There was a time in my life when I used to be excited about the first day of school. My mom would give us a new toy for the first day and that’s practically the only reason why I got excited. Nowadays, I get excited about the first day of school because I want to meet my teacher’s and find out about the course. This time, I was scared of the first day because I would be integrated into a new education system and the majority of my grade will be decided by the final examination. The biggest difference between SDSU and University of Mannheim is that you don’t have to attend lectures to be successful and there is no homework. That is what scared me because my way of learning is through practice problems and repetition but memorization is more of an essential here; trying to memorize things isn’t my forte. All my professor’s use PowerPoint to conduct their lectures so you can skip class and it wouldn’t affect you because you can read the slides at home. In most business classes, books are not required because the slides are the books! Everything is posted into your student web portal and in a sense; you could treat the course as an online class. Exercise sessions are also offered so you can apply some of the concepts you learned in class to some theoretical problems. This semester is going to be interesting, I will try to hone a skill that I don’t necessarily utilize but I will clear my memory palace and try to make a connection to everything that I need to remember.
Other than the education system being different, I had never lived outside my parents home so I am still getting accustomed to the lifestyle change. In my own personal opinion, I am quiet impressed with how well I am dealing with the homesickness but that’s partly attributed to the relationship I have with my roommates. I live with a girl from Taiwan and a guy from Germany – we all get along and I often bond with them. Talking to my family hasn’t been a problem either, we try to communicate everyday and have a quality conversation. It is a nine-hour difference so by the time I am getting ready for bed, my family is just waking up so it kind of works out. I have also been in contact with my sister, more often than usual, while I have been here in Mannheim so that’s pretty cool.
Other changes that I have been dealing with are laundry! This doesn’t mean that I don’t know how to do laundry, it’s just difficult to do it since they don’t have enough washing machines in the student housing and the dryers leave your clothes damp instead of dry. The constraint has motivated me to start washing my own clothes in the sink and letting it dry in my room; it’s more effective and my room absorbs the smell of rosy-detergent.
Cooking has also been added to my I-can-do-it-now list! My flat doesn’t have an oven or microwave so I have been trying to learn how to cook different plates. My roommate from Taiwan, Janet, is very helpful because she is an amazing cook and she is always willing to help me. I try to look-up different recipes from cooking websites and incase I need some more guidance – I’ll use Youtube to help me every step of the way. The dishes I have prepared are simple but as the days go by, the recipes will get more complex and the food will get more delicious. I can basically cook anything because buying the ingredients is easy, there are three markets that I like going to: Lidl, Aldi Süd, and Kaufland. They offer all the food that I need and everything is pretty cheap! Kaufland is my favorite because it’s the Walmart of grocery stores and you can buy anything there. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any place that has Mexican ingredients so I haven’t been able to make any quesadillas yet…
Time to go eat some Müsli!