4 Years Later: A Reflection on Study Abroad

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January 24, 2015 was a day that changed my life forever.

In 2011 I visited London for the first time on a band trip. It was love at first sight and I immediately felt like I was at home in the city. We left London for Paris after just a couple of days but I told my friends that I would be back in a few years to Study Abroad.

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Studying abroad scared me to death even though it was something I knew that I had to do in my heart and soul. It was something I had wrestled over doing for years but knew that I would be regret it if I didn’t. So I packed my bags, gave notice to my job, and left.

When I said goodbye to my mom, dad, sister, and Brett at the airport I tried to stay strong. But the moment I got through security I completely lost it and sobbed all the way to my departure gate. Luckily enough, I was traveling with a girl from my home university who would end up being my roommate in London. She showed me true kindness that day and I’m really grateful that I had her there with me.

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I’ll never forget the moment I saw Regent’s University for the first time. I had studied pictures, maps, and brochures for months but nothing prepared me for what I saw when I arrived. The dorms were like something out of a Harry Potter movie. The university itself was small but beautiful.

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

I made friends life-long friends at orientation that week and found myself exploring the city with my classmates. It was freeing.

My family likes to joke that I was born old. I’m a homebody and I always tend to take care of others before myself. I started working at 17 and took that job very seriously. In college I worked long hours and went to class full time in order to graduate in 4 years. Studying abroad was my chance to be selfish. To worry only about my happiness and to finally take some time off of work and act my age.

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Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.comEaster Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

I felt like a brand new person. I was the “fun” friend for once in my life. One of my friends even called me “irresponsible” which at first upset me but looking back I’m so happy that I got to not be the responsible one for the first time. I had a great group of girls to hang out with. We traveled on weekends and during Easter break. We had lunch together everyday and they really seemed to get me.

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Sometimes I wish I could go back. On our honeymoon in 2017 we went to London and visited Regent’s. I e-mailed a few weeks before to get visitors passes for campus so that I could officially show Brett around. We sat in the library, walked through the refectory, and went by every classroom that I had classes in. We walked through the park and admired the grounds in the summer. But something was missing.

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London will always be my favorite place to visit. It will always be the home of some of my happiest memories. It will always be the place where I met my best group of friends. And it will always be the place where Brett asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.

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Our honeymoon showed me that it’s okay to move on. London will always be waiting for me and my friends will always be just a WhatsApp message away. Things have changed but I’m still grateful that I got to be the “fun” friend for a few months. I really found myself when I was in London and discovered who I am as a person. But London is no longer my home. My home is now with Brett and it’s time to make new memories.

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4 years ago I took a giant leap of faith when I stepped aboard an airplane flying from Chicago to London. That terrifying decision was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Everyday I am grateful that I had the experience to meet friends from all over the world. And I am SO glad that I had this blog to document all of the moments of my time in London. I love looking back on my study abroad posts.

Thanks so much for reading!

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2018: Third Quarter Goals

2018 Third Quarter Goals

Goooood morning and Happy Monday!

I can’t believe that we are already half way through 2018! This year is going by so quickly and now that summer is here I would really like time to slow down a bit 🙂

You may be wondering why I do quarter goals instead of monthly or annual goals if you haven’t read my first and second goal posts. I really like to give myself extra time to complete goals so monthly goals are out of the question. However, a year is too much time to concentrate on my goals so splitting them into four parts makes them more manageable!

The second quarter of 2018 proved to be a very trying time for me. I learned a lot but I am happy to leave the events in the past. I’m ready to have a fresh start in third quarter!

  1. Finish unpacking. Yes, we moved in March and yes, we still have a few boxes to unpack. I’d love to go into fourth quarter with an unpacked house with fully built furniture. Moving is hard and I feel like we will never run out of things to do but we are loving being homeowners!
  2. Teach Oscar some basic commands. Oscar can already sit pretty well and is on his way to being fully potty trained. I would love to focus on his leash walking skills, stay, shake, and getting him to fully recognize his name.
  3. Create some work-life balance. Ugh, this is so hard for me but I really need to learn to put myself first! I have been so stressed at work and it’s not good for me or my co-workers. I have been trying to leave on time, take lunches, and get up from my desk instead of being locked up all day.
  4. Finish up all of our remaining wedding items. This includes picking up our wedding video from the videographer, writing vender reviews, finishing our wedding album, writing some wedding related blog posts, and thanking the many people who helped make our day special again.
  5. Go on a date with Brett. I can’t remember the last time Brett and I truly went on a date just the two of us. I would love to see a movie, go to dinner, or grab ice cream and just chat. We have both been so busy and I honestly miss him! Some nights we have to stay up late talking because we haven’t been able to spend any time together and we have a lot to catch up on.
  6. Start planning our next adventure. I miss traveling and I am longing to get out of the country for a bit. Our honeymoon in London was SO fun and I constantly think about it. Brett and I have so much fun traveling together and right now he works for an airline so we fly stand-by for free. We need to take advantage of these benefits and get away!

These are just a few of the things that I am hoping to accomplish over the next couple of months! I know 2018 will be over before we know it so it’s time to really kick my booty into gear!

Thanks for reading!

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

Image via Unsplash

The Reason Why I Quit Blogging

The Reason Why I Quit Blogging

Hello, friends! Today I thought that I would share the reason why I quit blogging for over a year.

I did mention back in the fall of 2015 that I was taking an Internet Marketing class that I had to start a blog for. So, Adventures of Hayley began and I hated every minute of it. The class was all about getting views, comments, and likes. I was obsessed with my blog stats and humiliated when I didn’t do well. My professor made us talk about our blogs in front of the class on a weekly basis and I hated comparing myself to others. I used to blog because I loved it but this project made me start to despise blogging.

Not only did I start to hate blogging, I also started to hate my major. I majored in Electronic Business Marketing. I thought that I wanted to go into Social Media Marketing after graduation. But as graduation quickly approached and my Internet Marketing class continued to depress me I realized that maybe I didn’t want to do what I thought. It was too late to change my major as I was about to graduate in spring so I just kept going.

After graduation I stopped blogging completely. I was confused about what I wanted to do with my life. I applied and interviewed for a few marketing positions but none of the prospects were very exciting. I eventually applied for a finance position on a whim and became very interested and invested in the position. After interviewing for three months, I finally started my new job in October of 2016.

After working for a while in finance I realized that I missed having a creative outlet.  I tried to start blogging again several times but it just didn’t feel right. I was also planning a wedding which took up most of my free time. Now that I am  a married woman I have once again found myself missing blogging.

So, that’s the story of why I quit blogging. I stopped focusing on the joy of blogging and only thought about the statistics. It’s okay to both enjoy the process of blogging and also enjoy watching your blog grow. But over my 4+ years of blogging I have encountered numerous roadblocks and have let myself get discouraged by them. I’d like to just enjoy the process of blogging from now on. I’d like to interact with other bloggers and re-join the amazing blogging community.

Thank you for reading!

 

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I’m Graduating!!

Hello again!

I won’t make any excuses as to why I haven’t blogged since October. But I do apologize and I promise that I have been very busy! I was blogging over on Adventures of Hayley all last semester for my Internet Marketing class. If you want to read about my travel adventures please visit!

I have big news though:

I’M GRADUATING ON APRIL 30TH!!!

I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s in Business Administration. My major is Electronic Business Marketing with minors in General and International Business.

It seems like just yesterday I was moving into my freshman year dorm and signing up for my very first college classes. Now I’m sitting here applying for “big girl” jobs and getting ready to graduate! College goes by so fast. I’m not exactly sad to see it go; I’m just trying to figure out my next move from here.

I’ve shared my class schedule on the blog before and it’s always cool to be able to look back at it in the future. So here are the classes I am taking this semester:

  • Advanced Internet Marketing
  • Consumer Behavior
  • International Marketing
  • Urban Politics in the U.S.

Those are the final four classes that I have to take in order to graduate! I seriously cannot believe that I am about to reach such a huge milestone in my life! I almost want time to slow down a little so that I can enjoy these final couple of months. But at the same time, I am ready to start my adult life and find a job that makes me really happy.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I will be back again soon with another post!

Is anyone else graduating this semester?

P.S. My laptop is broken so I’m not able to post any pictures 😦

Monday Motivation!

Monday Motivation //  www.lifeofhayley.com

Hello, friends!

It’s been awhile since I last posted and to tell you the truth, I’ve just been feeling a little discouraged about my current life situation. I figured I would do a little “Monday Motivation” post to kick off the week and remind everyone that you can do anything that you dream of doing. You just have to believe and work your butt off to make your dream come true!

I’ve always had big dreams and am very motivated. I’m especially motivated when someone tells me that I can’t do something. My mom raised me to believe that I can do whatever it is that I want to do and I have always done just that.

Last week I had a two hard days in a row. The first one was when a professor basically told me that I was failing at a class project. He called me out in front of the class and I was mortified. It was unprofessional and honestly very embarrassing.

At first I really let his words get to me and then I decided to prove him wrong. I will be successful and get my revenge on him. He is simply another reason why I am determined to succeed.

Most people my age work hard to find an internship related to their field of study. However, I decided to keep my high school job and just work up the ladder as far as I could. I’ve been promoted twice since graduating high school and am currently in a positon that I never even dreamed would be possible. I’ve worked so hard to get where I am and even surpassed my own goals!

My point is, is that you can do anything and no one should be able to tell you that you can’t.  I believe in you and I hope that you believe in yourself too!

Thanks for reading!

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The Final Fall Semester

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Hello, friends!

Thanks for the overwhelming support on my last post! I’m so thrilled to finally have been able to share the amazing news with you guys! The reason it took me so long was that I have been extremely busy since returning home to the U.S.

As I have said before, when I returned to work I was offered a promotion that has turned into a really great work experience. It is challenging yet very rewarding but does take up a lot of my time.

This summer I also took two very time-consuming classes that I am very glad to be done with. Now I am taking five classes this fall and working at the same time. I can’t believe that this is my senior year in college. In just a few short months I will have completed my Bachelor’s degree!

Today I had a meeting with my adviser so I thought that I would stop by and share how my final fall semester is going so far. My current classes are listed below:

• Strategic Business Solutions
• Business Web Architecture
• Legal Environment
• Internet Marketing
• Advertising and Promotion

After this semester I only have four more classes left to take before graduation! College went by way too fast…

For my Internet Marketing class, one of the projects is to build a blog that represents your own personal “brand.” I really didn’t want to start another blog but I had to for this assignment. I am now also blogging at Adventures of Hayley which is my brand new travel blog. I would love it if you could stop by and read, like, comment, or follow it because I have to reach certain milestones for the class. I would also appreciate it if you could take my anonymous survey!

Thanks for reading and for your continued support!

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Image via Unsplash 

Our Next Big Adventure

Welcome back! I know I said in my last post that I had some exciting news to share with you and I am very sorry that it took me this long to tell you! But, I’m engaged!

We're engaged!

I met Brett in 2011, the summer before my senior year of high school. I was 17 and he was 19 when our mutual friend introduced us. We talked for a while and then finally had our first date at a mini golf place. He won, but I did get a hole-in-one which really impressed him I’m sure.

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Brett was there for me during one of the most important years of my life. He cheered me on at band competitions and solo and ensemble. He listened to hours of me playing the flute, helped me with my math homework, and danced with me at prom. He watched me walk across the stage at graduation, helped organize my graduation party, and moved me in to my very first dorm room.

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Fortunately, when we met Brett was already attending the college that I was planning on going to so it was no surprise when we ended up at the same university. He was a couple of years ahead of me so he was able to walk me to all of my classes and show me around campus. He answered all of my questions and made my first couple of years really great.

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I had always wanted to study abroad and he knew that from the start. Brett was so supportive of my dream and always told me that I would really regret it if I didn’t go. The four months away from him were very hard and I missed him so much. We talked every day but it wasn’t the same and I missed having someone to share my life with. It was not easy being apart for so long and I couldn’t do it again but I am so glad that I had the opportunity to study abroad.

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The most amazing part of my trip was when Brett came and visited me with my mom and sister at the end. He came a few days early so we had plenty of time to explore together. We visited London, Denmark, and Ireland together.

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On May 29th, the day before I returned to the U.S., we spent the day visiting all of my favorite places in London. I said goodbye to Big Ben, drank my last cup of British tea, and ate one last dinner with Anna Sophie in Camden. That night I was freaking out about leaving. Brett and I went down to the lobby of our hotel to print boarding passes and he asked me to take a walk with him.1100

Our hotel was near Heathrow Airport since we all were leaving bright and early the next day. The area surrounding our hotel was a little neighborhood where we walked along the streets. We talked about our excitement of being back together again and going home. Then Brett got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. And I said yes!

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It wasn’t easy coming home but knowing that I get to spend the rest of my life with such a wonderful man made everything so much better. He honestly makes me so happy and I know that he will always support and love me!

I’m so happy to finally share the great news with you and am looking forward to wedding planning! We are starting our life adventure together and I could not be happier!

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any wedding planning/marriage tips that I should know about!

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