Way back in August, I created a blog post about my TAPIF goals and back in December, I did a halfway-point check-in. Now that I’ve been home for a few weeks, I figured it was about time to revisit those goals and update y’all on the final outcome. Did I succeed at reaching my goals? Keep reading down below to find out!
Goal #1: Improve my French
Not to toot my own horn, but heck yes, this goal has been crushed! While I’m not perfectly fluent and definitely still make mistakes on the daily, I am miles ahead of where I was at the start of my contract. It took me a long time, but I was finally able to break past my mental barriers and fear of making mistakes – I’m my own worst enemy, sometimes – and once that door was opened, it made it so much easier to listen, learn, and speak. I’m happy with the level of French I’ve attained and I’m excited to keep improving as time goes on.
Goal #2: Become a member of the community
I believe I accomplished this with moderate success. I went to the salle de musculation at least four times a week, so I made friends with many of the people there, including the owners. At the Saturday market, there were a few vendors who came to recognize me by the end of my contract and since January, I made more of an effort to go to church every Sunday in the hopes of becoming more integrated. It’s hard to believe that I came to love this tiny town in the middle of France so much, but I wouldn’t trade my placement with anybody.
Goal #3: Travel, travel, travel
Mission: accomplished! I traveled to 39 different cities (31 of them in France alone!) in 6 different countries (including France)…I’m pretty sure I saw more of France in 7 months than I did of Illinois and Texas combined over the previous 22 years of my life. I’m so happy with how much I got to travel and see, but the bucket list is far from complete! I created a “Where to Next?” list on Google Maps that is compromised of 16 cities spread out across 10 countries. Bring it on 🙂
Goal #4. Practice good self-care
Overall, I would say I practiced good self-care when I was in France. Granted, I already had pretty good self-care habits before I left, but it was good to keep them up. I went to the gym as often as I could and I ate moderately healthily (I did eat my fair share of cheese, bread, and wine though – c’est la vie française!). Faith-wise, attending the Hillsong services every few weeks during the second half of my contract really helped me to stay motivated to go to church back in Clamecy. If I ever go back to France long-term, I would definitely want to live in one of the cities that Hillsong Church has a branch.
Goal #5. Learning teaching
Just like last time, this one is still a work in progress! I am more confident and comfortable in front of the students than I was in the beginning, but I feel like I still have a long way to go. I recently applied and was accepted to a position to teach English online through VIPKid, but instead of teaching high school students, I will be teaching 4-6-year-olds. I know it’s going to be a completely different experience, but I’m excited to get started and keep learning! A sub-goal I had for this category was to receive my TESOL certificate through Coursera and Arizona State University, which is a goal I am still working toward. If I’m being honest, there was a while there where I was completely unmotivated to finish, but I think I’ve caught my second wind and I’m back again! I’ve completed six of eight of the courses, so hopefully, I will finish the last two before the summer is up and finally be TESOL certified!
Goal #6. The future
While the immediate future is no longer a mystery (UIUC MSW, here I come!!), the distant future is still quite blurry. While I still think it would be amazing to become a university professor, achieving that goal might be farther in the future than I once thought. There is so much of the world I want to experience and so many things I want to do, I feel like I can’t fit it all in one lifetime. I fairly sure that my future involves social work and French simultaneously, I’m just not sure in what capacity. But God’s got it, so I’m not worried 🙂
Thanks for reading my final TAPIF goals update and check back next week for more!
Until next time,