First Winter Exam Session – Done

Three days ago I finished what was my first ever university exam session and let me tell you, it was a whirlwind of emotions, insecurities and late nights. I understood so much about myself and about what I will do better next time and I have to say, I am very pleased.

My first exam was on the 10th of January, Business Fundamentals I think you would call it in English. I went fully prepared and knowing that I would ace it. That turned out to be true: I did everything perfectly and got the maximum. I was very happy and for the first time ever I felt like hard work really pays off. So that is my first lessons learned there.

My second exam was probably the one I dreaded the most: Math. This was the lengthiest one, divided in two parts: the written exam (on the 16th of January) and the oral exam (on the 22nd). The written part went, in my opinion, kind of below mediocre. The oral part went much better and my professor assessed that: that got me a 26/30 overall. I could not have been happier, I must say. That grade is higher than any I have ever gotten in high school in this subject and I am proud of myself.

Fast forward to three days ago, I did my last exam of the semester, Public Law, at noon on the 20th of February. Now, I have never felt more insecure than I did the days prior to this exam. I did not study as much as I should have, I did not prepare my answers as well as I should have, so I was mentally prepared for a mediocre grade. The professor herself decided to examine the student who have actively frequented her class (leaving the others to her assistants), those she recognized the faces of, so she also picked me. She started asking me question after question, not letting me breathe, saying she liked my way of answering and therefore having fun torturing me. I did not expect to get the maximum, but I did. What mattered more though, is what she told me after: she said that she is proud of me and of the fact that also my other exams went well and how she is simply content witnessing this from someone who was not born in this country.

This final exam made me realize that I should believe in myself more, that I should assess my capabilities. A friend of mine, whom I was venting to the night before, told me to remember that I am Wonder Woman.

What you are inside shines through in times of hardship and coincidently, those times make you who you are. 

This semester I have been insecure, thinking that other classmates of mine were way above my level and that I could not reach them. Well, that proved to be false. I have something that not many people have, and it is not a particular drive for a subject more than another; it is purpose. I have a grand plan in my head and I will not rest until it is accomplished. You want to know who I am? I am the person you hear about in motivational videos on youtube. Check me out.

I am not perfect, I have to say. There are many things I should have done differently: I should have started studying sooner and I should have studied more. I should have doubted myself less and ignored my brain when it would try to make me nap in the afternoon. This semester, starting Monday, I know better.

Thank you for reading.

xx

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Reflecting

I always get in my feelings as soon as the festive season starts, from Christmas Eve until the New Year. This year though, it has been tougher to see the silver lining. Let me explain.

The festivities are always a bit lonely for me. Yes, on Christmas Eve I was with my parents and it was nice and I appreciated it, since some people do not even get to have that. But we are a small family: it is just the three of us here. The rest are scattered across the globe. I am also an only child, so that doesn’t help.

Christmas Day itself was lonely. The more I scrolled through Insta and watched InstaStories, the more I saw friends with their extensive families, enjoying their company, eating, and playing. I was alone, with my phone, my dog, a cup of tea, Anastasia (the animated film), and Love Actually. For the first time in a looooong couple of months I felt truly alone. But I noticed, both on tumblr and Twitter, that people made posts of solidarity for people who, like me, were lonely or alone these Holidays. It was indeed nice seeing how good people can be.

I am sure I was not the only one who felt like this and I want to say, and reassure you, that everything is temporary. This time will pass, just like everything else, and everything will go back to normal or, for a change, will become even better. All I can say is that you should try and stay busy, be it by watching films, going out for walks, or studying/working.

So keep sipping your tea, watching your rom-coms and scrolling through Insta. You’ve got this, patient wolf.

Thank you for reading and have a merry ending of 2017.

xx

University Life Update and Advice – December 2017

Remember how I was so positive and excited back in this post? Yep, things changed. Exams are nearing (my first one is on the 10th of January) and I am scared af. I have indeed started studying but I already feel like I am behind (which is particularly accurate).

True, I should have started studying as soon as the semester started but being big-headed and egocentric, my ego got the best of me and now here I am, swimming through despair. Okay, I might be exaggerating; there are people who are in way worse situations than me, but still, I feel a bit lost.

As far as Math goes, I think I am at a pretty good point. Some things are new for me too, but I get the mechanics behind them and all it takes is a bit of practice.

Business Fundamentals, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated: I am at a good point with the theory, but accounting is a whole another beast that I still have to truly face head-on. Just like math, getting good at accounting takes time and practice, which is why I will truly study it during my Winter Holidays.

Lastly, Public Law is…boring? I mean, it flows well and the professor is awesome, but it is not my cup of tea. Luckily, this exam is at the end of January so I have a lot of time to study and repeat out loud the most important content.

Now, for some advice:

  • start studying as soon as possible: seriously, it is never too early to start. Do not reschedule, do not say “I’ll do it later”, just do everything as soon as possible, while also doing it well;
  • do the reading: if a professor tells you what you have to read up on until next lesson or leaves you an exercise to do at home, do it. They do that for a reason and you will feel accomplished;
  • study anytime, anywhere: I take the train everyday, back and forth, to and from Rome, and those 80 minutes total can be spent studying or reading something helpful;
  • it is okay if you cannot do it, for once: everyone has their breaking point, everyone gets tired, every woman gets pms and feels dead on the inside. Rest is good, as long as you are recharging to push harder next time;
  • be nice: simply put, be a nice person, be it to your peers or to professors, do not act superior; everyone is in the same boat as you and professors are there to help and teach, so do not think that they are out to get you and catch you unprepared.

This is what I have to say for now. I will probably update you guys after my exams are over, hopefully bringing you good news.

Than you for reading, once more.

xx

Re finding myself

The past couple of weeks have been tough and putting it all on here requires a tremendous amount of effort on my part. I am not going to bother you with the details of my heartbreak or the how, why and by who, but I am here to narrate how I decided to react.

Getting over a heartbreak is never easy, but throughout the years I have learnt how to move on faster; it is not something I do consciously, my mind just seems to remove immediate memories in order to let me heal as fast as possible. That does not mean that the memories will not resurface from time to time, but at least the immediate response helped me breathe more easily.

When you go back to being alone the focus and attention you were giving the other person has to go somewhere else; I decided to push it towards myself. I noticed that I had somehow lost my glamorous and unique self which I always had going on and only found it when I went out on dates. I lost my smile and sense of humour due to all of the pain and suffering. I needed to find all of that and get it back.

Focusing back on myself meant following a couple of steps:

  • Drink more water: this is necessary for glowing skin and overall great health. This is the number one step in any good routine;
  • Focus on skincare: having a good base to lay makeup on is always a key factor;
  • Read more: this is a good life tip in general. You can never read too much and you can never be too educated, reading everyday, wether for recreational or educational reasons, should be a priority;
  • Go out: the worst thing that you can do is isolate yourself from the outside world and wallow is self pity. Going out forces you to wear makeup (if you want to), get pretty and be sociable, at least in my case, so it is the best thing you can do;
  • Be open: do not close your heart to other people just because of a bad experience, or because of a thousand ones. No matter what, the bravest thing to do is start clean and open, with no prejudice, but with the knowledge of the past.

I suppose this is all. I am obviously still working on all of this, but the important thing is starting. I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for reading.

xx

My high school experience is Done!

I cannot believe this is real. I finally finished high school, after 5 intense and gruelling years (yes, high school lasts 5 years in Italy). The feeling has just started settling in even though when I am writing this 2 weeks have passed since I took my last exam.

I am content with the way my finals went. Could have they gone better? Of course, it can always go better, but I was well aware of what I have done during these 5 years and what my limits were (aka the math part was not really my forte).

I must say that I was not stressed in the least during my exam weeks. Yes, it was overwhelming but what was done was done and no late night study sessions could mend the spaces left behind. I was calm and collected, despite experiencing a very harsh UTI when I took my first exam. I know, it might be too much information, but it is what it is.

Now that all is said and done, I think I should reflect on what these last 5 years have meant and what they have done for me.

When I started high school I was a completely different person, and I really mean it. I was extremely shy, awkward and would not socialise whatsoever. Thankfully, I then became friends with a classmate of mine who was and is my complete opposite. She helped me become more open to opportunities and talk more. From then on, despite some people not believing in me, be it because I am female, be it because I am Romanian, I thrived. I often came out on top, regardless of whether I studied or not and that made people angry. The fact that I was respectful to everyone made people angry. And now, despite everyone’s doubts and comments, I am a happy woman, who feels fulfilled and who is extremely, extremely excited to move forward in life, and that means going to university.

I cannot wait (I mean, I can a bit) to start this new chapter in my life and take you guys with me. Thank you so much for reading.

xx

Book Review – milk and honey

This is the first poetry book I review and I must say I am proud of myself. I am proud of myself because I have evolved from the scholastic mentality of hating poetry because we were force-fed it for so many years.

We can say I started with a bang. “milk and honey” is one of the most famous contemporary poetry works and it sold over one million copies in order to make it to the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list. The author is a woman called Rupi Kaur who, in her works, decided to analyse hurt, depression, love, healing, femininity, and abuse.

This book is divided in four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. All these parts are mended together by the awareness of the author of what she deserves, and that is the best. It explores all parts of being a woman, a person of colour, a heartbroken human, someone who wants to heal. She shares her past experiences of lost love and abuse and she lets us know that hurting in normal and that healing will come. Putting one’s soul on paper in the way that she did is admirable and reading these pages felt like getting to know somebody. Somebody who comes from a different cultural background than I, yet somebody who’s heart felt the same hurt I felt.

Talking about formalities, this is not the same poetry we were taught in school. There are not many rhymes and rather than musicality we find obvious meaning which hits you in the face.

If I were to give this book, or should I rather say soul, a score based only on the themes explored, I would give it a 10/10.

Unfortunately, personal taste comes into play, and I am still in love with Dante’s poetry, where you are embraced by rhymes and music.

Score: 8/10

Thank you for reading.

xx

Failure

This is probably one of the most annoying words in any language. Annoying, depressing, tear-worthy. I have encountered it few times in my life and I wish I had not.

Admitting I have failed at something makes my stomach turn and my brain get angry. Simply because failing is my fault and no one else’s. I cannot put the blame on my teachers for getting a bad or mediocre grade. I cannot put the blame on supermarkets for me gaining weight.

Saying “I have failed” is tiring and infuriating, so much that whenever it happens, I get cranky the whole day, until I have interiorised my failure and I am ready to move on. Admitting my failures is a process that has to happen in order for me to have mental clarity and sanity.

If I were to find the root of the problem, I would go as back as primary school. I was not used to failing. I always had top grades and was considered a nerd. That went on during middle school, getting admitted to high school with the highest grade possible. High school, on the other hand, was a low blow. Teachers expect more than average and they are not willing to give you more than you worked for; sometimes they do not even give you that. Of course, my behaviour changed too: I started working harder and smarter. I understood what they wanted and tackled the skills I lacked.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard I worked, I sometimes failed. Usually, that happened in math (surprise…not). It has never been my strongest subject and it still is not. I have admitted that, despite my pride, and I moved forward, doing what I can.

Failing, or getting a mediocre grade, at math is not acceptable, but it is not catastrophic either. What hurts more is getting a mediocre grade in a subject I usually am one of the best at. Not getting the maximum in Italian or History or Philosophy stings for two reasons: firstly, because it hurts my pride, secondly because people have high expectations of me. This last part is something I am still struggling with.

Hearing my teacher say “I expected more from you” hurts more than them saying “You sucked at this”. In the last case, something must have definitely gone bad, where I could not have done anything to mend it. In the first case, it is all my fault, because I have set a certain standard that people, and also myself, are accustomed to and now expect.

Failure and expectations go hand in hand, especially because when I fail, there are always people who cheer. When you almost always are the best, people start rooting for you to fall. Had you been less stellar, your fall would not have made so much noise.

I guess failure itself is not so bad; everyone encounters it in their lives and it is normal and part of being human. What matters is how we deal with it and what we take from it. I believe in the “You win or you learn” motto. That is what life is all about: progressing and learning, which most often than not, are quite the same thing.

Thank you for reading.

xx