Actuellement

Hey all! Welcome to the first ‘Actuellement’ post of 2017! The goal of these ‘Actuellement’ posts is for me to open up to you guys, in order for you to get to know me better. Actuellement directly translated from French means ‘currently’, another fun fact, les actualités are the news. It’s also an opportunity for me to get to know you, as I invite you to get in contact with me about what’s going on in your life, your trials and tribulations, your advice and your stories.


We’re about 33% of the way through 2017, about 90% of you have long forgotten about the New Year’s Resolutions that you promised to keep, the threat of a third world war is becoming more plausible by the day, yet we’re all watching a giraffe give birth in real time. Humans, right? What piece of actualité is capturing your attention?

Actualité Un- Rejected from Stanford, Accepted to…

Since my last piece on getting rejected from Stanford, I know you’re all dying to hear about where I’m going for college.

*drum roll*

I have officially committed to the University of Pennsylvania! People always say one of two things to me when I divulge this piece of information. The first is ‘Congrats on getting into Penn State!’ and the second one is ‘Isn’t that Donald Trump’s alma mater?’ To the first group of people I say, ‘It’s UPenn not Penn State, they’re different universities’, and to the second, ‘¯\_(ツ)_/¯’.

I have been admitted to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and at the time that I applied (you know, 2 days before the deadline) I thought that I would major in Mechanical Engineering. Now, I’m not so sure. The beauty of UPenn is that I am allowed to take classes across the top business school in the country, Wharton, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Nursing School, in addition to the engineering classes I’ll be taking. This was my main reason for applying as I’d like to continue taking French and literature classes in university. Fun fact: my Penn essay was written about the beauty of mathematics and French literature, and how taking curricula on the different spectra amplified my creativity and allowed me to excel at both subjects. Nerd, right?

There’s a lesson here somewhere about not giving up and not allowing elite colleges to tell you you’re not good enough. It goes along the lines of how you are unique and you shouldn’t let people dictate who you are. It would teach you that you shouldn’t let these people get in the way of you achieving your dreams. And to you, the reader, you would feel the fighting spirit grow in your chest, spreading throughout your body until you felt it stemming from the tips of your fingers to the soles of your feet. Your heartbeat would feel that much more powerful, each pulse sending electric bursts through your veins. Your mind would feel renewed and ready to work, empowered by the visions of who you want to be. Your imagination would paint the most wondrous and illustrious of dreams, dreams so wild that you are anxious to tell anyone else, dreams so big that they strike the blackest of fear into your heart, the fear of failure.  These dreams would push the small part of your brain to say, ‘They’re right. You’re not good enough.’ When this happens, I want you to stand up tall and proud and shout to the heavens, ‘I AM good enough. I CAN achieve anything I want to. And you know what? I WILL do just that!’

 Actualité Deux- Evaluating goals

About 10 months ago, I followed the advice of a LifeHacker article and wrote down the 25 things I want to achieve in life. Last week, I revisited the list in order to check my progress.

  • Get into a top 50 university- hello Penn’21!
  • Get all As for A Levels- with 2 A*s and 2 As, I couldn’t be any more happy
  • Make a YouTube video- or 3?

They say that slow progress is better than no progress and although there are 22 more goals to crush on this list: I am not pressured by how much more there is to do. Instead, I try to be motivated by how much I have already done, and let that push me to do more, to do bigger and to do better. Even though I am content in what I have done, I am never complacent as I know that there is always more that I can do. Maybe more YouTube videos? Let me know if you’d like me to do any, and what you’d like to see!

Actualité Trois- Archer, Markets & Gardens

In my last Actuellement post, I spoke about not wanting a job as I wanted to focus on the blog. That much is still true, but at the beginning of this year I took on a number of small jobs just to keep my bank account out of the negative. I advertised dairy products in a supermarket for 2 weeks (that was an experience and a half) as well as serving wine and appetisers at events.

Funds secured, I went on to spend my money on a few of my favourite things at a couple of my favourite places. I’ve enjoyed frequenting the Bottom Drawer market on Saturday mornings where I acquired a number of do-das and knick-knacks. I’ve fed my Jeffrey Archer addiction with a couple more short story collections, tried my green thumb at raising some small cacti and decorated my house with wooden wildlife.

I’ve always been an outdoors person, preferring to spend my time amongst the flora and the fauna rather than the movies and the milkshakes. Even though I consider myself to be extroverted, sometimes I find it necessary to shy away from the busy social life and take some time to recharge and recentre myself before going back out there again. How do you spend your alone time? What activities help to calm you down?

 Actualité Quatre- Life as a Vegetarian

“Are you still a vegetarian?”- Anyone who knows me literally every single time they see (including my father)

Living without meat isn’t as painful or depriving as everyone around seems to think it is. Frankly, I’m able to explore options I would never have looked at before. Soy milk and nutritional yeast are some of the newest additions to my pantry and so far, life has never been better. For a more detailed explanation of why I chose to permanently cut meat out of my diet, read this post.

 That’s all I have for you at this point, thank you so much for reading and supporting as always! Sending you love wherever you are readers, don’t forget that you can always get in touch with me here, or just leave a comment and let me know what you’re up to!

Love always,

Andy x

Author: andreamakamba

Proudly Zimbabwean. Food lover. Book reader. Fact hoarder. Dream chaser

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