Author: Anastazija Dimitrova
As a newly-wed to the higher educational system, I decided to write this article as a hopeful search for some answers. You see, as long as you are not in the shoes of the Macedonian students, you truly can not imagine what they are going through. But let’s start from the beginning.
While I was at high school, those who were already at university always shared stories from their university life. You can always hear stories about professors who wouldn’t give you a signature or grade just because that day they weren’t in the mood. It doesn’t matter that it is not your fault they couldn’t find a perfect parking space in the shade or that you have nothing to do with their neighbor’s dog’s decision to pee on their door mat. Today they can’t stand you and that doesn’t require a reason. Often someone tells you about the professor who gives you a harder test because you are blond or you have red nails or perhaps a beard. If you are thinking about ways how to solve this problem, I am sorry to tell you, but there is only one solution: Let it go. At least you will have a nice story to tell to your grandchildren.
You may call it luck or short time at university but I haven’t faced this kind of problems yet. During my one week of university experience I have faced a few different problems which began when I applied to university. I am absolutely sure that I wrote my home address at least seventeen times, as well as my name and date of birth. I have no idea why. They just gave me a pile of documents and told me to fill them in. The fact that I didn’t know what to write in at least half of them was not important. The fact that when I asked the secretary for help and she yelled at me for no reason at all was even less important. I understand it is my fault that I don’t have these documents at home (and they were not cheap, by the way) to practice filling them in day after day. Eventually, somehow I managed to fill everything in and I was able to move to the next stage of my education.
Finally, the D-day came and I went to the university for my first class that was scheduled for 8 a.m. on Monday morning. There we were, 50 people in the amphitheater waiting for our professor for half an hour when a nice lady came and told us that he was on a trip so we wouldn’t have a class that day. But we should not worry. We would have our next class, which was scheduled for 2 p.m.
The transportation can not be neglected as well. Really, when you are on a bus designed for 50 people, but, in fact, there are 78 inside (I have counted), all you can think about is “oh dear God, what have I done to you?” Especially, when some of them wear slippers and socks that have not been washed for a week or when there is a three-month baby on the bus that keeps crying all the way. But nothing can be compared to the end-of the-week bus joy in Skopje. Or, as it is known among us: “Old black Friday”. Friday is the day of the week when the elderly people can use public transport for free. Normally, they wait impatiently for these days so they can go to the green market or to a hospital. Some of them don’t have a specific destination; they just like to go for a ride. On the buses they meet all their friends they haven’t seen for a long time, they find out who is married, who has grandchildren, who has died or who has back problems. Since they are old and they forget things they usually feel guilty because they have forgot to tell something to the sister of the second cousin from the mother side of the husband of their neighbor. But no need to worry, there is always next Friday. Imagine having to go through this every week for at least four years. Is it just our luck, right?
But don’t panic! Eventually, you arrive at the university, so you can have one 2-hour class and then have the next one after a nice gap. The gaps of two or six hours between two classes happen very often here, in Macedonia. Nobody knows why. Is it because those who are responsible for our schedule have no way of contacting each other, today in the 21st century, or is it just because they are lazy and they think it’s our responsibility to know everything?
During one of these gaps my colleagues and I discussed most of these problems. We all agreed about the downsides and in between we laughed, shared experiences and got to know each other. That was the moment when I realized that the series of unfortunate events were always there for something. Those are the moments you share with a group of people who are so different and who you don’t know yet. These are the people who will be your friends, family, helpers and supporters for the next 4 years. With some of them you will remain friends for a lifetime and one day you will remember all the stuff you had to go through together. For better or for worse, during exams or conflicts – these are the things that will either “kill” or make us stronger. We all live hoping for the second.
This is one of the winning articles of the Mladiinfo Article Writing Contest. The content of the articles does not necessarily represent the view or the position of Mladiinfo.