17 May 2016

It occurred to me that most the time I have something specific I want to write about for these posts, but I felt like it was just about time that I wrote something a bit more chatty and just give you a few general updates about the life behind all the exciting excursions, because I feel like that is sometimes forgotten!

May felt like a rather peculiar month for me, there seemed to be a lot going on with university work, exams, resits, more exams, presentations, coursework and all that jazz, so time just flew by. I think I realised this most when it came round to my birthday, because it really doesn’t seem long since I was celebrating my last milestone. I couldn’t help but think of how things were a year before; reaching the end of second year in university, a nervous wreck caught in the grasp of exam time, dreading any mention of the year abroad. Never did I quite expect that the year after I would be spending my 21st surrounded by dear friends and thriving in a place I now call my second home.

I guess there was still a part of me that wished I could just pop home and put up my cards on the mantlepiece and spend the day eating homemade cake, but I made sure to make the most of the day even if I couldn’t do that!

In the morning I met up with a fellow Lancastrian and we went for a rather civilised ”coffee with a view” up Schlossberg, and then took a walk around the town seen as the weather was so lovely! Later on I met with a group of friends and we dined ‘al fresco’ in a gormet burger bar (called Beat, Graz – a definite recommend) and it was delicious! Even made room for a cookie dough pudding…How could I resist?!

The end of May was again significant for me as it meant that I only have one full month left, before I will be homeward bound! Sounds crazy to think about that! Only matter of weeks and I have around 9 exams and a hefty load of coursework to finalise. See it’s really not all fun and games!

Though I can’t help noticing a change in how I feel about these kinds of pressures of exams and such. If there is one thing that this year has taught me it’s that being anxious and stressing over things too much is just a waste of time and energy! No matter how much you dread something, how much you fear or how bad you anticipate something to be it does not change the situation. Yes, exams here are hard here, I think I’ve discovered that since completely failing to achieve any grade at all in some exams, but you just got to hop back up and try again! Life isn’t about being great at everything, it’s about having the courage to give it a shot. Some people might say that studying abroad is the easy option, but trust me you try sitting in a lecture with all Austrian students whilst the lecture speaks 99% in a strong dialect about language disorders in the brain. It’s a challenge to say the least!

Nearing the last home stretch of my ‘wunderbares Jahr im Ausland’ now, and it’s rather a bittersweet thing. The time left will be spent working for exams (and praying for a miracle in some cases!), spending time with my nearest and dearest in Austria and of course hopping on a train and seeing a few more gems of the world whenever that be possible!

You can follow more of Katie's Austrian adventure in her blog.