Check-in: 177 days until departure

Hello, all.

I have liked every page that could conceivably relate to me – KCL’s general Facebook page, the page for the War Studies Department, the page for the student organizations, the KCL internships page, Time Out London’s page. I’ve also followed every professional London theatre whose Twitter feed wasn’t a wreck, every analogous Twitter account for the above listed Facebook pages, and the president of the KCL Student Union. Just for fun.

I check the weather in London just about every time I check my own weather – I’ve made it a page on my phone’s weather app. I conveniently have a comparison across seasons between what I’m used to and what London tends to experience. I’ve been doing this since January.

I am paralyzed – not with indecision, but with the lack of decisions needing to be made. There is nothing, in this moment, that I need to do.

This is very much a”hurry up and wait” type deal. I have a lot to do – you should see my checklists – but they all have a specific start date, or I have to wait for someone else to do their bit, or any information I find will be useless by the time I’m actually ready to use it. So sure, I can lay around and watch all of The Big Fat Quiz of the Year for the past decade and I can write a countdown into my planner and I have pretty much memorized the instruction page on how to apply for housing, but I can’t actually do much that needs doing yet.

I have, however, been invited to the Facebook group for the School of Social Science and Public Policy Offer Holders. It’s all the people who have been offered a place in the postgraduate programs for the Departments in this school, plus a few moderators employed by the school to answer questions. I have been wracking my brain for days, trying to think of an analogous old-school practice, but have thus far come up short. The “Facebook group the size of a small city” is entirely of our own creation. Sorry, baby boomers.

I can offer an update to the housing situation: Within the next few weeks I will receive my login information that will allow me access to the housing portal. The portal opens April 4th. Bless.

Otherwise, though, life mostly still consists of reminding myself anew every morning that I do actually have to maintain a 3.5 GPA this semester – I’m in very little mathematical danger no matter what, but the threat to my current 4.0 is enough to keep me attentive. I’m trying to strategically use up, as much as possible, all of the stuff I’ve somehow accumulated: more bottles of travel-sized lotion than any human being needs, a bunch of old eyeliners and makeup samples, some bath bombs I ordered last semester and am slowly depleting… You get the idea. I want to strategically use this stuff so that I have as little of the “don’t really need it but can’t bring myself to throw it away” category as possible when May rolls around.

Other than that, it’s largely business as usual, with one minor difference: I’m making a concerted effort to avoid thinking of the next few months as some sort of purgatory. I’m not “biding my time” through them, and I refuse to center my entire life around the lead-up to September 5th. I’m going out of my comfort zone, cultivating relationships, reading, occasionally binge-watching a TV show, exercising (voluntarily!), doing some independent study… In short, I’m living my best life right here, right now, in a small city in Arkansas.

Until next time,

Ashley