Settling in a new place is never easy. That’s something the past few weeks have taught me, and something I’m still learning with every passing day. Since the start of classes, one of the most difficult things I’ve faced, and still do, was to find a definite routine to my day, through which I can get all my things done. With the start of every academic year, I would have this blueprint of a schedule on how every week would go and when everything would be due to get done; that including the time I made for myself and extra-curricular stuff besides studying. I had always found it easy to do that back in Egypt, so that was never a problem. But here I was in Germany, where everyone and everything (excluding trains) were on time and organized , and I was facing difficulties. Once I had gotten over that self-doubt phase, which I so gracefully excel at, I realized that this wasn’t about me failing to get by in improved circumstances. It’s about giving yourself the time and space to adapt to a whole new experience. Life here is different on so many levels.
Most distinctively for me is how the learning process goes, and how much it encourages creativity, rather than abiding to a certain set of rules that limit one’s capability to think outside the box. Reading this, you’re probably thinking how positive it sounds. It is. But it’s different. Another thing is the complex yet impressive transportation connections, between busses and trains. You could plan your arrival at a destination down to the last minute, saving yourself a huge amount of time, in comparison to back home where you’d give yourself an hour head start at the least to avoid being too late, but then again, integrating all those tiny details into your timetable is definitely a challenge.
Once you get over the excitement of starting anew, it will begin to hit you that you are now practically alone, and you have no other choice but to rely only on yourself. That being said from the perspective of someone who’s lived almost most of his life with family, and never really had any form of complete independence , which is usual in my part of the world , where children are expected to live with their parents till they’re married. From what I have experienced so far , it is okay sometimes to feel homesick , to be exhausted , and to doubt your capability of doing this altogether. Nothing great comes easy. When these feelings hit you , and they will , embrace them , but do not let them drown you. Use them to determine what is missing from your equation of success, to define what you need to do and what you need to stop. Never underestimate the value of making time for yourself to reflect on your current situation and how you can go forward from there. Surround yourself with friends, step out of your comfort zone, try new things you haven’t done before and accept that, as a rule of life, change is always in motion, and we have to adapt in order to survive, and from there, flourish.