This month I have found myself under increasing pressure by the University of Strasbourg, deadlines breathing down my throat, exams that I am not ready for and books that I can barely understand. And I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying the pressure, I feel like I’m back in Leicester. There is a famous saying that states ‘pressure makes diamonds’ and for me it really does. I have achieved more this month than I have done during the last 5 months. I am reading more, studying more, and trying more. I feel that my brain still works and it is good to know that I can perform under pressure. That when I return to Leicester for my final year, I won’t be overwhelmed because I’ve become so unaccustomed to the pressure and workload.
This month alone, I’ve read a whole book, half way through another book, and 90% through a third one. I have started doing my dissertation research for next year and I have bought 8 books on amazon for my dissertation that I plan to start reading whilst in Strasbourg. I have signed up to online courses to improve my French.
Even in my lectures, instead of zoning out after 1 hour, I am fully awake and listening all through the 2.5 hours of lectures. I understand over 85% of what the professor is saying and my notes are actually good. It may have took some time, but I finally found the ‘study’ in ‘study abroad’. Up until now I’ve just been enjoying the ‘abroad’ part, the travelling, the cultural immersion, and the new friends. But this month has taught me that I can do both, balance both the ‘study’ and the ‘abroad’.