Weeks Twenty-Four & Twenty-Five

It’s over!… Well, almost. I finished finals, but I have a paper and a programming project that are due at the end of March. I can’t say the semester is over until I’ve finished those things, but at least I don’t have any more finals for now.

The last couple weeks have been pretty crazy with finals overlapping a “block course” (intensive or workshop style course that takes place over a shortened period of time) in which I had a presentation. I won’t know my grades until much much later, but I am pretty sure I passed everything. I know I didn’t get full marks on everything, but to be honest, I am not that worried about it. I feel like I learned a lot, in the best way that I could, and if I missed a few definitions on an exam somewhere then oh well.

It’s been a long time since I had to learn in a university setting, and of course, I’ve never done it in Germany. Working a full-time job versus going to university are fairly different tasks. I feel like there were a lot of adjustments I had to make to my life over the last months, and I didn’t quite know how to do it at the start. My hope is that I will be in a better position next semester, now that I’ve seen how some of it should go. At every step, I have to fight my own penchant for escaping into time wasting activities when faced with a stressful task. My goal for next semester (starting now) will be to cut down on idle social media browsing.

I’m concerned, though, that to really be good at this stuff, there may be more for me to learn in the remaining 1.5 years than I think my brain can fully saturate in that amount of time. Part of the reason I do all that idle browsing is because sometimes my brain just feels too full. When I first came here, it was my hope to focus on learning in a systematized way, but after being here for a semester, I am concerned that spending energy fulfilling the more bureaucratic-style aspects of being in school is hurting the actual learning process. Nevertheless, having funding for 2 years of school still makes learning easier than working full time and trying to take classes in the evening. I’m just going to have to carefully pick my battles.

block_party

In Amsterdam.

On the social side of things, at the end of the semester, once everyone was done with finals, we had party after party and we have more planned. I am not a big drinker, and I don’t tend to stay out too late, but it’s been so awesome to relax with everyone and actually meet up with people who I haven’t spoken to for a while as well. Some of the people were only here for one semester, so they are leaving now, and I regret not spending more time with them when I had the chance.

Costs

I think this has been the most expensive month so far, because I laid most of my travel plans for the next 3 months all down at once, and I definitely didn’t do it in the most efficient/cheapest way. Around €213 of it or so should get reimbursed way later since it was for plane tickets to the Erasmus meeting in Malta, but I’m gonna count it as gone right now. The price tag will shock you. =\

  • €208 – school fee
  • €45.39 – groceries
  • €34.5 – dining out/drinks
  • €7 – laser tag with friends (so fun)
  • €10 – bouldering
  • €33 – video games (in my defense I haven’t bought games in forever)
  • €12.76 – medical expenses (meds, vitamins)
  • €2.09 – feminine hygiene
  • €437 – plane/train tickets
  • €162 – AirBnB
  • Total: €951.74

This is the second month that I’ve been here when my expenses have been greater than my income. Fortunately, I still have a lot saved from my previous job, and I was way under budget last month as well. I do expect to spend a lot in the next couple of months since I am traveling so much, but that’s exactly why I wanted to come here with savings — so that I could actually enjoy my time here.

 

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