Groundhog Day 2016 Resolutions: December Check-In & Year-End Review

Here ends my second year of Groundhog Day Resolutions. I feel like I’ve learned so much and done so much this year! In 3 days, I’ll be hopping on a plane to return to the US, and I’ll admit that I’m nowhere near ready. I wish so much I could stay here in Ghana. At the same time, I am very ready to finish my last three terms as a PSU undergrad, and graduate.

Three terms, what? Yep, I’m doing summer, too, because of some really amazing, brilliant news: I was chosen for the 2016 cohort of the McNair Scholars Program! Over the next two terms, I’ll learn skills and make connections that will help me get into a good graduate program and succeed in whatever program I go to. Over summer, I’ll complete a research project and write a journal article to submit for publication. I’m so relieved I got in, and so excited to start!

Getting into the McNair program makes going back a little less scary, and I’m looking forward to seeing and hugging so many people that I’ve missed the last few months. I also look forward to a more varied diet (lots of gluten here, not a lot of gluten-free), though I will miss fresh mango and pineapple.

I didn’t get to travel after my exams, because I couldn’t get the funds together. I also missed my last payment for my payment plan, and now have a registration hold and $100 late fee. If you can help me cover this last $341 of my tuition and fees, and pay for food and toiletries here and during my travels, please donate on Crowdrise.

The review is below the cut.



  1. Build up my small press
  2. Consciously love and care for myself
  3. Continue learning and expanding my skill set

Month in Review:

What worked? What didn’t?
1) On hiatus.

2) I’ve been sleeping a lot since I finished exams. Trying to eat when I need to, read more, and take it easy, to just soak things up before I have to go back to the US. Finals were a bit hectic, but it’s basically all downtime until I get on the plane and go. I’ve cleaned up the room a bit, and started thinking about who I’m going to give things away to here.

I’ve been doing a lot of leisure reading, which has been nice. Trying to finish up some books I’m really close to done with. I’ve basically turned into a recluse since exams ended. I go out for food, and spend the rest of my time reading in my room. Without funds to travel, I don’t have anywhere to go, so my introvertness has turned out full force: I feel super awkward, so I just hide. Womp womp.

3) On the plus side, I feel like my exams went well. I had 3 exams over four days, writing a 3 page essay for each of them, and spent a lot of time prepping in groups. Now I just have to wait for my grades to come through.

Planning the Next Month:

What am I working on going forward?
1) On hiatus.

2) I need to write some lists and then pack my stuff, so I can stop freaking out about what’s undone. I also need to disconnect from social media more, do laundry, do more thorough clean of my room, and give away the things I’m not taking with me. I also need to rest and relax, because the travel will be gruelling: 7.5 hours from Accra to Dubai, 3 hour layover in Dubai, and then 14.5 hours to Seattle, 3 hours in Seattle, and then 45 minutes to Portland. I can’t sleep sitting up very well, so I won’t be sleeping much, probably.

I need to get some of my things from storage asap when I get back, because I do not have winter clothes with me. There’s been snow and ice in Portland lately, and that makes me nervous about my pain levels and ability to keep warm. I also need to figure out who’s gonna let me couchsurf at their place while I sort things out back in the US. Yikes.

3) I am planning to read research for an essay from a previous class, which I took an incomplete on in the spring. I’m aiming to finish the essay by the end of the month, so I can start next term with nothing hanging over me, and not have to worry about this essay during my next two hectic terms.

I also need to pay off my bill at school so I can adjust next term’s schedule. Since I’m in the McNair Program now, I’m currently registered for 20 credits next term, which: no. I did 18 this term, but it was a semester, some of my classes finished early, and the UG classes are all exam-based, whereas the classes I’ll be in at PSU will require that I write a lot of papers, and that will be way too overwhelming to manage. I need to focus on the necessities, and that means the history classes I need for my minor, the last class for my second major, and the McNair class. I may audit the history class I’m going to have to drop (History of Africa Prior to 1800), because I like the professor and I want the info, even if I can’t take the class for credit, but even that might be too much to handle.

Looking back on 2016:

1) I hosted a poetry workshop for Black survivors of violence. I was invited to feature at a couple of poetry events. I wrote a bunch of new poems. I had several poems published in lit journals (which is less about my press but does help boost it a little bit).

2) I relearned how to cook and eat, after discovering I was gluten intolerant. I sought (and received, mostly) accommodations that helped me out in school. I realized I’m an introvert, and started making time to take care of myself and recover from too much socializing. I played around with bullet journalling to track food, meds, habits, and health stuff.

3) I reassessed my priorities and possibilities, and pushed back grad school apps to next year. I added a second major and a second minor. I learned some basic Swahili. I made a spoken word poetry album to sell on Bandcamp. I worked on my art skills and designed original pieces to sell on stuff in a Zazzle shop. I studied in Ghana for 4 months, and I raised funds to make that happen and navigated all the little fiddly bits, like visas and vaccinations. I did the Kakum Canopy Walk, and visited the Cape Coast Slave Castle. I learned 3 traditional Ghanaian dances. I learned how to make plantains and yam balls and jollof. I learned some basic Twi. I was chosen to be in the 2017 McNair Scholars cohort.

Looking forward to 2017:

McNair! Also, graduation. And grad school applications. I may start a lit journal, though that’ll definitely be in the second half of the year. I’ve made a pretty ambitious blog schedule, which may or may not work out. I’m planning to do GHDR again, tho, so that’ll be one post a month, at least. I have a couple folks interested in publishing with MGP. I want to write more poetry next year. I want to submit more poems. I am, as ever, over ambitious. The future awaits; who knows what will happen?

Have a good December and a happy holiday season. Thanks for taking this GHDR journey with me!



Support my semester abroad: FundraiserZazzleBookSpoken Word AlbumPatreon

See all of the Groundhog Day Resolutions posts here.










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