How dare you be more motivated than I am?

On the road to self-improvement

As a notorious nerd, I was astonished when a fellow interpreting student told me he set some time aside on the weekend to do some reading on Austrian politics in order to fill any gaps in his knowledge and to translate all relevant tecnical terms into Italian.

Say what?!

“Wow”, I replied, as it hit me like a baseball in the stomach that my repertoire of productive activities this past weekend has been limited to taking out the trash bags.

Also, I could hardly deny the fact that in my case, speaking of “knowledge gaps” in the ambit of Austrian politics would have been the understatement of the year.

But never underestimate the motivational power of pain.

I figured, the panicky feeling of falling behind and the reawakening quarter-life-crisis after this rude awakening might serve as a driving force for becoming a more well-rounded person.

Seize the opportunity

In my previous post, I explained how a semester abroad can help you to form new, productive habits. Also, in this particular case, I noticed how the new routine opened windows of opportunity for me: an hour of free time here, an unexpectedly well-rested brain cell ready to soak up some facts there. I would find myself sitting down at my desk at times I would never even consider doing research on anything at home, as I’d be too busy doing what I always do.

Already the first round of research on rather basic terminology gave me some peace of mind; and even though I am still light years away from the orderly bilingual glossaries, the neat notes and the artsy mind maps I am envisioning, I am happy to take on this new challenge.

In the end, the activities that cost the most effort are usually the ones of which you will reap the most benefit. No effort is made in vain … at least this is what I tell myself to keep going 🙂




Studiare abroad: Habits

My first bilingual post! (I’m sorry in advance)

“Habits” non è solamente la mia canzone preferita by Tove Lo, ma è anche un concetto sul quale I have been reflecting quite a bit since I started my semestre abroad a Roma.

Why is it that a periodo, which causes you to interrupt your usual routine and slip on another life like a glove, is so adattissimo per adottare nuovi habits?

It is a chance to start over, to meet people senza idea of your emotional baggage, your story, your reputation. Magari è anche la possibility per fare tutto quello che non farai mai più, oppure quello che non hai mai dared to do.

But, as a language enthusiast, I knew che c’era quasi l’obbligo di embrace some habits that were beneficial to my field of study. All’inizio del periodo all’estero you establish a new routine, a new everyday life – and it has never been so easy to trick yourself into doing something giovevole.

Not going to lie: it is equally tempting and easy to adopt bizarre abitudini come eating three jars of marmelade per week (don’t ask, please).

Comunque però, sono arrivata al punto in cui ogni mattina scarico il mio preferito podcast italiano, e lo ascolto mentre mi sto preparando per leaving the house. When I come home, I pass some time scrolling through the news in either of my working languages and I each day I religiously type out the new vocabulary I acquired during my day at university and all over the city.

But, infatti, every day is good enough to adottare nuovi habits – you might have to work a little bit harder on integrating them into your daily life when you’re at home, but it’s worthwhile!! Ve lo prometto 🙂