London for a period of my life, I also elected to be a tourist as much as possible.  The MPA program kicked off the year with several parties including the annual boat party and retreat!


November  was the month I got wanderlust. I traveled to Romania, Luxembourg, and Germany throughout the month. Luxembourg was my second solo trip of the year.  I also attended the J.Crew London Store Opening, celebrated a few birthdays, explored more of the city, and did attempt to do schoolwork


And, the last month of the year…December.  I finished another term at LSE minus some homework over the winter break. I also finished my internship with the US Embassy. As the holiday season was in full bloom, I attended a few holiday parties, a couple of concerts, and took a trip to Bristol to see the city and the Christmas market.  Back stateside for a few weeks, I'm planning on seeing a few friends before the new year surfaced and getting my fair share of snow. 

Thanks for reading my 2013 recap. I'm happy and sad to see another year draw to a close. Yet, I'm also looking forward to a new year!! 

What were your favorite memories of 2013?