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
18:45 WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY IS THIS WHERE LECTURES GO ON TIL 7?
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 <30