We would like to introduce you to our new student and blogger Beatriz! She is not new in Amsterdam but she knows exactly what are you going through as the start of your study abroad is approaching fast. Let's hear some oh hers "unfiltered university experiences"!
To you, the reader, the one seating on the edge of the seat waiting for the green light as to jump full force into the next stage of your life.
My name is Beatriz, although I go as Bee for the majority of time. Some would say I’m Portuguese (at least that is what my birth certificate states) although I tend to distance myself from how a typical “tuga”, a less fancy way of saying Portuguese, thinks. What brings me here, you might ask? Well, this September I’ll be starting a new Bachelor. I’m going full nerd and I decided to study Artificial Intelligence.
Freshly out of high school I decided to let go of all comfort provided by my home. I was seventeen and in between the ecstasy of not having to deal with my parents (provided by my fine-tuned imagination) and a melancholic view of the Portuguese and their way of going about life, I grabbed my bag (or 5) and moved on my own to Amsterdam. I was about to start my bachelor in Psychology at the University of Amsterdam.
I’d like to start by saying that I was in a right state of mind when I made the decision to swap summers of forty degrees for ones of twenty five. In fact, as the palest of my family, every day where temperatures rise above 30 I get misrecognized for a half melted white magnum. Once I moved to Amsterdam, I fell into all traps. No budgeting, under- and over-studying, extensive use of Netflix which ultimately led me to one of the hardest decisions: I deleted my account (it is still an open wound). Going to Albert Heijn more than I would go grocery shopping, over-buying at thrift shops because “it was a great price”, buying an expensive bike just for it to be stolen 3 days later, not being home when DHL came etc. I was doing Amsterdam in all shades of wrong. The cherry on top of the cake? I had joined the wrong bachelor… How come I had embarked on what I thought would be the most invigorating experience just to realise I had no passion for what was being taught? Don’t get me wrong, psychology is an incredible field and I learned a great deal of knew information but there’s a difference between interest and the thrill you get from intellectual stimulation at its finest state.
Nine months passed and here I am, a psychology drop out writing at my dinner table, “Homo Deus” by Yuval Noah Harari by my right and an empty seat by my left. Now, three months until I start a Bachelor in Artificial Intelligence at VU there’s an overflowing fear that this might also not be the right course for me. However, fear can be a driving force. It can fuel ambition and curiosity. Writing has been an incredible way to analyse my own fears and small victories along the way. As cliché as it is, failure is unavoidable and I decided to have weekly check-ins with the Pandora's box that my mind is. Embarking in this blogging journey is my way of sharing the ups and downs of what a second shot at university looks (and feels) like. What transitioning from one university to another entails including leaving half built friendships to hopefully build new ones. A way to share a glimpse of how I, an 18 year old (dedicated introvert) experiences university and all that it entails.
I will provide you with the lessons I’ve learn along the way, I’ll add new perspectives and opinions regarding student life as an international student. I’ll provide your blog with the harsh truth of getting knocked down, getting back up, rationalising the situation and figuring out what your next step is but above all else I’ll give you, the readers, an opportunity for self growth, not through inspiration (the newest mainstream genre) but through an unfiltered university experience. The excitement of the soon to be, the shock of what it is and the endless possibilities of what might come.