A series of disappointments


I was walking through the hallways of the university, incredibly excited for my first tutorial group. I could not wait to see what would be brought on the table in an international group with different backgrounds and cultures.

My first disappointment: my group consisted of ten people. Seven of them were from Saudi Arabia, like me, and the other three were Dutch. I believe it was a bigger one for the Dutch students. If I remember correctly, the first tutorial’s theme was DNA transcription and replication. This led to disappointment number two; hard core facts are not open for interpretation. You either know it or you don't. Most of us did not. We only managed to cover the basics during that session. I do not remember the discussion to be fruitful or stimulating. We seemed to reach dead ends and just moved on, with the simple solution of having to look it up.

With this, day one was over, but the series of disappointments remained endless. The very next day I went to the library to prepare for the upcoming tutorial, what is referred to as the post discussion. Enter disappointment number three; I realized that I knew nothing and I wasn’t sure how to look things up without a clear reference. I had always been used to consult one reference, recommended by the teacher, and if you prepared it meticulously, there is no way you will not be able to pass the test, or better yet score a full mark, which is almost unheard of in the Netherlands. With a lot of effort, guidance from those who were ahead of us, and multiple YouTube videos covering the topics, I managed to cover the requested material. However, it was never enough. Here we reach disappointment number four. When you have no clear list of references, you will never feel fully prepared, because there is always something new to find and learn.

I had no option except to go on. I mean it was only my first week. Throughout the years, my processes have improved. Sill not optimal yet, and I am certain it will never be. However, here is where the Dutch mentality was of paramount help. Do your best, work hard but never forget to enjoy yourself. You do not have to know or master everything now, everything will fall into place later on.

Saeed Banaama, medical student

A series of disappointments
Author: Redactie
Tags: saeed,special2017

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