First day of class in Paris

Usually the night before I go back to school I have a lot of trouble sleeping and when I wake up I'm just a complete mess. My nervousness kicks into high gear and I have to keep my fingers crossed so that I don't spend over 20 minutes finding parking, but here in Paris it was a whole different story.

Last night I talked to my family on Skype, spent some time on Facebook, I listened to my Killers playlist on Spotifty, and I went to sleep at 1h which for me is early. It was basically the complete opposite of the way I act back home. And when I woke up I was completely calm. Maybe it was the fact that I wasn't going to run into anyone I know that made me calm? Or that I didn't have to drive to school? All I know is that I felt good and I was going to go tackle my first day of class in Paris in a good mood despite not knowing where any of my classes were located.

I arrived at my school just in time for my first class because I got over confident and decided to take my time walking, good thing the bulletin board with the classrooms was easy to find and there was a classroom change so I made my first class just a couple of minutes before it started. My first CM of the day was Approches des genres littéraires which seems like its going to be a class that I'm going to enjoy a lot despite of all the reading. The professor reminds me exactly of my French literature teacher back at my home uni but of course French.

French lecture halls, or at least the one of at the Sorbonne, reminded me a lot of lecture halls back home. They're big and intimidating, and trying to meet people is tough especially if you're an introvert like myself. I wound up meeting a guy and a girl from Madrid and a girl from Algeria who were all really nice. One of the first things that stood out to me once lecture started was how much the French write! My bullet point notes looked pathetic next to the French writing paragraphs and paragraphs worth of notes- I swear that some people wrote 3 pages worth of notes. And not to mention their notes were color coded, I've never seen a student have to many colored pens out and actually use them all in a single lecture. It was definitely impressive and a bit intimidating to say the least.

The following CM was Histoire de la culture occidentale pour LM which I was really excited about because I adore history but once the class started I was completely lost. The teacher spoke extremely fast! I tried to keep up but it was challenge and not to mention he would put up the power point slides for a minute so that didn't even allow me to write down what was on the projector. My knowledge of Greek mythology and Latin texts is pretty minimal so I'll see how I do in my TD and next week's CM, if I'm still lost I might have to drop out and pick another class because I definitely don't want to do poorly in a class here. 

I had a two hour break before my last CM of the day. I went to the cafeteria to buy lunch, figured out how to use the wifi, and then I just wandered around campus. For the most part it resembled college life back home. There are people talking to their friends, people working on assignments, people on their laptops, etc. I remember that my French teacher for the first month here in Paris told my class that the French don't usually use backpacks like Americans but I saw a good amount of people with backpacks today, most of them male. The girls for the most part have either messenger bags or carry around a big bag like I'll be carrying around.

Also the way they dress is pretty different from back home. The girls are dressed very nice and for the most part polished, there are no girls running around in their sneakers and booty shorts like back home and for the guys they're also very well dressed; I did not a pair saggy jeans at all today which was nice. 

Last class was Technique et langage des médias which looks like its going to be an interesting class as well. The professor was really charismatic and funny. I can tell I'm going to enjoy this class and again I could understand her French perfectly.

I survived my first day and it was by far one of the most pleasant first days of school I've had in a while. There are definitely differences between the American and French university system and I'm sure I'll find even more throughout the semester but as for now I'm very excited about what this semester has to offer. Time to buckle up and enjoy the emotional roller coaster that will be my first semester studying abroad!

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