Hi everyone, my name is Faty-Sharon Sylla (C’2018 )and I am an international studies and comparative women’s studies double major. Although my major in international studies requires that I spend a semester abroad, my status as an international student (I am from France), exempted me from that requirement.
Instead, I decided to use my junior year to explore the united states a little bit more and tickle my academic interests, spending the fall in the nation’s capital and the spring in the capital of the world.
Below are blogs from my personal blog leblogdefaty.com where I speak upon my experience away from the gates of Spelman.
click on the links for illustrations.
Good evening humans!
As some of you people might already know, I am currently in Washington, D.C., and honestly, it feels like I am at the center of the world!
First things first, for those who do not know why or that I am even in the capital city, let me explain. I am participating in an exchange program at American University (which is located in DC). The program I’m a part of is the Washington Semester Program, and I am enrolled in the International Law and Organizations concentration. From Monday to Wednesday morning, I am supposed to be interning, and for the rest of the week, I have to attend seminars. The seminars consist of lectures, discussion, field visits, and guest lecturers cool, right? There are 18 other humans in my concentration which I really like because I don’t do people, coming from all over the world, and we all share one professor, Dr. Maisch.
As you may guess, a girl is rather busy, and has tons of readings to do, but I am really passionate about the subject matter, making it less of a burden however those who know me well know that being a nerd doesn’t prevent me from being le procrastinator. Anyway, last week started pretty well. On
Wednesday afternoon, I attended a talk by the Honorable Ambassador Barbara Stephenson what a title!, former American ambassador to Panama and President of the American Foreign Service Association. It was quite a motivating speech, in which she mentioned the new global threats, which are now non-state actors, such as global warming yes it is real, and global epidemics. She also highlighted the importance of international affairs in this new age. The next day, we went to the United Nations Information Center and met with it’s Director, M. Robert Skinner. We obviously talked about the UN, its history and its role, as well as the new challenges the international organizations now face, such as Daesh, and its quite problematic if you ask me administration and functioning. And next week, we are going to the Holocaust Museum.
Enough about school, let’s talk about the cool tings aka the capital city! I have to admit that I might have just fallen in love with DC… sorry NYC. I am lucky to live 5 minutes walking from AU, and the bus ride to downtown is only about 25 minutes! I live in a pretty nice neighborhood, very green but quite urbanized i like that *DJ KHALED voice*. I share an apartment with Joy, my Nigerian babes, it feels weird to have our own place! Here she is, followed by my working space adulting, i’m telling y’all, our living room, and my side of the room. ????
2016 was an interesting year, won’t you say so? and, personally, it was was of the best year of my life. sorry not sorry. Okay, yeah, universally, it was a $hitty year, but for Faty, it wasn’t an unpleasant was of spending 365 days. As you already know, I did and presented research TWICE in 6 months, the lowest grade I obtained this entire year was a A-, and I got a perfect GPA this semester. I also spent my summer in the wonderful place that is Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and my fall at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and their amazing Middle East Books. So academically and professionally speaking, I had an awesome year!
Alright, I confess, financially and emotionally it was not the BEST year (not at all). So I have this problem where my subconscious self believes that I am Rothschild’s daughter and does not seem to comprehend what “living on a budget” means. It was then indeed a difficult year, especially when you add the “misunderstanding” that happened with my scholarship, leaving me broke AF (and seriously considering dancing on a pole). Anyway, I end 2016 financially worse than I started it (even I did not know that was possible). Now emotionally. Well, one of the reason why I did not write as much (at all), was mainly because of my mental state. Mentally and emotionally, it was not quite easy because 2016 marked ten years since my aunt and my father reached the stars. And I remember telling 2006 Faty that everything will be alright in ten years, but I was wrong. And then comes in my insecurities, my lack of self-love, and my abundance of self-doubt, which, all mixed together, do not make the most tasteful cocktail. However for the first time in ten years, I sought help. I acknowledged that I had issues and that I needed to find solutions. There were ups and downs, but al-hamdulillah, I made it, and I am better. And I am proud of myself for that. So overall, I would say that 2016 was okay.
I am not going to make empty promises this time of the year, because I do not want to be reminded of them by my mother, nor to have Joy who i will miss a bit ask me all the was from Dakar “don’t you have a blog?”. Anyway, I invite you to become a better self within the next 365 (6?) days, and I wish you all an excellent 2017.
With hope and love,