Welcome to what seemed like the LONGEST first weeks of my life.
First and foremost, I want to say thank you to everyone who wished me happy birthday. It was weird this year not being with my normal people and it was still a birthday I will remember. I was able to travel up to Lake Como with my flatmates so we had a good weekend.
There is always a running joke that January in general is a “long month”….when every year it’s 31 days so it’s nothing new. However, this week I felt like that person to complain about it.
It apparently is not common knowledge that MLK Day is not a worldwide thing. At least to some of my friends. So yes I did start start on Monday, Jan. 20, aka MLK Day in USA.
Starting on the first day of grad school coming from undergrad is difficult, so I have a lot of sympathy for the people who do it. If there is someone reading this, who is still in undergrad, let me just tell you that if or when you choose to go to grad school…you will still have to stand up and introduce yourself and say a fun fact about you in grad school too. You think you’re escaping it, but you’d be very, very wrong. If I have to say “Hi I am Rebecca from USA” one more time, I might lose it. I feel bad complaining on some instances for the people who have already done it. Moreover, doing that whole overwhelming thing in a whole other world, with language barriers, and no idea what to expect due to so much chaos is what gave me an anxiety attack this past week.
If you have been to any standard university in the US you are used to the schedules of a M-W-F / T-TR classes or at least a set schedule. It’s a given and you know what you’re getting yourself in to when you sign up for said classes. Let me ~try~ to lay out to you what my schedule looks like.
Monday : Sociology of Fashion 9:30-1:30
Tuesday : Sociology of Fashion 11:30-1:30 / Lunch 1:30-2:30 / Sociology of Fashion 2:30 – 4:30
Wednesday : Design Projects 11:30-1:30 / Lunch 1:30-2:30 / Design Projects 2:30 – 4:30
Thursday : Design Projects 9:30-1:30 / Lunch 1:30-2:30 / Sociology of Fashion 2:30 – 4:30
Friday : Career Management 9:30- 1:30.
Mind you, this schedule changes day-to-day and week-to-week. At least until I get into my full ‘master’ courses. Which will be around March from what I understand. I cannot say that the courses are hard or will be challenging exactly, because currently I am re-learning or “getting back in shape nor re-learning something you already know” if you ask Kata (my journalism professor and advisor / bestie from Western).
*Click here if you want to read my first article for grad school.*
Some things that also have taken adjusting too besides the language barrier is the cultural differences between the two separate countries. There are some things you would think are known worldwide but are not. Also from living abroad briefly before, I wish I could remember if I noticed it before, but I can’t. Im making another post to go over all of those points, but with input from some of my other foreign friends.
If we’re going to reference back to my ‘Phases’ post. I have reached phase 4 at this point. I’m fully prepared to be here for a couple months, until I know more Italian. Which is going better than before. I did have my first internal breakdown while at lunch with friends because I could not order food from the menu very well. So I am motivated to keep learning now.
Closing with another verse that I found very inspiring Tuesday this past week when I was having a really hard time :
“The Lord is close to those who are brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 NIV
*This was written before the news of Kobe broke and I feel like this verse can also be used to help cope. I know that he was a hero to many, and the story is heartbreaking in itself. Rest in Peace, Kobe and Gigi.