A few months ago I found out that I would have to retake 2 of my exams before I could complete my masters degree here in London. This was devastating for a number of reasons. First of all, it's so freaking unfair. whhhahhhh!!! Sorry to sound like a whinny baby but my exams were ''fails'' by about 2 points each. They were from my first semester where I had no idea what an English exam was like. I was super unprepared. Not from my lack of studying but from not knowing that ''an essay question'' meant 6 pages with quotes and references from a number of different sources. I had to answer 2 of these questions for each of my 4 exams. I always thought an essay question meant a few good solid paragraphs, not what I would consider a paper. Anyway, despite my begging to my teachers, the grades are what they are and I have to retake those 2 exams.
I can handle retaking 2 exams. It sucks but I can deal with it. The bigger issue was how this would effect my visa. It's next to impossible for Ash to live in America with out us being married, so for the time being the goal is for me to stay in the UK for as long as possible. Life would be a lot easier if he would just say F-it let's go to Vegas! But in my heart I know that's not the answer. The plan was to graduate in January (next month) and receive my post-study work visa which would allow me to work in the UK for the next 2 years. Well that ain't happenin'. When I got my results they told me that I would have to take 1 exam in January, move Home, and then come back ''on vacation'' to take my other exam in May. This caused major panic. Then I was told that I could take my 1 exam in January and 1 in May and stay here for the time in between but that I would have to move Home in May and then come back the following January to get my post-study work visa. This was a better option than moving Home in a few weeks, but I did not want to have to spend 8 months away from Ash. Now the latest is that I can stay until September! And possibly until next January ... but I won't know that for sure until I actually get my visa in about 2 months.
This little blue folder contains my whole life! My motto is ''organization is the key to success'' and trust me if it was down to my organizational skills my visa extension application would have been done ages ago. Unfortunately there were a bunch of little bits and bobs that I needed from the school before I could do anything and they are a lot less organized than me. I took the day off work yesterday to run around doing the millions of little things that are involved in the whole process. It's not just a simple 50 page form, I needed letters from different departments at school, passport pics, an order form from the post office, a letter from my bank ... the list goes on. This is something that I have been working on for weeks and yesterday was the big deadline. By the end of the day I was feeling so tired and defeated. The school had a problem processing a form that was crucial to my application and therefore I wouldn't get anything done until the new year. This whole visa thing is such a headache. Sometimes I feel like no one in England apart from Ash wants me to live here. They make it so difficult and not to mention so expensive. I was about to get in bed and have a good cry when I got the email that they processed my form and that I could come back into school to the next day to turn everything in to be sent off. Hallelujah!
So now everything is in the mail and all I can do is wait. In a few weeks they will send me a letter ''inviting'' me to go have my fingerprints taken. I've done this before and my fingerprints have obviously not changed in the past 2 years but for some reason they need me to do this again. After that I just wait and wait some more before I get my passport and new visa. So in summary here is what I know (and don't know) about my visa.
- I know I can stay here until at least September! Yay! No long distance for 8 months!
- I know that I can only work part time from Jan - May because I will be considered a student. Annoying. I hate being broke.
- I know that finding a good job is going to be really hard (my contract is up here in Jan) because no one wants me until I have that post-study work visa. (Jan 2012) And also applying for a job when I don't have any visa or passport at all for the next 2 months might be a bit tricky ...
- I know that everything will work out the way that it's supposed to and that I need to not stress and just take things one step at a time. I also know that it's all worth it at the end of the day. If this is what it takes to be with that sweet boyfriend of mine then I gotta do what I gotta do!
- I don't know ... when I will get to come home next. AKA whose weddings I will be going to in the spring / summer. I promise to let you all know as soon as I know more! When I actually have my visa in my hand is when I will be able to do things like look at flights, consider time off etc etc etc ... Trust me, I am dying to start planning and start getting excited. I'll keep you posted.