While applying for master studies at Chalmers I was in the last year of my bachelor studies. I felt that I am a bit burned-out because of the workload I had. Sometimes my day at university lasted even for 12 hours without any longer break for lunch. Moreover, there was no clear time in the schedule for self-studies. Plus, until the very end of the projects, I didn’t know what grade I will get. I felt that no matter how much effort I put I cannot be sure of the outcome.
Before my arrival in Sweden, I thought that the university with such a good reputation might be even harder than that. I was mentally preparing myself for hard work over weekends and for taking work home. Even if I had an English certificate, I felt I may not succeed in writing assignments since I have never written them in English previously.
I couldn’t be more wrong! On the first day, we didn’t start with courses, but with introductory lectures during which Chalmers representatives shared with us basic information, but also tips for our new adventure. As soon as I got my schedule I knew that studying at Chalmers will be different than my previous experience. All activities were scheduled between 8:30 and 17:00, also there was a 1,5 hour lunch break. Imagine how surprised I was to see that! After some time I realised how this break was important to have time for eating in peace and spending time with classmates.
When I got sick I was scared to leave so many lectures and seminars. Yet, I didn’t know that here tutors are not only demanding, but also caring about students. When I wanted to join classes while being still sick, my tutors told me to go home and get better. What is more, they helped me to catch up with all the knowledge. By that, I realised how it is important to care about myself, not to try to do more than I can.
During long nights I started to be more and more homesick. Counting days till meeting with my family I was feeling anxious. I felt I needed to talk to someone about my feelings. Then I reminded myself about this lecture on the first day, the tips they gave to us. I went to the place which Chalmers recommended me – Akademihälsan – where I could speak with an English-speaking psychologist. After a few meetings, I learned about my feelings and how to deal with them.
Taking a look back, I see a big change between how I see myself now and then. From these experiences I realized how work-life balanced system helps me to balance my life. I learned that I should care not only about learning outcomes but also about my physical and mental health, in a balanced way.