Monday, May 21, 2012

5/21/12: It's A Long, Hard Road Ahead, But Worth All The Struggle

The past few days have been filled with contemplations, anxieties, fears, excitements, and a wide range of emotions that affect new immigrants to a foreign country, especially a country where English is not the language of speech, work, and education. Sometimes I think to myself that it would be so easy to run back to the states, get my Master's/PhD in English, and start working, but lucky for me I have never wanted an easy life; where's the fun in that! To work in my profession of choice here in Israel I am faced with the challenge of starting from scratch and getting a degree completely in Hebrew; a very daunting task if I do say so myself. In order to accomplish this I will need to take a year long Mechina program which will give me the Hebrew I need to successfully study in an Israeli university with native Israelis, along with giving me the classes I will need to be accepted into the degree program of my choice (either Occupational Therapy, or Clinical Psychology). Basically what this means is that I will need to take advanced maths and sciences (chemistry, physics, etc.) completely in Hebrew... I didn't even like these subjects in my native language!!! OY!

After a few sleepless nights worrying about the long road ahead in terms of study, finances, living, etc. my emotions turned, quite suddenly, from fear to excitement. If you know me you know I love a good challenge, and this will be one damn good challenge for me. I love my life here so much that leaving is not an option for me, so instead of worrying I just have to do whatever it takes to make it! I knew I would be in school forever anyways but at least now I will come out of it with a great, in demand, career and complete fluency in another language.

When I met with a professor to discuss my options for continuing my study in Israel he told me that the first year is the hardest for new immigrants. He said that I will have to find my footing, establish my niche, find a unique group of friends, and that can be a long and lonely road. I'm no longer an American studying abroad in Israel... As of February I became an Israeli who has to find my place as such. I know I have a lot of challenges ahead of me, and many will not be easy, but I'm in a place I love surrounded by some of the most amazing people in the entire world. The great thing about living in a country filled with young immigrants is being able to share experiences and stories with others and lean on them for help and advice, and that is not only invaluable, but it is making the hard times much more bearable.

Now that I have figured out what I need to do for the next steps of my never ending educational endeavors, I can take time to talk about my much more exciting social life :-) This past week was one for the books in terms of activity and excitement. My French roommate Gary had a good friend of his in from France and whenever a friend comes to visit there is no choice but to show them the best of Tel Aviv... Basically that means a whole lot of clubs and parties! Because I happen to live with a bunch of characters who love to cause scenes and, literally, go out with a bang, I enjoyed the new experience of lending out my clothes to my male roommates... and putting makeup on them... I really thought that living with 4 boys would exempt me from this act of sharing clothes, but this weekend proved me very wrong on that front. These boys take "going out in style" to a whole new level!

I haven't been to a club in a while so getting back into the scene was really nice for a change. Every once in a while it is great to just get out and dance the night away. I might have overdone it a bit this weekend with multiple nights coming in past 3am, but you're only young once so might as well enjoy while you have the strength :-)

Photographed at YaYa

What a life! 
This week I will be applying for my Mechina program, working on papers, and catching up on the sleep I sacrificed this weekend, all in time for me to be nice and ready to forgo some more sleep next weekend! Thursday is student day at my university so classes are cancelled and a 24 hour party will replace the dregs of studying and learning :-) You'll want to stay tuned for that post!

Lilah Tov Ya Asdeqa. Until we meet again,
Jordana Simone 

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