Never before in my life had I met a person from India. Or Cuba. Or Guatemala. And there they were. My new colleagues. Sixty-two of them. It took me two weeks, a bowling match, an expedition through a Brandenburg forest and a weird climbing assignment to remember all their names.
â€œIn every module you will be assigned to a study group with another five or six people. And you will work on all group assignments together as a team.â€ So, I was assigned to a group of five complete strangers with whom I was supposed to work on assignments. And group assignments are a very important factor for the final grade. This was interesting. Basically, my success now depended on those five people. And my study-life balance also depended on those five individuals. How was this going to work?
My biggest concern of all was how am I going to balance the time at school and the time with my family. Classes do finish at five, but work does not. There is still a lot to do afterwards. How is my group going to handle the fact that I cannot stay after classes every day, but only once or twice a week? That I cannot come on weekends? How are we going to work on our group assignments? Will they hold it against me? Will they hate me for it?
I figured it was best to share my concerns with those new people who were now a big part of my student life. I felt really uneasy at the beginning. I thought that they would not take it very well. I was wrong. They were just like me. They also wanted to have a life outside of the school. They also wanted to spend time with their families and friends. So we agreed on how we were going to do this. It was incredibly easy and it took a huge load off my back.
We worked together on all sorts of assignments for almost two months. We had our laughs, we had our disagreements and we had some pizzas delivered at late hours. We were no longer strangers. We became a true team and somewhere along the way we also became friends. It was a very sad day when we had to part and go on to new study groups.
Oh, and now comes my new study group. How am I going to handle my study â€“ life balance? Will they understand? Or will they hate me?