About 3 weeks ago, I had my last class in German. Hopefully, at least, since I have yet to take one final.
When I originally arrived here it was September 2014. Classes started 6 weeks from that point on. I had a lot of stuff I still had to organize, such as housing, my visa, how I was going to pay for everything. I remember my first few days of class rather distinctly compared to later semesters, probably because of all the stress I was under. I remember how my first math classes were mostly the same as what I had done in high school, until at some point an invisible switch flipped and it became unintelligible. I remember my first chemistry class, that had a few demonstrated experiments. I remember the first time I met the INI Chemie, and their "mock test" that was for... well, literal mocking. I remember how during my first semester, I had to work a bartending job on the side. The whole situation was not ideal - I had to work some nights on Tuesdays for instance - but I got by. I also remember the contrast between my two math classes' grades - one which I thought was easy I got a 3.3 on, and the other, which I thought was extremely difficult, I got a 1.3 on.
I also remember the time inbetween my first and second semester. For whatever reason, they offered a program in which you could take a class during the semesters, so I went for it. I remember going to the first week or so of class, then blowing it off and learning all the material online from Paul's Online Notes from Lamar University (link here: http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/ ). I also remember studying at the INI Chemie room. Here it gets a little fuzzy and the memories start mixing with the next semester, but I'm fairly certain I spent a long time in that room.
During my second semester, I had that same approach to another class. I also remember staying at the university up until 10pm or later. At the time, I was living only 7 minutes by bus from the university, so it wasn't too bad. From this time, I also remember once when I forgot something for lab at home and was able to go and come back in half an hour. Nowadays it would take me at least an hour and a half, if I'm lucky. Closer to the end of the semester, there was also a distinct moment in time I remember - when I was studying for my chemistry class and it was mostly rote memorization. At the time I didn't know Anki existed, so what I did was mind maps with colorful pens so I could associate the concepts better. I'm still not sure whether it worked or not, but I definitely passed the class, at least.
My next few semesters are a little bit blurry. I don't remember specifics about them. I remember my mom came to visit, and that I had moved to a new place (which I'm still at currently). I remember having applied for an exchange and being disappointed when my university sent my application to UMass Amherst despite them only accepting Master's students. I remember having a nervous breakdown and deciding to take the next semester off. I remember desperately looking for an internship, and finally getting one at the Berliner Wasserbetriebe. I remember Chicago for three weeks. But I don't remember what my classes themselves were like. Labs are still a little ingrained in my head, but only just barely - a moment here or there.
Fast forward to right after my internship. I was doing a lot better compared to when I had had the breakdown. I was learning Japanese, I had applied again for an exchange and gotten three months in California, and I was ready to go back. The semester after my internship was rough, no doubt. Especially given that these were the same classes that had overcome me a year previous. But I worked hard and overcame the challenge, despite also working part-time. I'm pretty proud of this moment.
My exchange in California came and went unfortunately quickly. That by itself is a whole slew of memories.
Then, when I came back, I only had enough classes for two semesters left. I once again worked part-time while doing those classes. This time in university also isn't particularly notable - the brightest, most important thing in my life then was my job, at least when I look back.
Then this past semester arrived.
This semester was basically the semester that caused my breakdown, version 2.0. I only had two classes to take, but they were both classes that expanded on topics explored in my breakdown semester. One of them I already passed - the one expanding on thermodynamics - but the other remains to be seen, since the final is only on April 1st. (I thought it was a joke too.) The classes were also the least notable thing about these past six months, just like the previous semester.
My last class, per se, was one in which the professor finished early. He had a few extra minutes so took some questions. My last Übung was very sluggish and boring. And my last Tutorium I left early because I had finished the exercise successfully.
I don't ever have to take another class in German again. I don't have to deal with contrived summaries, or disorganized class planning. I don't have to deal with professors who don't skip the easy parts but do skip the difficult parts of solving an equation. I don't have to deal with professors renaming their variables for a class even though we have been using the same variable name this whole time.
Man, it feels good.