Time flies. The very two first months of me being an FPT university freshman is soon over. And during that short time, I have learnt a lot.
To be honest, on the first few days, I was quite disappointed. Well, I was used to being carefully taken care of by my high school teachers then suddenly, people just do not care that much. Whether I learn or not depends entirely on me, there was nobody there to force or to tell me off for not doing my homework. Additionally, the pressure of making new friends, in a so-called strange environment stressed me out a lot. I felt lost, like a fish out of water. For the first time, a girl who claimed straightforwardly she wanted to stay as far from home as possible started missing her parents. How pathetic! How am I going to SURVIVE four years here? But then when I asked some of my roommates who were about to graduate, they said I might as well get used to it. It is what university really is, it’s time you learn independence and self-reliance. Nobody will care whether you learn or not, teachers already have a lot in their plate. Hence, I learnt to accept instead of controlling the uncontrollable and started anew to adapt myself to it.
At least I was not alone in those desperate first moments. My new classmates shared the same feelings and it consoled me a lot. Indeed, that’s what bonded us all together, learning adaption and independence. That’s how I got started.
Speaking of my academic achievement, I believe my English somehow got better as I have practiced a lot. In other words, I was forced to speak English if I wanted my English teacher to understand me. Besides, it was necessary to listen to teachers attentively if you wanted to understand the lessons. And my classmates came in a variety of accents, which was good for listening.
The truth is, when I was in high school, even in my English class, we discussed things all in Vietnamese and just used English only when we got called up on the board. Things are different here. We are being immersed in English and English only. That’s the best incentive for us to use English. Truth be told, things are always struggling at first. You are afraid people will make fun of your accent and incorrect grammar. But with time, we are more open and the need for self-expression and participation in the class made us open our mouths.
Besides, I am not sure about other universities but at FPT, we have test every two week. At first, I thought it was unnecessary and stressful. However, as I got used to it, I found it beneficial to recalling knowledge and evaluating our understanding and language acquisition. Of course, you are supposed to be happy when you get good grades or otherwise, you may be really depressed. Either way, you are motivated to strive for the better. All in all, I am grateful to my school for that testing curriculum.
Also, teachers here are unexpectedly easy-going for me. I felt relieved when I came late and she just did not mention it. We are free to use laptop in our class, for the sake of learning and others, too. In my subjective opinion, there was never an air of tension inside classroom and I feel happy going to school these days. Textbooks are just a tool and indeed, I learn more from teachers’ stories and my friends’ experiences. The news that teachers are sick was once a good news to me. But not now, I want to treasure the very last days with my beloved friends. I feel empty when I do not go to school one day. I find that weird myself. Maybe we really hit it off, or because I enjoy learning so much (I am just kidding.)
In addition to that small academic improvements (thank you teacher, I will miss you), I think I have become a better person. I have learnt to cooperate and not take on more than I can handle, thanks to my cooperative teammates. I have learnt to be more sociable. It came to me as an enlightenment that I could make others laugh because of my silly words and stupid actions. And laughter is contagious, we had fun, we had joy together. That’s what really makes schooling so rewarding for me. Previously, I had been seeing myself as an introvert outsiders, someone who never fits in this extroverted world. Yeah, I am still a healthy introvert, except for being more extroverted. I used to feel like nobody understood me. But I came to believe “If everybody can understand you, then you are such a normal person”. On the contrary, being sociable brings us all together, even with my roommates, my seeming sisters. We shared food and funny videos of them kept me up until 2 in the morning.
One more thing, I had a memorable trip with my teacher and class. The food was delicious. Generosity is your middle name, teacher, thank you. After the trip, many of my classmates fell ill for some unknown reasons but overall, we really enjoyed ourselves. I can’t believe a girl who once would rather slam the door and read books now become someone who initiates a trip for my class. It was a great change befalling me, thanks to my beloved teacher and friends. Thank you!
To sum up, my feelings are mixed. On the one hand, I want to pass the final test to move on, as anybody does. On the other hand, however, I hope time to drag so that I have more time with them, the so-called most relaxing time of university. After this, we will part with each other and start to learn our majors, which are expected to be painstaking and difficult. Anyway, any happy events come to an end and I still remember what my literature told us on our farewell party “Memories are things left incomplete.” It’s fine, I will be strong, not be in tears and ready to take a new path. Still we will see each other as long as we are in the same school, right? Forget me not,
December 16, 2016