It finally happened! After the first milestone, have & learn to drive a car, I reached the second milestone in my life: graduate from university!
I am so very proud of this! At first, I couldn’t stop mentioning it and making jokes about it. “But what would I know. I am only a Master in Multilingual Business Communication…” My aunt called me a nerd and my mom kept rolling her eyes. It’s kind of funny. For a while. Right?
Actually, it feels like I graduated twice. I got my test scores already in July. So when I learned I passed all my exams, I already knew I succeeded in my goal: finish my bachelor and master degree in four years. Woohoo!
In Belgium, we also have a graduation ceremony. That was on September 11 actually. It was boring, but it was amazing to hear my name being called amongst the Honors students. I worked really hard for it! We didn’t get togas to wear or hats to throw in the air. We didn’t even get to go to the front to pick up our diplomas. But I did get a group pic!
The road to graduation…
Going to university was a relief for me. I had been bullied more or less continuously for 10 years throughout primary and secondary school and I was just… exhausted. I’d had enough. The sad thing is I still don’t really know why I was bullied. I guess I was an easy target, being insecure and quiet as I am.
High school was torture most of the time. I lost my trust in people. Teachers laughed along with the jokes of my bullies and people I considered close friends spilled my secrets to the popular kids in order to protect themselves.
So going to university meant a new start for me. New people, new studies, new city, new life. I loved that I didn’t have math anymore, only languages. I loved that I could finally figure out who I was when I didn’t have to look over my shoulder the whole time.
And I loved looking forward to my Erasmus semester the most!
I can definitely say Erasmus was the highlight of my academic career. Living and studying in Barcelona was like a dream come true. I got to know myself and changed (or tried to change) what I didn’t like. Of course, that didn’t happen overnight – I’m still working on being the better version of me – but it was the stepping-stone.
Another highlight for me was actually the greatest part of last year: I was tired of studying cultural history and reading difficult Spanish and English literature. It was great to finally do something ‘useful’ again when I turned the focus of my studies towards business. I learned the best way to write a bad news letter and how to turn my CV into a piece of art. I learned how important strategy and marketing is for any business. I even learned to read financial statements! And on top of that: I started volunteering for two start-ups.
What I found out last year is that I had been underestimating myself. I mostly did copywriting for those start-ups, but it wasn’t enough to keep me entertained. I felt restless and wanted to do more. But I simply couldn’t. I didn’t have the right knowledge. So I started looking into business schools and actually ended up in the Antwerp Management School. That is where I have been studying for a few weeks now.
My group consists of about 7 different nationalities. The program we are in is called 3 Continental Master of Global Management. This means we study the European business context in Europe, the Asian business context in Asia and the American business context in the USA. Traveling and studying my way around the world – that’s just my kinda thing!
I hope that wherever I may end up after this program, I will still keep up this blog. It’s definitely going to be a busy year, but I’m gonna try hard to keep this side-project going.
Write to you later!