I Guess I’ll Stay Then.

I’ve never been very good at studying.

Just ask my big sister, who used to get so mad at me during exam time in high school, when I’d mosy into her room, filing my nails or eating some cookies I’d just baked.

“What ya doin’?” I’d ask.  It was very obvious what she was doing: she was stretched out on her bed surrounded by college-ruled notepads and textbooks.

“I’m studying,” she’d say, barely looking up from her calculus notebook.  “Shouldn’t you be studying?”

“Eh,” I’d shrug.  “If I don’t know it now, I won’t learn it tonight.”

And that was the way it went.  For four years of high school.  And then four years of college.  And then one year of grad school.

And then came last week, and the first test I’ve had to take in 8 years.  (8 years!  Yuck.)

The Life in the UK Test, which I had to pass in order to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, which I have to have in order to stay in the UK.

So, because I had to pay £50 just to take the test, I figured it was time to break my years-long streak of no studying, and get my nose in the test prep booklet.  And that’s what I’ve spent every naptime and evening doing for the last week and a half.

I swear I know more about England than most British people.  Seriously.  They should make British people take this test before they’re allowed to vote.

I know what percentage of people in the UK regularly attend religious services. (10%)

I know the Suffragettes finally won the right to vote at the same age as men in 1928.

And I know that it’s illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet on.  Unless you’re a Sikh man wearing a turban.

And yeah, the studying paid off.  Because I took the test on Saturday, and I passed.  (Thank you – thankyouverymuch.)

Now I just have to send off my application and pay the UK government (yet another) £1000.  This country is making a lot of money off our little family.

But I’ll gladly pay it if it means I get to stay in this lovely house, with my sweet family, and go to my amazing church, and hang out with my beautiful friends.

Author: Faith

Faith Dwight is a photographer and a writer. She is a Southern American girl living just north of London with her British husband, Simon and their two halfling sons.

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