You know that time at the end of the year when you think about what happened over the last twelve months, you reflect on the ups and downs and thank God for the many good things you could experience and for the lessons you learned during tough situations…Then comes the first day of a whole new year and as you wonder what the next 365 days will bring and hope for the best, you suddenly you feel the urge to turn over a new leaf! No more procrastinating and yes, I really will go running at least three times a week – and no, I will not eat junk food after 9pm because so-and-so says its unhealthy – and the list goes on…
Being a University student, I usually have this urge three times a year: New Years, at the start of my summer semester and at the start of my winter semester. The usual “Of course I will always attend ALL my classes and this time I will most certainly prepare for each lecture, do my homework AND revise the material covered and maybe even read some additional books on the subject, just to go a bit deeper…”
The last couple days felt like a wonderful vacation – I showed my three lovely visitors from Freiburg various sights in Madrid, tried to convince them to eat mussels, lots of salad, bread with ham and churros with chocolate (the last of which was easiest…) We visited the beautiful city of Toledo and celebrated my flatmate’s birthday together with a lot of her friends…but tomorrow things get serious: Its the 10th September and my first day of classes at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. My schedule is almost fixed and I am looking forward with great anticipation to a rather full week and curious to find out what its like to study biology in Spanish and how long it will take me to learn a whole lot of new vocabulary…
So with a few butterflies in my stomach and the sensation that it is “the start of something new” (got a cheesy song stuck in my head) here goes my list of “new year’s resolutions”:
- First challenge is to arrive (more or less) punctually – the campus is about 20km away from where I live so that means getting up a little bit earlier…good thing is that no class starts before 9:00 am =)
- Though this is a classic one to fail at, I really would like to come to class prepared and to learn actively, not just sit there day dreaming…my theory is, that the language barrier might be a good thing since it demands extra effort – maybe I’ll fill my little vocab book by the end of the year?
- The horror of horrors: Grammar! So maybe I will manage to learn here what I haven’t managed in Germany, Pakistan or Thailand the past 23 years…to come a bit closer to understanding grammar. Might not be a bad idea to work on that – gonna be a language teacher after all…
- Prettilius Planticus…living in a country with a different flora and fauna than Germany I hope I manage to learn something about the nature I encounter here – even though those Latin names can be tiresome =)
- The UAM has sweet sports facilities…including a swimming pool, Gym, basketball courts, soccer field, tennis courts, volleyball courts…Would really love to keep up with sports and maybe maybe maybe I could even fulfill that “one day I’ll run a half-marathon dream” – you never know, haven’t gotten around to it the past two years in Freiburg, but location is everything – running in Madrid with thousands of other participants…vamos a ver =)
- Language = Culture – Madrid is the city of museums. But apart from learning about art or history I also want to learn about Spanish culture and get to know people here – already realized that there is a rich cultural variety amongst native speakers of Spanish as I’ve spent time with people from Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Mexico…
- Travel…So of course I’m in Madrid to study, but wouldn’t it be nice to see a bit more of the country too? My brilliant plan is to visit some other places but I don’t want to be on the move every weekend or end up in debt…but I’m sure that’s manageable =)
- Communication…I feel so privileged to have met so many amazing people and to have been welcomed to warmly into their lives…but of course I haven’t forgotten my friends and family “back home” so though I am not always the best at writing regularly and might think of my loved ones many times without calling once…I do hope to better myself and intend to communicate with y’all in person – and of course I will keep updating my blog =)
- Last but definitely not least – I want to honour God during my time here because HE is the one that brought me here and the reason for my studies and everything! Thank you Lord for your presence in my life and your incredible love!
Those were my nine resolutions for the coming semester(s)…Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on resolutions, studiousness or butterflies =)