Thoughts From My First Day At University (à Paris)

Thoughts From My First Day of University So yesterday was my first proper day at French university – actual proper university, in France, with real French people speaking French. It was awful.

In honour of such a spectacularly awful day, I thought I’d share a blow-by-blow account, withholding absolutely nothing. Try not to cringe too hard…

9:05 Arrive at uni to try to sort out what lectures I actually have/my timetable/where I actually am

9:20 Having taken photos of all timetables for all lectures, I retire to a nearby café for a drink and to sort out my life.

10:00 I’m failing massively so decide to go to the International Office to ask for help

10:15 I find myself crying in said office because I can’t work out what I’ve done wrong because she’s explaining it in French and I’ve stupidly signed myself up for a ‘learning English’ module and basically its all going tits up.

10:30 Half of my modules are sorted but that’s only half and she decides that I have to leave (not without telling me I need to take another language course…)

11:05 I’ve now missed two of the lectures I’ve timetabled myself for. I can’t figure out where I’m supposed to be next. Some courses have room numbers, some don’t. Some have credits disclosed, some don’t. I decide that I’ve had enough and leave to call my dad.

11:20 Back in the café with a hot chocolate, crying down the phone to my dad about how I can’t speak French and its all so confusing and difficult and embarrassing.

11:45 Ollie arrives and I cry on him instead. We go to buy me a jumper because I’m cold and he treats me to a big bowl of Vietnamese noodles because he’s no1.

14:30 Sitting at home with a massive mug of tea after a long hot shower.

16:30 Set off back to uni for my first two lectures: African Art and Egyptian Art. They will finish at 7. Ollie walks with me because I’m a mess.

17:00 I’ve found my lecture yasssss

17:02 Why does the slide say ‘Ancient Art’?…

17:05 This isn’t my lecture BUT it is a first year history of art so I guess I’ll live

17:45 Ughh this isn’t scary its just boring. What are you sayyinnnggggg?

18:01 Why is he not using slides? I just want to copy off slides :'(

18:15 The girl next to me is just the nicest and is amaazing at English and I’m so ashamed of my French please be my friend


19:00 Did you really just ask me if I wanted your notes? You’re an angel. BE MY FRIEND

19:01 Facebook friends? YES

19:15 Ollie has brought me a massive raspberry macaron as a well done and I’m the goddam queen of sitting bored in lectures bitchesss better watch out!

To conclude, what started out as a truly terrible day ended up as something really quite uplifting and great! I still have a lot to get through and a lot more lectures to miss and a lot more buildings to get lost in but that’s life. I guess it was the same when I first moved to Durham two years ago.

Today’s plan is to make an appointment to open a bank account, and Ollie leaves at lunch time (after a two hour lecture on Christology…) I’m going to be sad to see him go – but I’ll see him in a month and my lovely friend Emma comes out in a few weeks so there’s that to look forward to too!

All in all, things are getting better and I’m becoming more adjusted to life in Paris. Feeling pretty good!

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dadddyyyy! Thank you for letting my cry down the phone to you, and thank you for dinner last night. My hero <3



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  • Patti Blue says:

    Oh I understand you so well! I just studied a year in France and it was awful to find my way. Everything is so unorganised! But I’ll assure you, you’ll get used to it and in a few weeks you won’t even remember how it worked back home 😉
    And I totally agree with you about the evening lectures! Why until 7pm? I hated cycling home alone in the dark!
    Hope you feel better now and good luck for the coming days!

    • Imii Mace says:

      Haha I hope you’re right! Why is everything such a mess! I can’t even begin to understand what I’m meant to be doing and where I’m meant to be!
      Also going home in the dark is so awful 🙁 I can definitely wait for winter 🙁
      Thank you! xx

  • Miu says:

    First days are always terrible, but you will get used to everything and in the end you will be able to laugh about it <3 And to say something positive, be happy your not at my school, the lastest lecture can be until 20.45 h 😉

  • Julia Speaks says:

    Oh I’m sorry for you, but your post is written in such a fun way :p You’ll see that universities here are AWFUL with admin, they can’t do anything properly and even when you’re a native, you struggle with it (i.e. me, who just spent the whole of last week and until today trying to figure out how to get my timetable). Are your courses in French? It is going to be quite challenging at the beginning, but as you met this nice girl I’m sure you’ll find other people in your other courses to help you until you get more comfortable with that! 🙂
    PS: in some universities and particular courses, people can have classes until 9pm. :p Fortunately, that doesn’t happen very often from what I know!

    Julia xx

    • Imii Mace says:

      9pm?! How do you all live?!
      About 80% of my courses are in French but I’ve managed to find a few courses in English (really basic stuff – I spent two hours learning the names of towns in England today) so I’m happy for little breaks like that!
      Thank you so much for reading and I’m so glad you liked the post! xx

  • This was very fun to read , thanks for sharing your experience with us !!
    The color palette

  • B Shannon says:

    I love how the post is set out! Sad to hear about things going quite wrong at first, but glad everything seemed to work out in the end!
    Becky Shannon xx – Life-by-Becky

  • Sophienderella says:

    I am going to start Uni on October 5th, and I am so excited!
    Great post, btw, I loved reading it!

    xx, Sophie

    Sophienderella | Beauty and Lifestyle

  • Danielle Beautyblog says:

    I feel bad for enjoying this post because you had a bad start to the day but I loved the layout of it! Hope things are getting better!

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

  • Martha Jane says:

    Ohhh my god bless you! So glad things are getting better, but this experience would literally send me over the edge! Well done for coping amazingly! x

    Martha Jane |

  • Aimee Julia says:

    Wow, it must be terrifying. The first day at a new uni in your own country is terrifying, but in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language? Well done you. You took what started out bad and made it good. And things will only get better from here, I’m sure! Good luck 😀

  • Katie Louise says:

    Oh dear! It all sounds so scary aha. You’re brave for just being out there alone, never mind actually doing the lectures! Hope your university days have gotten easier :3

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