Sunday, October 6, 2013

Irish Celebration

Before my lovely readers throw metaphorical rocks at me for being completely MIA for over a month, I'd just like to say I have a good excuse - I moved! To IRELAND!

(My brother, mother and I on the very popular Grafton Street in Dublin. lol wut) 

I fully realize I have a lot of explaining to do, so I've created a list of questions that I get pretty frequently. 

1) Why the fuck did you move to Ireland!? 
After I finished backpacking last year I realized two things - 1) I wanted to get my Master's degree and 2) I wanted to try living somewhere else besides the Bay Area. After looking at schools around the country and realizing that American Master's degrees are 2+ years and up to $100k, I started looking at schools abroad and found that not only is education in Europe/the UK significantly less expensive, but the degrees are finished within one full year. I knew I wanted to move to an English speaking country, so I looked at schools in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and found the perfect program for myself at Trinity College in Dublin. I had visited Trinity during my trip to Dublin as it's a very touristy school, and I fell in love with its beauty and history. Plus if you've followed my blog for a while you will know I love the shit out of Dublin. So I applied, got in, and here I am! (The process was much longer & difficult than that, but you get the gist!) 

2) What are you studying? 
Computer Science, with an emphasis in Interactive Digital Media. The types of media that I study include computer programming, authoring, audio engineering, video game creation, graphic design, media theory and film. My Master's builds on what I already studied for my undergrad, specifically when it comes to the actual computer science aspect of it, which I literally know nothing about. 

3) Why/how are you studying computer science if you don't know anything about computer science...? 
Dublin is quickly becoming a new up-and-coming city for interactive media - huge media corporations like Facebook, Google, Oracle, Twitter, DropBox, etc have recently opened offices here as their European headquarters. Because of that, there are many jobs available in this field, but sadly due to Ireland's current economic state there is a lack of people living in Ireland with the correct qualifications to fill these jobs, which could potentially help end the recession. So the Irish government and Trinity teamed up and now pick 20 people a year from around the world with different educational backgrounds and let them get their Master's in computer science at Trinity at a very reasonable rate - and I am now one of those people!

3) How do you like school so far? 
Campus is so beautiful that it's hard to dislike school! As far as my major goes, I've only just started, so I'm still meeting my classmates and getting used to the Irish education system, which is tooootally weird to me. I have class only 3 hours a day 5 days a week - but I have 12 (yes, 12) classes, all of which are really intensive. I do get homework, but a lot of it can be done during class hours. But my grades don't depend much on homework at all, most of my classes are graded entirely by examination, which is absolutely terrifying to me. I have a couple classes that I haaaaate, a couple that I really enjoy, and the rest are kind of just 'meh'. 

4) What is your living situation? 
Before I came to Dublin I got a message from a guy named Kyle on Trinity's "roommate finder" system saying that he was in my major and was looking for a flat mate. So when I came here I met up with him, he seemed cool, and we found a place to live within 3 days of me being here (I got SO, so, so so so so soooo lucky, I've met so many international students who after a month of classes are still living in hostels because they can't find accommodation.) I thought it might be a little weird living with a dude, especially one that I was not dating, but actually it has been the greatest thing ever. He is the easiest person to live with, as he gives no fucks. I'm free to decorate any way I want, plus he's a really considerate person and doesn't leave dirty dishes or any other crap lying around. As long as he can watch Netflix and play video games in the living room, he's happy. 
On another note, rent in Dublin is insanely cheap compared to San Francisco. In SF, I paid an absurd amount of money to share a room and a bathroom in a dorm complex in a not-so-awesome part of the city. In Dublin I pay the same amount - for the master bedroom, with my own bathroom, in a secured penthouse that's ten minute walk from the city center. Yes I know I'm being a bratty bragger - but my apartment is flippin' sweet, by far the nicest one I've ever lived in! 

5) How have you been adjusting to living across the world? 
I won't lie, it has been hard. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing to complain about -  I've been living very comfortably while adjusting to this opportunity. I had my mom & brother come over to help me out for a week which was amazing, and I got really lucky with finding accommodation and a roommate. But the journey has been frustrating to say the least. Moving internationally is NOT easy, its a long, tedious and very headache-inducing process. I won't go into details, but I've definitely been through some scary moments where I thought I was 100% screwed. I also find myself getting really sad and lonely sometimes. I've met lots of lovely people since I've been here, but so far they're all just acquaintances. I have yet to make any real friends or meet people that I hang out with regularly. I've been a bit of a drifter. It's really daunting, realizing that you're 5,000 miles away from home in a new country and completely out of your comfort zone. I'm still getting used to it. I'm hoping once I meet someone that I really click with it'll be easier. Every day is different, my brain typically varies between "oh my god I LUUURRVE Ireland I'm never going back to America EVAR!" to "Fuck this, fuck my life, why did I do this to myself, I'm dumb, someone teleport me to San Francisco or I'm going to drown myself in the river." 

Now that I'm settled down a bit and have more time for blogging, I'll definitely be posting updates about my Irish adventures. In fact, in just 9 days someone very special is coming to visit me and we have lots of fun things planned that I'm definitely going to document! So keep checking back, as I'll be sure to talk about my quest to find a leprechaun (and some friends...) as my strange journey continues. 

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