My name is Christina, I’m 32 years of age and I’m an American. I am currently waiting for my Tier 4 Visa approval to come back from the lovely, wonderful (are you reading this, Visa people?) folks in New York to decide that I’m worthy of studying in Scotland.
I also like long walks in the mountains…
Nope. Definitely sounds like a singles ad. *sigh* I suppose most Internet introductions come across like an ad for the desperately seeking, so please just bear with me here while I get all of the required details out of the way:
As stated above, I’m a 32-year old American who will soon be studying at Dundee. Yes, I’m old and was once a member of the full-time had-a-real-grown-up-job in the big-scary-world adult club. Don’t worry, if you aren’t already “old” like me, you will be one day! It’s actually quite an amazing period in one’s life, these thirties. I used to think I knew who I was and what I wanted, and then BAM!
I was standing on Luinne Bheinn out on Knoydart Peninsula one month after my 30th birthday and it hit me like a meteor hitting the earth: I had a severe dislike for the life I was living because I was living it in neutral.
So, how did I wind up at Dundee?
The short version: I spent another year at my job and saved money. I then packed up my car and headed for Washington State while taking a nonsensical – the route, not the trip – 6,000 mile driving, hiking, and camping trip through the US in order to decompress before starting a new phase of my life.
Oh, did I mention I left without a job lined up?
Insane, I know, but I had well laid contingency plans if I couldn’t find a solid job within the first few weeks. One of those contingency plans included applying to schools, which then branched out into applying to foreign schools; I mean, why not? I have precisely zero children, zero animals, and no husband.
Having fallen in love with Scotland in 2014, I immediately began researching schools in the UK. I wanted a university with a good reputation, one with a great location (hi, Cairngorms and Loch Lomond, anyone?), and one that continually showed advancement: Dundee offered all of those.
I applied for the Masters in European Studies and History program, thinking it was a long shot, but here I (almost) am!
It’s so strange to know that I will be of the same age as some of my professors and older than most of my fellow college students. I have also lived outside the safety net that is school while many of my peers will just be learning what it’s like to live away from home.
What I am excited about is the chance to be able to contribute by sharing the things I have learned; both the hard lessons and the simple truths. I don’t pretend to know everything, I just know that if I can help someone ease into the aforementioned big scary world or bring something more to the table during discussions, I will know that this decision to completely uproot my life was a good one.
I look forward to sharing my experience out on the hills, along the rivers, and out at sea with you as I adapt to university life as a “mature student” (this seems to be the pre-approved term for us non-traditional students), and joyfully adapt to living in the rugged beauty of Scotland.