27 January 2013

{2013 Plans & Goals}

Before the myriad of Namibia posts start queuing up, I thought that it was about time for me to share a few of my major plans and goals for 2013 with you.

Believe it or not I've been putting off writing this post for quite some time now.  Not because I'm worried of what you all will think, but more because change is always a bit unsettling for me and somehow putting a big change down in writing and exposing it to the world seems to make the whole thing feel a bit more real.  But, it seems that the time to share has officially arrived since I already find myself swimming in a combination of assignments, lectures, meetings, and part-time work.

As some of you may already know {and many of you may not know}, I've enrolled in a full-time Master's degree this year.  

Because the programme is effectively completed within the year {by November I should be finished!} and we are required to attend between 35 and 40 hours of lectures each week, this means that I've had to quit my job and Jurg and I have had to take a leap of faith in terms of how we're going to make ends meet throughout the next twelve months.  Aside from the financial implications, the course itself is extremely demanding and I've been told to expect many sleepless nights and long, tired days.  Outside of the 35 - 40 hours of weekly contact sessions, we're expected to complete dozens of assignments after hours as well as a mini-dissertation of between 80 and 100 pages and a publishable article by the end of November.  Again, I've had to take a serious leap of faith in terms of how well I'm going to be able to adjust to the drastic increase in work load.

The decision to pursue this Master's programme was not an easy one.  I went back and forth on it for several months last year and Jurg and I have had many discussions relating to the plausibility of this option from a purely financial standpoint as well.  The alternative option was to pursue a part-time Master's at another University, keep my full-time position, and hopefully finish the degree at the end of 2014.  In the end, however, it seemed that the first option would be the best fit for us in the long run and we finally decided to take the plunge and hope that we'll both pop out on the other side alive come November.  In terms of time, quality, and reputation, option one just seemed to be the greater of the two on all fronts.  

This month marked my 5th anniversary of living in South Africa and our 3rd anniversary of moving to Johannesburg.  While we have loved living here, we don't want to be limited in terms of other opportunities that may present themselves regarding the possibility of relocating within South Africa and/or Abroad.  Once we get married, we want to start thinking about purchasing a home and settling down and neither of us are certain that Johannesburg is the best place for us to do that.  When it's also considered that I'll need to complete a one-year internship following my Master's, pursuing the part-time option would likely mean that we'd be bound to this part of the world for at least another three years.  And while we may very well end up choosing to stay in Johannesburg for another three years {or even longer}, we don't want to be tied to the city when an ideal opportunity unfolds elsewhere.  Catch my drift? 

Of course, pursuing the full-time option is going to have major implications on all spheres of my life, including this blog.  There will be days and weeks... and maybe even months, where this little corner of the internet will be all quiet on the western front and I hope you'll all bear with me on that.  The travelling will most definitely decrease and the content will likely undergo a temporary shift as well.  It's just a reflection of an impermanent, but necessary phase in my life that will be over before we all know it.  And I promise not to disappear completely, there are lots of Namibia posts to come, birthdays and graduations to celebrate, my brother's wedding in California to attend, and several weekend getaways to look forward to!

That being said, my 2013 goals are quite simple:

+ Obtain a Master's Degree

+ Eat Healthy

+ Step up my Fitness 
{that means hitting the gym 3 - 4 times per week}

Thank you so much for your support and understanding!  I'm both nervous and excited about this new journey and I can't wait to pop in from time to time to share it with you!


  1. Sounds like a busy and intense year + coming up! Best wishes as you work on completing your goals and we'll be looking forward to a few updates a long the way!

  2. Oh wow...so excited for you. Wishing you all the best for the year ahead....you'll do awesome!

  3. I totally understand what you mean about it becoming more real when you publish it! but I do find that putting big changes/decisions into words can be cathartic and centering - I hope this post was for you!

    SO much luck and love and patience and happy thoughts being sent from DC to Joburg right now for you both :)

  4. Jenna, I think you have made a wise choice to do the UJ Masters programme, and I have full confidence in you! You can totally do it :) Please feel free to get in touch anytime you need - sometimes it helps to talk to someone who had the same experience and made it out alive at the end! I will always be available. Trust me, you will blink and it will be November!

  5. You'll do fine! And I'll be here when you feel your sanity slipping! Xxx

  6. You'll do fine! And I'll be here when you feel your sanity slipping! Xxx

  7. Awesome! Congrats and wishing you a speedy year of studies!!

  8. Hi Jenna,

    Thanks for sharing your plans for the year with us! I know from own experience that juggling university work with life can be hard at times, but I'm sure you'll definitely be rewarded for this! Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to achieve something great and I think it's awesome that you've decided to pursue this way.

    Best wishes for all your endeavours!
    xx Melanie

  9. You are awesome and you are going to do great!!! Cheers, to a great year of fabulous goals.

  10. You are so ambitious, I admire that! I'm sure you will do brilliantly with the course, it will probably be quite tough but you'll be so proud and happy after you've completed it! Good luck hun!

    xo Lisa

  11. Higher education is always the right decision!!! This year is my year of fitness too!

  12. you can do it, girlfriend! it'll be a ton of work but i'm sure you will be so happy when it's over! and this needs to be my year of fitness...we will have to help motivate each other!

  13. Sending you loads of good wishes and good luck!!
    Wehn we looked at purchasing a house we were faced with the same "do we want to do this in Joburg?" question. In the end we decided to buy a townhouse that suits our current needs and we can always rent it if we move. To us it was investment and we purchased in a high rent area.
    Have fun in 2013!

  14. You can do it! And you will do great! We will be here ready to read whenever you have time! But don't feel pressure to blog! Live your life and succeed! :)

  15. Congrats on your new adventures! You will feel so satisfied getting a masters, even though it is scary at first! Congrats again!

  16. Good luck! It sounds like a busy year but a great step forward for you!

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  18. lots of love and good luck!! you're masters sounds way more intense than mine but i do know how much work and stress being in school is. but you'll have something so great when you're all done! good luck friend!

  19. What are you doing your Masters degree in? You must love your subject a lot!


Thanks for the love!