New Year, New Things for a Soon to Be Graduate

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January seems to be the slowest month of the year, although now the end of the month is finally here. New Year’s Eve feels as if it was months ago. However, it seems as if every new year I want to have a fresh start, and this year is no exception. A lot has changed from a year ago. When you live in a city that changes every day, you begin to feel like you’re having another fresh start the moment you walk outside the door to your home.

This year in 2019, I’m going to experience a lot of fresh starts. If some of you have followed my previous posts, you know I am a master’s student in Shanghai. This is my last semester in China, with less than six months remaining. My future is uncertain now, but I’m striving to stay in China (Shanghai, hopefully) after graduation. I’m in the process of writing a master’s dissertation and needing a draft done by early March. Sometimes, I feel as if these two years have flown by so fast. I will graduate in early July. My yearly permanent residence visa expires at the end of July. If I can’t find a job before then, I must leave China, which means I must buy a pricey one-way ticket home. I don’t want to spend money on that and I’m trying hard to stay, if possible. My goal is to stay in Shanghai until I wake up one day saying, “Okay, I think I’m ready to go home.” Whether that’s a year or five years from now, I can’t say. China has become my new home for nearly two years and I can’t leave it behind just yet.

My hope for a fresh start is to begin working right away after graduation. I hope to maintain my connections with people in Shanghai but have a fresh start with new people I meet this year. I’m not ready for a big change in about five months. But I am ready for a new life after finishing my academic work.

Speaking of academic work, I am currently in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, with my thesis advisor. We arrived on Sunday the 27th. My time here in Taiyuan won’t be as fun as I hoped, but that’s okay! I’m in good hands and looking forward to spending a northern-style Chinese New Year while writing my thesis.

I want to take a moment to reflect on everything that happened last year and am thankful for every memory and every post WWAM BAM has allowed me to contribute! Thank you, ladies!

Happy New Year to everyone! 新年快乐!

Holly Hollins

Holly Hollins is an American from Michigan and currently a graduate student in Shanghai. Besides studying, she enjoys writing stories pertaining to WWAM couples and also LGBT themes. She is involved in the LGBT community in Shanghai and a member of Lesqueers. Holly also is a big advocate for autism and does professional presentations on the topic in China and in Michigan, USA.

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