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I write verbose posts about polyamory, love, lust, and self-discovery on my other blog Victoria's Imaginarium.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Studying Abroad is a Challenge

You can skip this post if you just wanna see pictures. No picture for this post. Just to let out some emotions and thoughts.

I know you're wondering why I still waste time blogging when I complain about the heavy workload and devastating grades in tests. To be frank, I feel extremely guilty to not quit blogging too. It's good to spend time on something we love doing, but we must learn how to sacrifice for priorities in life right?

But know what, blogging is my only form of entertainment and way to de-stress now. Since the semester starts, I only go out for classes and groceries shopping. I stay at home studying all the fucking time. Quit blogging? With such heavy study load, I doubt if I can survive this semester without going mad. (not that I have much sanity to start with though.)

I have more than 200+ pages of reading and at least 1 quiz/test/assignment every single week. My performance so far is not satisfactory. Studying in the USA, especially in a high-ranked university is not as easy as I thought. Reality differs a fucking lot from my expectation. The system of education here is very different. The standard is different too. The stereotype about angmohs being more stupid than Asians is not true! At least not in University of Wisconsin-Madison. Having the grading based on class average, it's very competitive here. The angmohs easily outperform us in note-taking, reading and discussion. Their strength in grasping the main ideas is not something we English-as-a-second-language students can easily achieve. Basically we start anew. However huge your ego was in your home country, USA is a good place to get you down to earth and teach you the word 'humble'.

The beginning of life in a foreign land is difficult. Having to cook for yourself everyday is a challenge. Adapting to the local culture and weather is another. Balancing the budget is yet another. Time management? For me it's more about stress management, because most of my time is wasted on feeling stressed and de-stressing. It's just depressing to know that I can do well, but screw up because of exam anxiety and panic caused by previous failure. The phobia turns an easy paper into alien language I can't comprehend. Each time I got over the struggles reassuring myself, something else would drag me back to the starting point. It's just hard to keep in faith.

I have been advised to quit setting unrealistic goals and put too much burdens on myself, but it's not the time for me to give in yet, not now. Stubbornness is the main cause of my misery, but it was also where I got the strength to go through all obstacles I had encountered. I call it determination. I am not going to lower my expectation. To me it's better to aim high and fail, than to aim low and put in 'just enough' effort. I know I can do better than I thought I could. I just need to maintain positive attitude and not let the hardship defeat me.

A few hours ago, the thought of dropping the course(s), the desire of going back to Malaysia, the imagination of getting myself ran over by a truck and skip this semester flooded me at once like siao. Expectations literally suffocates me. I dunno how I managed to calm myself down, probably I didn't anyway, I was stumping across the room resisting tears of guilt of gratefulness of joy of sadness until I decided to blog about this to clear my mind and switch my mood. I'm definitely feeling more sane now although the worries haven't resided. At least I feel powerful again to continue fighting my battle, and this is all I need for now. The will to carry on.

"Don't magnify your problems. Magnify your God."

Everything is gonna be okay in the end. It's not okay now, because this is just the process.

If you're feeling the same, I hope you know that you're not alone after reading this. And I hope you don't give up, because I haven't too. And I'm never going to. 




  1. Hey Craze~ Gambateh. I can't feel how stress you are over there. I guess maybe the subjects u are taking now is too difficult to be handled as a new transfer student. My suggestion is that don't just trap yourself in house. Sometimes u need fresh air to keep your mind works better. If possible go for a some light exercise and work out in between of free periods. It makes u healtier and very effective in releasing stress. And make cooking a hobby and as an activity to relax. I feel happy when it's time to cook after stuying or working for assignment. Look up for recipe online to get some interesting idea of what to cook. It will be fun. Ok, enough of grandmother advises. All the best and looking forward to see you coming back from the war as a brave and proud warrior.

  2. Hey Cinrol, I totally understand how you feel as i went through all these too. I remember getting a 65/100 for my first biochemistry exam and i cried like hell. Everyday i just feeling like staying home, not going no where let alone talking to people. the whole world became my enemy, all my classmates become so wicked even those whom I was good with. People around me are like genius all freaking scoring a 3.8 3.9 4.0 so easily and I am only getting a B- B+ for classes and tht really freakkeddddd me out! I then treated my self too hardly by studying without sleeping, library is like my second home. I seldom talk to people, and dislike meeting new people. All these are just transition period that you are going through.. you will be fine.. Before the Spring semester ended I realized stressing out myself did not help at all. I learned to just 'try the best i could'. Even my professor told me 'forgive yourself and move on le lee.' Ended up i got a 3.6 GPA last semester. Not satisfactory for me but i have learned to forgive myself and move on. you too k.. hugs.. Hang in there, you'd be fine strong girl!

  3. Omg thanks for the long comments!!!

    Cling, I can tell you how worse it is... I've got no time to cook different meals, been eating magee or spaghetti or minute rice for the whole month, kesian daooo ;_; outside so cold mau keluar also mafan, get enough sleep even better... my hair is now half the amount of before, no kidding. This school no play play one. Your last sentence is a big encouragement for me :) :) :)

    Bijibiji: I totally understand why you went back to Malaysia after the first sem, if not because of limited budget, I will too. My condition now is similar to what you described, I'm trying to let go too (partly I'm forced to)... Thanks a whole lot to let me know I'm not the only one who go through these, I know I'll be fine, I'm moving on :) *hugs*

  4. Jiayou, have faith in you that you can win the battle perfectly :)

  5. Beer with it. You can overcome it for sure