Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The end of May?!

Back from Amsterdam! Quite possibly my favorite city I've seen thus far in Europe. It was beautiful, clean, cheerful and relaxed. The trip there was absolutely exhausting but completely worth it. I met my old friend from Russia and we spent our time taking pictures, visiting museums and marveling at the relaxing beauty of the place.

Now I am back in Birmingham trying to wrap my mind around how it could possibly be nearly June. It feels like I just got here, yet some people are already leaving to go their separate ways. The year flew by for sure as time always does when you are busy. And believe me we were busy. Between the library sessions, lectures and revision, my plate was definitely full. But in the process I've made lifelong friends and learned a lot about myself. I think any experience is as good as you can make it, and Aston is no exception. I have made progress academically and personally. Life is supposed to throw challenges your way isn't it? And the resulting growth is invaluable. My advice again is to be open to new experiences and know that just because something is difficult, it isn't debilitating. (I'll have to remind myself of that one as I continue to write my dissertation. haha)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Organization and Paris 2.0

So despite being chilly and rainy, Paris was really awesome. My friend and I had a very busy few days, but we managed to see everything both of us wanted. Eiffel Tower- twice because you have to see it at night and during the day, Notre Dame, Versailles, the Catacombs, some museums, and other tourist destinations. I came back absolutely exhausted, but the bus station isn't too far away from where I live, so it was definitely a convenient trip. Overall, I would say that I did Paris right this time not like the rushed one day experience from 2 years ago. 

I am not sure if this is shameless self-promotion. (I swear I don't intend it to be.) But I have many more pictures from my travels, studies, and life in Birmingham on Instagram - y1a9c8u9s. I don't have the best camera, but I like to document my life, and the memories I've made throughout this year are already priceless. 

Now I only have about 5 days before I skip off to Amsterdam, and I am trying to make the most of them in terms of research and dissertation writing that is. A topic on CSR is very broad, but I firmly believe that it's better to have too much information even if it seems overwhelming. I've been organizing my sources in an Excel document with the necessary paraphrasing, and although that is helpful, it can still get messy. I can't imagine not having a system to keep track of all of my literature. I have my next meeting with my supervisor in a few days, and I think she is very open to questions and willing to help throughout the process which is great because I will definitely need her advice.