Written by Noa Margalit
My first day in Metz was super exciting. It still hadn’t occurred to me that I was actually here, and to be completely honest the next couple of days after that I learned a lot about myself. The adjustment was rather difficult. It feels strange that I’ve only been here for two weeks, because it feels like a lifetime.
On the first day of class, I stayed up pretty late cause of my jetlag, set my alarm wrong, and it never went off. I woke up very late and thoroughly confused, and after a few minutes realized that I had missed the bulk of orientation. Luckily, I made it in time for the tours and other important information, even if I tripped on the stairs in front of a ton of people and felt like a hot mess. The glow of being in a new place was kind of going away, and I barely ate anything the first day. I didn’t really enjoy CROUS, the dining hall here, since they served some couscous and weird meats which I did not try. It was fine for the price (3.25 euro) but I quickly learned during the week that there are other cheap food options that I actually will eat.
I think that the hardest adjustment was that I felt like I was spending a lot of money on things I didn’t really want to buy but needed and wasn’t eating like I am used to. I didn’t really think about it when I was back home, but I had to buy pots,pans, and cleaning supplies and it added up pretty fast. I budgeted myself out pretty well for this trip but I did not anticipate spending so much within the first week. Food wise, the first trip to Cora I bought some food I like, but didn’t really think about cooking anything and of COURSE my refrigerator froze all of my food cause the settings were off and so I ate soggy lettuce for that week. I was really adamant about eating everything that I bought because I didn’t want to be wasteful.
On the second day, I felt like I needed to get away from the area we live in and took a bus downtown which made me feel so much better. Downtown Metz is absolutely beautiful and seeing all of the quaint shops and things to do made me remember why I came here in the first place. I also ate a hamburger at this place called Burger Kebab which was really good – and the meal was only 5 euros! You will learn quickly through my blogs that I love hamburgers and fries, and they will probably be my only source of food (I’ve had it three times already). I also started meeting the girls that live on my floor, and they are all so welcoming and fun to adventure with. The bus system here is super easy to figure out and the train station is absolutely beautiful. It was actually voted the most beautiful in France! Here is a picture of it:
While the first week was definitely an adjustment, I learned that while I am definitely a social person, I also really need my time to myself. Taking a day to myself and not really talking to anyone was helpful, since I’ve never really lived in a dorm and needed some alone time. I also definitely shifted my sleeping patterns while here and have been going to bed rather late to stay in touch with people back home. Really thankful my classes start later in the day.
Class wise, I am taking an Electrical Engineering course, a Probability class, a Mobile Applications class, and a French class. I love my French class because it is improving my French so much, and we get to visit downtown Metz once every other week to learn more about the city and the associations within the city. It has been an excellent way to get to know the area so far. I also am one of the only people in my group of friends to speak some French, so I definitely have been forced out of my comfort zone trying to communicate with other people (like buying them sim cards, getting train reservations, and other daily interactions).
The last thing I did was join an Ultimate Frisbee team here! It’s a team of mostly adults and they play indoors (which was rough) but they were so nice and it was fun to do something completely unaffiliated with anyone I know. Playing was really exciting, and it was funny to see them practice the same drills and try to understand everything they were saying in French. I’ll probably continue to do that while I’m here!
Well, I have to say that the first week was definitely an adjustment, but I feel so much better now. I finally figured out which groceries to buy (got some tortillas woop!) and found more of a daily routine. My friends and I even found an adorable and hip coffee shop downtown to do homework at!
While I’m glad this adjustment period is mostly over, it was definitely the best way to learn about myself and figure out how to make this place feel more like home.