If you really want to catch up, read part 1. But here’s a quick summary anyway. I’d been doing and Arts/Science double degree for two and a half years, and had finally figured out what I wanted from my tertiary education.
I’d headed overseas for a three month jaunt around Europe in December 2008, leaving a few days after exams finished and getting back the day after semester started. A lot of things came from this holiday. I sowed seeds of discontent which eventually led to the end of my first relationship, I caught the travel bug big time, and I learned a lot about different people’s perspectives on life. And I fell in love with Germany.
Maybe it was the joviality of Münich or the eclecticism of Berlin, the haunting history of Dachau or the inspiration I drew from learning about the Mauerfall and the East Side Gallery, but something then and there made me desperate to learn more about the country my Oma fled from decades before.
So I took up a Diploma of Modern Languages in German. I figured extending what was already going to be a five-and-a-half-year course by one year couldn’t hurt, and would be worth it. And it didn’t, and was.
I didn’t get in the first time, mind you. I’d applied at the start of 2009. But those failed subjects at the start of Uni? Turns out they reflect poorly on you. Go figure. But those marks that improved paid dividends, and the University saw fit to let me in at the start of 2010. The other choice I made was to get back into Zoology. I enrolled in first-year Bio subjects, and for the first time in my life found out what it’s like to be three years older than everyone around you, and no wiser whatsoever. I met a lot of people who were a lot more focussed and mature than I was. It was a reality check.
But it was almost like starting Uni again, except this time with purpose. Those marks stayed up, and more importantly, I enjoyed what I was doing. Everything was great.
Then that pesky first relationship ended, and though it was hard at the time, it forced me to stop holding myself back, and I started looking into exchange the next year straight away. The thrill of preparing for and going on exchange just can NOT be summarised in 100 words, so we’ll leave that for another time.
So I came back here mid 2012, with three semesters left, as I had only done three subjects per semester in Germany. So I had ten subjects to get done in those three semesters, but I’ve been able to work a fair bit in that time and get a few savings together.
That’s pretty much the whole story.
So in hindsight, what would have I done differently? Those two subjects at the start of the degrees that I failed? Would I have worked harder in those lectures? I like to think I would have passed, even nabbed myself a decent mark, but I do doubt I would have learnt the lesson which eventually prompted me to focus on what I wanted to do in life.
Would I have gone on exchange earlier? No. Whilst coming back and going through the motions of finishing my degrees was tiresome at times, I wouldn’t change exchange at all.
Would I have done more than 3 subjects in those semesters? No. They allowed me to work more hours, and thanks to that job I got to see a bit of America, Egypt and Syria.
So yes, it’s been 7 years of Undergraduate studies, but it’s been worth it. Last exam next Thursday. Hurrah.