Now, I'm a graduate student on paper. Many people would consider this a moment to celebrate, but I don't. I really don't want to sound disrespectful, but this certificate doesn't give my any chills anymore because of all the graduate modules I have taken in the last one and a half years. Since I'm already going to finish my graduate studies this year, I've turned my attention to different things than celebrating the past. However, I think it's the right moment to take a short look back on my undergraduate studies.
It's been three and a half very interesting and challenging years and I've really learned a lot, but it's incredible how time has flown. I still remember my first days in October 2007 like all that happened just yesterday. I still hear the whispering and the amazement of the crowd of some 90 freshmen when seven people said that they wanted to take the challenging mathematics and physics modules and become geophysicists. I was one of these seven people and according to the reactions of the crowd and the lecturers this decision hadn't been a wise one, but for me this was one of the best decisions in my life. This decision has brought me to beautiful places and helped me to get together with amazing geoscientists and fellow students from all over the world, but it's still a along way to go. Somehow, it's a bit sad that I have lost so many fellow students on that way because they decided to quit their studies or because they have had to take several modules twice or even more often, but as a matter of fact, for each and everyone of us, this process started in elementary school. It's survival of the fittest and I promise that there will be many more challenges which I will survive, but I'm still looking forward to meeting other "survivors" who want to go that way.
If I had to name one single aspect of my undergraduate studies that I will definitely keep in my memories, it's my time in the field. All in all, I participated in six geological field trips which brought me to the beautiful German landscapes of Harz, Ore Mountains, Sauerland, Upper Palatinate, Lower Saxony and even Heligoland. These field trips have helped me to increase my awareness of and my appreciation for the natural diversity of my mother country. And to be honest, this really means a lot to me. Germany is just half the size of Texas, but still so diverse with such an enormous abundance of beautiful spots.
I'd like to conclude this short look back on my undergraduate studies with a quotation from Yamamoto Tsunetomo. I also used this quotation in my bachelor's thesis because it really fits my understanding of undergraduate studies quite well:
Matters of great concern should be treated lightly.
Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.