I guess this is it – I am now officially a student.
My first week at university was good, super crazy, but good. The people who have been following the TED series on this blog know that I not only started uni but also moved out – all in the same week – which was pretty stressful and a huge change for me.
How am I feeling right now?
Like I’m inbetween something. One foot in a door, the second in another. Split would describe it pretty well.
Living by myself
The thing I found most difficult in the first few days was having so much time on my hands. I didn’t know what to do with myself. What didn’t make it better is that I didn’t really know anyone from around, so I spent most of my time inside or wandering around the city aimlessly. I love the independence I have now that I’m living alone, I just didn’t think it would be that hard of an adjustment period – but I’m getting there (gradually). Providing for myself has been really fun for me, as I’ve discovered cooking to be a de-stresser for me. So after a long day, I actually look forward to being in the kitchen, whipping something up for myself. As an introvert, having my own space to decompress, a place to be in solitude, is exactly what I need after an eventful day.
I still can’t fully grasp that I am actually a real life student now. The first week is kind of a hazy blur in my memory. Let me give you a quick overview of my week.
I was extremely nervous and only ended up getting a few hours of sleep because I couldn’t get my thoughts to quiet down, so you can imagine how tired I was that day. I walked up to the room I was scheduled to be in and saw that there were only a handful of people there. It was then that I realized that I was half an hour to early. After a moment of standing around awkwardly, someone suggested that we went into the lecture hall – which we did. The girl I was kind of standing next to, let’s call her K, sat next to me and we got talking, which calmed me down immensely. The first part of the day we were bombarded with information, then we had a lunch break, which I spent with K. My course is divided into two groups, so after lunch, we had a lecture on teamwork, which gave us the chance to get to know another. I got a really great vibe from all of the group members and went home with a happy feeling.
I managed to sleep though most of the night, but still woke up several times, mostly to just remind myself of where I was. The second day was purely a lecture on teamwork, so we basically got to know and work with each other even better, which was nice. Unfortunately, a whole day of teamwork is draining and towards the end of the day, we found ourselves as motivated as a sack of potatoes. I was glad when I was able to get home, take off my bra, and just relax for a bit. Later in the evening I met up with a girl, S., from my course who lives in the same building as I do. We made ourselves some tea and just talked for a while, which I really enjoyed.
My first “real” day! I had an informational lecture about the software we have to use at 8:30, meaning I looked like a zombie when I got there. My two buddies, K and L, thankfully noticed that I still needed a little time to fully wake up. Then (after a short break) I had my first lecture on the science of communication which was the highlight of the day – I credit my professor with that who did an amazing job of keeping even the most boring topics interesting. After lunch, which I spent in my flat by putting in a quick power nap, I proceeded to my software engineering lecture. That was the point where I realised that “uh, this is kind of going to be difficult”. But I have faith that I will grasp the strings of programming eventually, I think I just have to get into the right head space (way of thinking) to accomplish that. I went to get some things from the supermarket in the evening, which prompted me to make a long walk out of it. I explored the university grounds a little more and turned in early with a cup of tea and a good book.
The last day of the week for me. We had a really boring lecture in the A.M. with a professor that looks like he’s a thousand years old. I took the time to get some work done in advance – I know, I know, what shameful behavior and already in the first week. But seriously, if I had listened to one more word coming out of his mouth I would have gone into a permanent deep sleep and would have never woken up. K, S and I spent our lunch break outside because it was absolutely beautiful. After soaking up some vitamin D, we sat in an empty classroom and got a whole project done. But nothing could have prepared me for the next lecture; Mediatypology. From all of one classes I had this week, that one was definitely my favourite. The professor is an artist/hacker, who made some amazing references to Mr. Robot (one of my favourite series, like ever). We got to see various case studies from a feminist point of view, which I found to be something completely out of the box. To the end of the lecture, which was held in English btw, we were given our first project to come up with in groups of four. And that project is what truly convinced me that I belong here. I had tons of ideas and immediately started working with my group. The couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw me so excited. We finished the whole project that day, while others were still working on the general concept. I had such an adrenalin rush from that lecture, it was unbelievable. I came home feeling energetic and really proud of myself.
Keeping in touch with friends
…is what got me through the week. One friend in particular, F, who also started his first week at uni, rang me up everyday to talk about everything. We talked for hours and it made me feel like I was at home. I was also really thankful for all of my other friends asking me for details about my day – it was nice to know that just because I wasn’t close to them (in proximity) anymore, it didn’t mean that they didn’t still think of me.
Bumps along the road
After arriving in my flat on the very first day, I realised that I had forgotten my cutlery which made finding things to eat without a spoon, fork or knife a real challenge. On day three, I came home early enough for the shops to still be open and the first thing I did was buy plastic cutlery.
Another problem I had was setting up an Internet connection. The one that the flat provides doesn’t work with my Mac Update (OS Sierra). If you’re planning on doing that update, just keep in mind that it doesn’t have PPTP as a VPN type anymore – I learned the hard way. So I was Internet-less for the whole week (except for at uni which saved my ass). Having no Internet to entertain me in the evenings made me realise how much I depend on it. I started reading a ton instead and really enjoyed those quiet nights with a steaming cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Fortunately, I have since purchased a Wi-Fi box for myself because all of my work and projects require a connection and I missed blogging so much.
I was also asked out by a guy this week. He suggested we meet up for a “video editing date”. He was actually surprised when I asked what that was exactly. He explained that because a lot of people had similar creative interests and he saw I video I edited this summer on my Facebook, he thought it was the only suitable suggestion. He went on to say that he really liked my editing style and believed that we could benefit from teaching each other our individual techniques. I was, to say the least, confused, but intrigued nevertheless. I still haven’t given him a direct answer yet, but I’m definitely considering his offer. I do have to give him points for creativity 😉
…I think that I am settling into uni life very well. I still need to get used to so much alone time and I definitely see a lot of hard work coming my way. But after this first week I am confident that I will enjoy my time here. I am beyond thrilled that I have already met some great people in the first week and can’t wait to get to know them better. Does my place feel like home yet? No, but I’m working on it. Like every great thing, this will need time and that’s okay.
As I am writing this, I am lying in my bed in my parents house. Gosh, it feels so weird to not say “at home” anymore. I have always liked my room because it is a visual representation of my personality. I hope that I can achieve that in my new place one day. I have also been catching up on some sleep and wow, I never realised how great my bed is until this moment. I’m going back to uni today and I can tell that I’m going to miss my family a lot. It still hasn’t really sunken in that I am living somewhere else permanently (it feels like a vacation) and I try not to think about it too much.
Well, this is it for this post, I guess. What a strange week it has been.