What’s In Your Handbag?

Hey people!

So some days are for deep, reflective posts, but days like today are for fun, totally random discussions; like what exactly is in your handbag? I never really paid much attention to the contents of my handbag, I just “grab n go” but today, I actually looked inside my bag and here’s a list of what I found:

  1. Two chapsticks ( that I never use, and didn’t even know I had)

  2. One Eos lip balm ( ok, I actually use that one because it’s kinda sweet)

  3. Two safety pins! To think that I had been searching all over for a pin all day!

  4. Six pens. What am I writing? Really???

  5. A pack of gum. That’s a staple, I always have gum.

  6. Three rubber bands and one black hairband.

  7. The lip gloss I stole from my sister that I have NEVER used!

  8. My cute note pad because well, inspiration.

  9. My wallet ( In which you’ll find passport photos of my nuclear family, letters from more than 10 years ago, complimentary cards from people I no longer recollect meeting, coins, dental floss, atm cards, etc because yes, there’s more.

  10. My spare earphones

  11. A Daniel Steel novel that I have been trying and failing to read.

  12. Numerous receipts from grocery shopping and miscellaneous buying.

I didn’t realize I had all that stuff in my handbag, I might get rid of some of them or not, who knows? What’s in your handbag? Tell me, I would love to know!

Oh! Nothing to see here. Just me, goofing around in my PJs on a Friday night 😉

Oh! Nothing to see here. Just me, in my cool PJs dancing the Friday night away😊

Ps: if you have any topic you’d like for me to write about please, please leave a comment below!

XO,

Adaugo

Five Things I Wish I’d Known Before Schooling Abroad!

So you’ve decided to school abroad? Awesome! It’s an amazing decision and I wish you Godspeed. It’s an exciting phase, after all the visa hassles and the mountain of forms and emails and phone calls, you’re finally set, but before you set things in stone, stop and reevaluate and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I made when I went for my MBA.

Here’s five things I wish I knew:

1. Adequate Information About My School– In my case, I was in such a hurry to leave Nigeria and school abroad and unfortunately, I didn’t do due diligence on my choice of school. I happened to be in America for work and when I had free time I looked at a couple of schools. My school got back to me first and the fees seemed reasonable so I just committed and boy! Did I pay for it. If I had researched properly, I might have found out that since F1 visa holders cannot work while in school except on the school campus, it was imperative to get into a school where I could find employment on campus. I didn’t ask and as it turned out, I couldn’t work on campus because my school didn’t have provisions for that!. Also, I didn’t check for the rating of the school or their credibility or how helpful their alumni association was, There were a lot of things I was in the dark about and it haunted me so please, ask, ask and ask. Do your research online, send emails to your academic adviser, until you are satisfied with all the answers you have!

2. Figure Out Your Accommodation Before You Leave- Again, my school did not have provisions for accommodation and though I was lucky enough to stay with a friend who lived nearby, when I eventually moved to my own place it was far from school. The bus routes were as complicated as further maths and if I wasn’t blessed to have friends that drove me to and from school every week, I would have been toast! (Heartfelt shoutout to Bube, Kem, Rukky and Ugo for the countless rides to school, y’all are the real mvps!!!) so be sure that you can live on campus, work on campus so you can afford to live elsewhere or save ENOUGH before you leave home so that you won’t be stranded.

3. Read ALL Your Paperwork- I cannot overemphasize this point! Read it all!!! No matter how much it is, before you sign anything be sure to read and reread it because once you sign, there’s not much room for change. Again let me give you my example. So like I said, when I found my school, between my mother and I, the fees were doable so it wasn’t really an issue. However, half way during my second quarter, 7,500 dollars was “miraculously” added to my fees! And I couldn’t do jack about it because I had signed the papers! If I had read it with a fine tooth comb, I wouldn’t have found myself in that fix so again, read, read and read some more until you are completely sure.

4. Be Sure About Your Next Step After Graduation- I did my MBA in America so I cannot really speak for other countries but typically, after your masters degree, you have one year to work in the field which you studied. Now, you won’t know that it takes about twelve weeks for the permit that will enable you to work to come through, and that when it eventually comes, finding a job in your exact field might not be a walk in the park. If you eventually get a job, you must leave the country sixty days after your one year is up or you’ll go out of status and become illegal unless the company you work for files H1B which is basically an extension for you. What nobody might tell you is that unless you’re in the medical field or IT, it might be very difficult to get a job where the company will be willing to spend thousands of dollars to keep you in the country. So you might find yourself at a crossroad. My advice is to plan ahead and leave nothing to chance, looking back now I sincerely wish I had known this.

5. Be Sure You Are Getting A Useful Degree- Times have changed, times are changing. Before you spend millions of Naira on a degree abroad, be SURE that it is a relevant degree that will make job placement easier for you, or will boost you in the path you have chosen for your life. Don’t get a degree just because. Put thought and deep reflections into it. Again, be sure the kind of school you’re attending, is this a school employers will bend over backwards to employ you when they know you went there? Check ratings, accreditations, history and all that. Be very sure.

Bonus!- Don’t be intimidated by the visa or admissions process. Everything is “figureoutable” just do your research! Before you pay anyone to do it for you, be absolutely sure that you cannot handle it yourself because nine times out of ten, you can.

There you have it! Five things I wish I had known before leaving Nigeria to study abroad. That being said I had an amazing time at school and I met some outstanding individuals, still I could have had more and had I done my research, I would have had it!

There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living. The other, how to live.” – John Adams

A Random Post On Letting Go.

So I had a cut on my thigh. I don’t know how it got there but it did. My body has been working hard to heal the cut, but I won’t let it be. Each time the scar tries to dry up, I pick at it till it bleeds again (sorry for the TMI &don’t judge me🙈🙈) it feels good when I pick at it, but when it opens up and starts to bleed again it hurts like crazy and I sit there and ask myself why? Why did I have to put myself through that unnecessary pain that my body is working so hard to help me avoid?

It went off like a light bulb in my sleep deprived head just now at 1:44 am, that this is exactly how we sabotage ourselves sometimes. We put ourselves in situations we know will hurt us and then wonder why it hurts so much!. Transparency moment: I am very guilty of this. Sometime ago, I learned the art of accepting my portion of the blame when something happens to me. Over a period of time I have seen that I sometimes lead myself into these situations that cause me pain. Most times the warnings are right there! Flashing like a neon sign, but loneliness tends to numb my ‭instincts and then I find myself in a world of pain.

Liken my scar to a break up. Let that pain go! Let it go. Rereading old messages and stalking on social media and reminiscing is picking at the scar that’s trying so hard to heal. You’ll pick and pick and you’ll start to bleed again and the only person who’ll be in pain is you.

Letting go is the best thing you can do sometimes, it might even be all you can do, so do it, let go. The scar will heal and you’ll be brand new again. Now that I have shared my little epiphany, it’s time to switch off this phone and attempt to sleep… thanks again for reading my ramblings on my little old blog.

All you can do is all you can do; but all you can do is enough…- Art Williams

When Grace Found Me.

Some truths aren’t easy to admit, or share, or write. They weigh a ton, sitting there until one day you decide it’s going to be the day of your freedom and then you let it all out. Today is one of those days for me.

I want to be dramatic and say I was a troubled teen who wore only black and listened to punk rock music, but that would be stretching the narrative. The truth is I was indeed a troubled teen, mad at the world, filled with so much rage, fighting demons only I could see and I was losing the battle. You see, I was dealing with the mental torture of abuse, and I couldn’t really tell anyone. Nobody really saw me or had an inkling that I was fighting, nobody except my sister. She repeatedly asked me but I sent her away so much that she stopped asking. Then I got mad at her for stopping, you see how messed up I was?

So, I was living my life in bondage and pain and one day shortly after my sixteenth birthday, I decided to take a break from life. The thought of suicide became so glamorous to me. It seemed like this end, this peace, this respite from life and pain. The devil filled my idle mind with how blissful it would be and how much peace I’d have when I died. So, I wrote a note, and decided to go for it but mercy said no.

We had a weekly morning service at Church; Moments of Mercy.  My mum made us go every week, no excuse. The service was short and sweet because people had to go to school and work afterwards. So that morning was no exception. I got to Church and sat at the back, willing the service to be over so I could finalize my stupid plans, but the joke was on me because that was the day that Grace found me.

It was as if someone had told my Pastor my plans, I remember crying and thinking, how can he know??? Who told him??? I cried and cried. After the teaching, he made an altar call, I don’t even remember how I got to the altar, but there I was in my green dress, bawling my eyes out, completely overwhelmed by the grace, mercy and love of God. I gave my life to Christ that day and God saved my life, literally saved me from myself.

The journey since then hasn’t been hitch free, not even remotely; but the difference is that God’s grace is always there. His love is unrelenting and never ending, actually our little minds cannot comprehend the love that God has for us.

So this is not an abstract post telling you not to give up, this is coming from a place where I have walked. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I have been there, in that place of depression and pain and wanting out, but I can also tell you that I have seen the Grace of God, I can tell you that I have seen the face of God in my sister who wouldn’t let me go, in my family that loves me unconditionally, in my friends who instinctively know when something is not right with me. I have seen God in my niece when she wraps her tiny hands around my neck, in dogs when they run up to me and lick my hands. When life gets overwhelming and dark, just look up, look up to the sky and see that the God that changes night to day, will never give up on you. You’re not alone, it’s not hopeless and no matter how dark it gets, the sun will shine again.

Fun fact: The literal meaning of my name Amarachukwu is the Grace of GOD…