Here we are, nearly two years later. I’m finally finishing up my Denmark saga. It’s been a long ride (too long, honestly). All I have left to write about is reflections on final exams and my final week abroad. So let’s get to it.
Exams. Perhaps the most important thing about studying abroad since, lest we forget, I was in Denmark to learn things. I only took two classes so I only had two exams. They were both very different: I did exceptionally well on one and exceptionally poorly on the other.
Let me preface this by saying that I was taking my classes pass/fail. Basically, it didn’t matter what I got on my exam as my GPA would not be affected. In the Danish grading system this translates to at least a 2/12 meaning I would really only need to turn something in to pass. I say this because I still stressed out way too much about them.
So my first exam was for my Artificial Intelligence and Legal Disruption class. This is the one that I was writing while in Germany with my parents. It was basically just a research paper so it wasn’t difficult per se, it was just long and tedious. I felt pretty confident about it though. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s writing. My suspicions about my success would be confirmed in January when grades were released. I got a 10 which roughly translates into an A in the American grading system. Needless to say, I was pretty proud of myself.
Sadly, I did not fare too well for my second exam. It was for my Corporate Social Responsibility class. This was a class that I lost interest in pretty quickly halfway through when our second professor took over teaching the class. This was a shame because I really loved our first professor. She made the class engaging and interesting. The second professor did not. So I was already struggling.
Instead of a research paper, this was an oral exam based on a case note. Unfortunately, our professor did not give very much guidance at all so I just proceeded how I assumed the exam would be. I wrote a short paper analyzing a case using the formatting that I used for such papers back home. Since our oral was “based on a composition” I figured that I would have to talk about the case and answer questions about it. So I knew it backwards and forwards and made sure to have a solid foundational knowledge of all the laws cited in the opinion.
My oral was scheduled for the day after I returned from Poland. I walked into the room a little shaky but confident enough. I talked about the case and thought I did pretty okay. But things soured quickly. I was suddenly bombarded with incredibly intricate questions about EU laws where my professor expected me to not only know the substance of the law but also the specific number of the law.
Needless to say, I bombed. I didn’t study this at all because I didn’t know that we’d be asked questions outside the scope of our papers nor did I expect the questions to be so intricate. After 20 minutes of floundering, my professor put me out of my misery. She sent me out of the room while she and the independent adjudicator discussed my fate. I was called back in to find out that I scored a 4. This was pretty gutting because I thought that I was more on top of things than that. But at the same time, I knew that I was wildly unprepared for what I encountered. At least it was a pass, but it still hurt my ego quite a lot to get the equivalent of a C. And, to add insult to injury, I found out later that I could’ve brought notes to the exam. Our professor definitely never mentioned this to the class but apparently it was totally allowed. So had I known, I would’ve definitely done a lot better.
In the end, my grades didn’t really matter since I passed both classes. I just have super high standards for myself so I was still feeling a little down about the 4. The Danes in my Kitchen gave me hearty congratulations for it though which was a little weird but a lot endearing.
Since I got my oral exam grade immediately, I was a little disappointed in myself and feeling a bit down. So I did what any person in my position would do: called up my friend and walked around the mall until I felt better. And after a jul latte and some window shopping I did.
Of course, happiness is fleeting. While I did feel an immense sense of relief after my exams were finished, it was met with an intense feeling of melancholy. After all, this marked the beginning of the end of my time in Denmark. I had just 5 short days left in the city that I had called home.
I didn’t really do anything special during my last week. I mostly wandered around wistfully, wishing I didn’t have to leave. I did make stops to some familiar haunts along the way. Most notably, Katie and I went for one last onsdagsnegl from Skt. Peders bakery. Definitely didn’t cry into a pastry. Not at all.
I did want to try to go ice skating outside because for whatever reason that has always been my dream. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the rink we found that it was tiny and riddled with schoolchildren. So instead, we walked around the park nearby and then, of course, went to the mall.
The only things that were left for me to do were to pack and say good bye to my kitchen and to Katie. It was incredibly emotional and I cried so much. It wasn’t pretty.
It snowed early in the morning as I trudged to the metro to head to the airport. It was the first real snow I saw while in Copenhagen and it did not help my emotions one bit.
After a very uneventful flight, I touched down in Florida and arrived home two days before my parents. It was weird being home but luckily I had my cat to greet me. I really did miss him so very much so I was incredibly glad to see him. He was probably ambivalent.
And that’s it. My semester in Denmark was over as quickly as it had begun. It’s ridiculous that I’ve been working on this blog for longer than I was actually living abroad but it’s finally finished. I had a wonderful semester and couldn’t have asked for a better time. I made wonderful friends, learned a ton, and got to traipse around Europe. This semester abroad was easily the best thing I did when I was in law school.
Thank you so much for following along with me over the past two years! While this story has been completed, my blog as a whole will keep going. I’m planning on playing with the format a little bit and will write posts that aren’t so much like a diary. I also have another huge adventure abroad coming up very soon so stay tuned for posts about that!