Hello everyone ! Welcome back ! To end this year Back-to-School season, I would like to finish it with a bit of a story time. Actually, this is kinda of unusual for me, talking about myself and not something around me (one of my rooms makeover, one of my recipes) but about me precisely.
For those who didn’t know, over the last years, since the beginning of this blog, I’ve been a student, long-time student. And since last April, my studies are over. I won’t talk about my current situation, it’s both complicated and still very blurry, so there’s not that much to share with others. However, later, when things are different and when I decide there’s something to share with you, some advices to give, I will, of course.
So, as an end clap to 2021 Back-to-School Season and the last 8 years of my life, I would to tell you today about my university studies. Who knows, maybe it’ll be interesting to some of you, having the experience of someone else.
Let’s get started !
June 2013 – Starting point of a beautiful experience
This is when I graduated from high school, from a Sciences degree, with Chinese language and Latin as my optional school subjects. The funny thing is that I graduated from a Sciences degree thanks to languages…. High school was actually kinda hard for me, I was crawling to the exit. I didn’t care about my scores, I just wanted to go to university, get my freedom, far away from the people that terrorized me for years. And languages happened to be my favourite subjects and as I did well with these, it was obvious it was my way.
September 2013 – New “school”, new city, new home, new life
So, I went to the other side of my country to attend to university and join the rows of the languages Department. I kept studying English and Chinese languages, as I enjoyed the first and loved the second. Still I didn’t know how involved I would be into learning Mandarin. This year was full of surprises and discoveries for me, bad and good, as I was alone for the first time in my life, in a big city, after spending 18 years in my countryside with my family.
September 2015 – Let’s have a bigger challenge !
Two years after starting studying Chinese and English, with economics, law, marketing, communication and so on, I added an other panel to my studies: Russian language. Some people told me I was crazy, starting such a difficult language when being in my graduating year of Chinese (the heaviest and most difficult year). Some others were impressed. But nobody understood my choice. I agree, that year have been exhausting for me. I had each week 36 hours of classes, plus all the homework I had and the 1.5 hour of job I had (giving some lessons to kids). It was physically and mentally exhausting and difficult for me. But I managed and got rewarded in April 2016 by graduating from by English-Chinese degree. This was quite an experience for me, and I have to say, I’m very proud having accomplished it. However, I wouldn’t do it again. The exhaustion it left me in, the stress and anxiety I felt (fear of losing my friends as I spend the whole time working, not going out with them), it was the price to pay for such an achievement.
This is how I graduated from my English-Chinese degree, the first one.
September 2016 – Let’s slow down, but just a little
As I was attending to my second year of Russian Cultural degree, I decided to attend to the Chinese one. I wanted to keep in touch with Chinese, but didn’t want to get into a Master at the same time with the Russian, it would have been too much for me. This is how I decided to attend to the Chinese Cultural degree, starting at the second year as well. I could do that, since the first year for both the two Chinese degree (Economic one and Culture one) was the same.
Doing so, I was still attending to two different degrees but some subjects were in common and I managed to validate the Chinese language classes as I already took their exam 2 years before. This way it was much more manageable for me.
Also, this year, I (re)discovered how literature, culture, history were much more my cup of tea, than economics or law.
However, it was getting hard to manage, even if I had less classes. The Russian classes were too heavy for me, too much pressure from the teachers, too less language-learning hours. I was getting even more exhausted and depressed and I felt like I was slowly losing my Chinese and my love for Russian language.
September 2017 – The real slowdown step and a difficult decision
As the situation was, you could imagine things wouldn’t stay the same the next year. Changes had to be made, otherwise problems would have occured. That’s the reason why I made the very hard decision not to keep attending the Russian classes. I stopped. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t get something done from A to Z. But I made that decision because it was reasonable and necessary. If I had kept going on like this, I would have been disgusted with Russian language (a shame it would have been) and I would have got even more depressed and sick. My mental health demanded this decision from me.
This is how, 2 years after having 36 hours a week, I ended up with 9 hours a week. What a paradox ! But it was good to have much more time for me, for my blog. It felt so good to be able to slow down after all the hardwork.
And then, in April 2017, I graduated for the second time, from my Chinese (Culture and Literature) degree. I was proudly a bachelor in Chinese Economics, Literature, History and Culture.
September 2018 – New step ahead
As it seems I fell in love with learning Chinese anthropology, culture and so on, I kept studying in this area, with the Master degree. I was able to explore more of the Chinese culture and what evolves around China, and more of my writing abilities. I was pushing myself even more and staying in a comfort zone in the same time.
April 2020 – My biggest achievement
April 2020 is when I submitted my Master thesis (about chamanic exorcism’s links with traditionnal Chinese drama play) and successfully graduated from my Master degree, with a splendid 18/20 for my thesis. This was the conclusion to my Chinese studies, a bright and grandiose one. It was the end of 7 years in the Chinese Studies Department. It was a bittersweet goodbye.
But life showed that it wouldn’t be the ultimate farewell to my university life.
September 2020 – A last-minute decision for reconciliation
So, in June 2020, I suddenly decided to come back to my Russian studies, to finish my degree, as only one year was left. I was certainly afraid of leaving my university, my home for the last 7 years, and it felt right to finish what I was very frustrated not to had been able to finsh 3 years before. And this year has been a new challenge for me as, except for the first 4 weeks, as it got be from home. At the end of September, the university got shut down (you’ll know why), so everyone got to study from home. Funny thing is that it was kind of a relief for me, as the month I spent in the city at this time was a real nightmare for me (everyday, I was afraid someone would beat me, there was something pernicious in the air.) So I decided, when the Fall break came, to get back to my hometown, in the safe countryside, study from there and never come back to the city. So, having everyone in the same situation as me, made me kind of happy, I was on the same level as the others, not disadvantaged from them.
However, it was a very hard year for me, the hardest one. It wasn’t because of the work we had, but because I spent about 12 hours a day on my computer (Insane !) I got very sick, with nausea and terrible headaches. I absolutely can tell you from my experience that study from home is not a way to study. It’s slightely different when you’re learning something by yourself, at your own pace. But for school, university and so on, that’s a NO.
Also, having 7 years of studying behind my back helped me a lot during these last months, mainly not to lose ground and give up, like so many people did in 2020 and 2021.
April 2021 – End of a lifetime adventure
And in April 2021, I finally graduated for the 4th time and the last time, from my Russian bachelor degree.
And after the year I just spent, I decided to stop. If things were different, I would probably have kept going on with a Russian Master degree. But the circumstances were not to my taste. 2021 disgusted me from studying. Another reason was about money: on April 2020, my scholarship credit ended. I couldn’t benefit from a scholarship anymore, and that changed a lot of things for me. The last year wasn’t such a big deal as I didn’t have my flat anymore and was living with my family.
It was another sign, it was time to end the adventure. It was the end of the road. Except from December 2020, I never came back to the city.
And I realized something.
What now ?
Remember back in September 2013, I had known only the countryside, and the city was a brand new thing for me. Over the last 7/8 years, I’ve explored what the city could offer me and what the countryside couldn’t, and vice et versa. And over the last years, I’ve learned something else apart from languages. The city taught me an important lesson. I was born in the countryside, I was a countryside girl and I will always be. My past was in the countryside and so will be my future. I wasn’t a city girl, I didn’t need the city and her fake jewels. I needed the countryside and its greenery, its wind, its peace, its fruits.
“I needed to get away just to realize that I was meant to stay.”
As I love travelling, just to realize how much I love being in my home and need to go back to her, I needed to get away to the big city, at the other side of the country, to realize how much I was attached to my hometown, my countryside and my origins in overall. University was just a step for me to get closer to what I already had without knowing how valuable it was.
The city and university both left me good memories and lessons that’ll help me going on in the future, God’s will.
I honestly don’t know what life has now in store for me. And I don’t really want to know. I just hope that it is something as unbelievable and wonderful as what she had in store for me when I graduated from high school and didn’t know what was waiting for me.
In June 2013, I didn’t know what the future was. Now in September 2021, I know it was beautiful and wonderful (even if there have been some dark spots).
In September 2021, I don’t know what the future is. But I really hope that someday, I would say “It was beautiful and wonderful.”
This will be the conclusion of today’s post and 2021 Back-to-School Season. Thank you so much for sticking up with me. I hope you enjoyed this season’s content. Next week, we’ll go back to usual content. I’ll keep making some Back-to-School season next year and after. Maybe the content will slightely different, still don’t know, but I really hope you’ll get on the ride with me.
Once again, a massive thank to each one of you. And don’t forget that there’s not one single path to choose and follow, there are as many paths as there are people.
That’ll be all for today’s post.
I’ll talk to you in a next post.
Until then, take care of yourself ❤