Doing a PhD is often said to be one of the toughest things you can do. I don’t think it’s that tough compared to some really tough jobs like teaching at an inner city public school, but it is lonely. It’s a mental battle all the way through, and some people don’t make it through in one piece.
For a hot minute, I thought I was through with it. I guess I can’t fully recover from the whole PhD until I’m done with everything. Later this year, when I’m truly done, then I’ll find relief. Although that feels like a long time from now, I’m glad for this space away from it so that I can reconfigure my life and actually start moving on.
I never thought it would come to this.
Let me explain. It’s not that I look at teenagers and say “darn kids these days,” although sometimes I do think it. It mostly has to do with what is going on in my old hood in New York City. I’ve been living abroad for the past 4 years, and in that time, some things have changed.
This is turning me into something I didn’t think I would become (at least not this soon): a bitter old lady.
It’s raw. It’s real. It’s New York City. Definitely not for the faint of heart, this city can eat you up and spit you out. Whether you are here for a few days, or a few years, these are a few tips that can help you get by in the concrete jungle.
Spring might be the best season in New York City, but it might also be the shortest. Spring in New York is all about taking advantage of the moment. New Yorkers joke that it lasts about 2 weeks before summer takes over, with the humidity and heat that comes with the harsher season.
But New Yorkers know that this time is precious, so it’s a happy time for all. We get to shed our winter layers, and enjoy some sunshine. Even when the sun isn’t shining, it’s still quite pleasant in the city. I went to see the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens cherry blossoms in bloom. I also ventured a bit along the High Line Park!
I have a confession to make. I don’t do many outdoorsy things in New York. Besides playing ultimate, I spend most of my leisure time doing things indoors. Sometimes I’ll go to the park, especially if it is with my niece, but for the most part I stay inside.
That means I haven’t even begun to do much hiking in my home state. But luckily, my sister’s friend drove us up to the Catskills a few weekends ago and we did a short hike to the tallest two tiered waterfall in the area. This is the Kaaterskill Falls hike!
This weekend marks the start of the tryout season for club teams in my sport of ultimate. Commonly known as ultimate Frisbee (but for trademark reasons officially “ultimate”), this is a pretty intense sport that has dreams of someday being a part of the Olympics.
Featuring full field 7 on 7 gameplay, this is the sport I’ve played for nearly 16 years now. Time and experience doesn’t mean I’m spared from nerves and butterflies, but if I can travel the world solo, then I can do this!
Sometimes where you live determines the standard of living you can afford. It can be a harsh reality, or something you deal with and plan for.
Over the last 5 years, I’ve lived in 3 of the most expensive cities in the world: New York, Singapore and London. Although salaries are generally higher in these cities to match the cost of living, if you are a poor student like me then you still need to be a bit careful with your money. Here’s what I learned from living in some of the most notoriously money-sucking cities of the world.
I’ve been home in New York City for about three full weeks now. Home as in the hometown I grew up in, but also home as in with my parents in the apartment I grew up in. Although I’m living at home and in my thirties now, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. I haven’t gone completely insane yet, but I might be reaching my limit. There are some cons, but the pros outweigh them by far!
That’s it, I’m done with London! Although my student visa for the UK goes until May 2017, I’m leaving London in 2 months. Not that there is anything wrong with London. It’s just not working out for me at the moment given life and circumstances.
How I got here
I’m in a joint PhD program that allowed me to spend half the time in Singapore and half in London. I lived in Singapore for most of 2013 and 2014. In January 2015, I moved to London with the intention of staying through until I finished my PhD. I kept my mind open to the idea of staying in London, but wasn’t sure either way. Now a few short months from finishing, I had to decide how I would deal with my living and financial situation. Continue Reading
Back in December, I wrote about going to the first official cat cafe in New York City as being one of the things on my to do list when I visited home. This past May, I finally made it there…for about half an hour.
I thought I would want to stay for hours. But I didn’t. The cats were beautiful and cute enough, but it just didn’t feel like the cat cafe that I’ve been waiting for. (And maybe this cat feels the same way). Continue Reading