The First Year Column

23 February 2014 by Natasha
Share this page:
Time really flies! It feels like it was just yesterday I got here but I’m already more than halfway through my first year. This time I would like to share what I wrote for the ‘First Year Column’ in the bindmiddel, the chemistry association...

University seemed to be far away when I was back in high school. ‘You know that one day you will eventually go there, but it is still a long way ahead,’ I told myself. Only until the moment I was in the airplane heading here, I finally realized that it was actually happening. I would be a first year university student, in a different study environment and culture. Obviously, things work out differently here.

First of all, the education system is different than high school. I’ve always thought that high school was already hard; 14 courses along with it exams, projects, paper, organizations, and social life. The first time I saw the university’s schedule with only three courses in university, I was really happy. However, I forgot that the difficulty is not the same anymore. In high school, you can do a last minute cram and somehow manage the exam. But in university, that is a miracle. Even I sometimes lost track because there is too much to read. In such condition, a study group is really helpful where all of us can divide sections to read and explain it to each other the next day. It really saves a lot of time!

Next, studying abroad means I have to adapt to the culture here which is a really great experience. Also, there are some odd random things here. One of them is how people have these big windows where everybody can see through it. Personally, it feels really weird if everybody can see my room and what I’m doing inside. Thus, I found it amusing where people bring a package of bread with a jar of jam or cheese and made their own sandwich right there as they want to eat it. But it is fun to get to know these kind of different habits.

So far, being a first year student here is something that I really enjoy. Things are different but sometimes, change is good!