16.02.2018 • Rumeng
Five months ago I didn’t have a clue what I signed up for and imagined a graduate school schedule wouldn’t be nearly as packed as undergraduate school. Five months later, this semester turned out to be the single most stressful semester I ever had in my schooling history. I don’t think it was nearly as much physical stress as it was psychological – the constant thinking of how it was even possible to handle 15 subjects in one semester.
I think the whole graduate school abroad experience turned out to be different in so many ways to what I thought it would be like and along the way I’m pretty sure there were nearly 10 times I genuinely wished I hadn’t gotten on that plane. But now, having gotten through a semester like no other, I still can’t say this was the best choice, but I don’t regret it, and I’m sure by the end, it will become one of the best things I decided to do, and one of the happiest memories, because of all the new things I got to see and do, the new people I got to meet, and I always value new experiences more than academics, and this will be the only reason I look back on this time.
I still remember when I told all my friends back home, I had to take 15 subjects in one semester, everyone said that was crazy. And if I didn’t know better, I’d say that was a very dramatic exaggeration. In both the universities that I went to before, we had 4 subjects every semester, and a lot of time to do other interesting things. Coming from that to this, I’d say it was pretty fair to get all overwhelmed like I did.
But to study abroad alone is much more than just making it through classes, there are all those chores to make through that you probably never had to do before, or didn’t know even existed, which could easily take up the better part of your day. And even through ‘little’ things like these, I learn so much and have a newfound respect for the adults in my life who have balanced worklife and homelife so well, they made me think it was all easy.
I guess one last heads up I have to give out is this, it would be a lot easier if you choose a major you really like. For the most part, this is what everyone will do, but I am pretty sure there will always be a few people, like myself, who decided to major in something they know they’re clearly not good at. This will be hard, but not nearly impossible.
All in all, I’m just really glad I made it through Semester 1 – it was very stressful, and I almost thought I couldn’t get through it, but it’s finally behind me and in the midst of all the crazy tension, were some great times with lovely people. And I really have to thank my parents for the amazing financial support; my babe and my gorgeous friends for the all-too-important and much needed moral support; and my new friends for the wonderful, unforgettable times and for helping me with my school work literally every time I needed help – I know all too well without any of these people, nothing would have worked out.
Auf Wiedersehen, Semester 1, Zaijian, Au revoir, Khuda hafez, Adiós, Ciao ciao!!!!!!!