It’s a miracle! After a whole month of being here, I now have a student card. At last, I am an official student of Descartes. I can finally go to the library and take out a book the normal way, rather than having to mumble something about Erasmus and then give the librarian my address. So how am I feeling about Paris now that we’re a month in?
Well, I’m definitely feeling less lost. I’d say that’s a good sign. I feel comfortable finding my way around Uni, although this wasn’t too hard as my classes all tend to be in the same place. But still, a well-deserved pat on the back there. I also feel less lost because I finally have some sort of schedule, a routine which my days will follow. Ah, routine! Something we have all desperately been searching for since arriving in Paris.
It’s strange, I didn’t realise how much I would appreciate it. I think it’s the sense of comfort that comes with a routine that is the best thing, knowing that you’re no longer in an “adjustment period”. There’s nothing left to adjust to, you are now just living your life. It’s probably the most normal Paris has felt. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, Paris has been feeling more and more like home. And I’m really happy about that.
I just can’t wrap my head around how fast everything is going. Time is flying by, and it scares me to think that this year will be over before we know it. But I know I can’t let that bother me.
Lectures are getting significantly easier to follow, and that is definitely a relief. In fact, we were saying how even just after a week, we already felt like we were understanding more. Gone are the days where we’d look at each other with lost faces for the most part of the lectures. I’m not saying that I understand everything, as I don’t think that will ever happen, but at least things are looking up.
As for my conversational skills… errr, they are improving, I suppose. We’ve made some French friends, so we definitely do speak a lot more French on a daily basis. Again, I’m quite happy about this, as I was afraid I’d either end up speaking English the whole time, or just not speaking at all. So whilst my sentence structures are clumsy, my accent non-existent, and my vocabulary still borrows from the Oxford dictionary of “Franglais”, on the whole, I am getting there.
However, if this is to be an honest account, I do have to admit the one issue I’m still struggling with. Finding a balance. A balance between your work and free time. As the workload is getting heavier, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to see friends. Between the early starts and late finishes, 8 fiche d’arrets to complete and then the lecture notes you have to sort out because you didn’t quite catch what the lecturer said regarding the portée of that case which was in the year mille-neuf-cent-something- you’re not left with a lot of time to be able to enjoy yourself.
But now that I’m getting the hang of seminars, and planning my time a little bit more, I think I will be able to find this balance somewhere. I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m not in Paris for long- there’s so much left to enjoy! I definitely need to stop carrying all this guilt about work with me everywhere I go. Easier said than done, I know.
I feel like I’ve used the word “happy” a lot in this post, but it is definitely what I’m feeling. I’m enjoying Paris, and I’m so glad I chose to study here. Will I still be saying this when the first load of exams (November) come around? Probably not. But we can deal with that then.