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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Feeling Like a Failure

Failing is an inevitable part of life. Unfortunately, living in a foreign country means that you will likely encounter the feeling of failure more often than if you had just stayed at home.

I am having one of those days where you feel like a complete failure right now. Choosing to come to Germany to get my Master's was a big step, and although there was a lot of obstacles along the way, I felt like I managed to adapt to university life and fit into my program (where everyone else is German) fairly well.

February and March is the end of the Winter Semester at German universities, when final exams take place and exam papers are due. My first final exam was yesterday, February 3rd at 12:15 p.m.

Oh, except I am an idiot and kept telling myself it was at 2:15 p.m.

So, I showed up two hours later for my exam, and all of my classmates were standing outside of the room talking about how they felt they did on the test. And my heart dropped as I walked up and realized what had happened.

Luckily, there is a second chance to take the test. In fact, there are many students that purposely do not go to the first attempt just because they need more time to study. But I didn't do that. I wanted to take it the first time. I was ready. I have been studying German philosophy non-stop for the past 2 weeks.

But I missed it, and now I will have to take the test in 2 months when it is held again. I hope I can somehow remember all of this information until then.

Overall, this isn't a big deal, and I should feel okay knowing that I can still take it again without repercussions. But it is these small things that make you feel like you are failing at living outside of your home country.

This was supposed to be my first final exam in Germany. My first final exam of my Master's degree. But I messed it up.


  1. Ugh that is no fun but at least you can take it again! I remember my first week of classes I kept showing up twenty minutes late because I thought that was when class started and was annoyed the teacher always started early. When I realized I was the late one by asking my boyfriend what the time she kept saying in Icelandic meant I was so upset.

  2. That's great you can still take it. I wouldn't think this happened because you're in a different country. As you well know, we all make mistakes.

  3. We learn from our mistakes! I am sure you learned lot from this one!! You are a success in my book!

  4. Aww I am sure you will ace it when you do end up taking it. Don't beat yourself up!

  5. Wow, two months from now? It seems as though the re-take would be in 2 two days, don't you think? What if you needed that class as a prerequisite for your next semester of classes?

  6. The testing system is quite different in Germany vs. the US. All students get 3 tries to pass an exam, so there is 2 months in order to give the professor enough time to grade the exams, then the students that failed get time to study before the exam is held again.

    Anyways, the next semester doesn't start until the beginning of April, and the make-up exam is at the end of March.

  7. Thanks. It's good to hear that coming from a German ;)

  8. Oh that sucks, but at least it wasn't the only chance to take it... good luck with finals!

  9. I think its acutally a commen mistake to confuse like 14pm with 4 pm or 17pm with 7pm. I needed time to adjust to that. You have been in the US shortly before your exams, right? Could have been the reason. Don't beat yourself!


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