When I was packing my suitcases I realized quite quickly that I didn’t have room for everything what I was planning to take with me. I made a list. First I listed things that were mandatory and then things that were almost that important, then less important etc. I left one thing out of my list but it wasn’t a mistake (I rarely do those).
I have been at school 5 weeks now and one of the hardest things has been to figure out how the school really works. What I have to do? What should I know? How strict is it? Like you are the one who is responsible about your studies and learning, but you don’t know what is against you. When you have studied your whole life the same way, the Finnish way, it’s quite hard, let alone scary, to get out of that mold. Luckily it’s not all new. In JAMK we have team based learning; we are not a class, we’re a team and our teacher isn’t a teacher but a coach. One teacher said here “Think me more like a mentor.” For me it’s not too different way to study but when you’re abroad even the familiar way feels weird and maybe even confusing. The confusion doesn’t just make me panic but it also makes me to think more (which is positive thing). And we really have time to think. I’m amazed how much slower phase we are having here during lessons than back at home. It feels weird and I’m thinking that do we really have time to study everything what we are supposed to. But in the very end, I’m just really excited that I have time to practice my manual skills and learn more tips because this is my last chance for it at school.
Everyone, who knows me in Finland, knows that I’m that kind of person who always knows what is happening and where everyone should be. I remember schedules, deadlines and guidelines. I know how Jobstep is working and where you can find the document from Optima. I want to know it. I need to know it. That’s my comfort zone. And well, that was the thing missing in my list. They say that you can’t learn anything in your comfort zone, but I disagree. You can learn and you can take it upper level if you want. There’s just one problem: you don’t learn those things that you are avoiding while being there. Because I left mine home, I have to learn and get used to those things. I have to bare unawareness, waiting and some sort of uncontrolled situation daily. It is stressful but liberating feeling at the same time. Time will tell am I going to be the person who knows everything or the person who ask all the questions when I come home (SPT14 prepare yourselves!).
There is saying that great things never came from comfort zones. According to that, my time here is going to be unbelievable amazing!