If someone would have told me I will end up crawling, literally crawling on my hands and knees through mud just to get to my goal during fieldwork I would have laughed at their faces. Yet I did it. Let me go back a few months.
I’m currently a Master student studying an MSc in Marine Biology from the University of Groningen. I moved her last August to begin my adventure, but originally I am from Malta which is a tiny island in the Mediterranean with divine seas and mouthwatering food. I never actually thought I would reach this point in my life. It had seemed so far away.
Living in a different country is always hard. Luckily for me I made good friends and adapted quickly to the sunless environment (oh sun how I miss thee). My advice if your moving somewhere new, introduce yourself to your neighbours, roommates and classmates. Chances are they are all in the same boat as you are and are feeling lost. These people will form the support group you will need to get through university.
So how did I end up crawling again you might ask? Well, my main aim out of this Masters is to discover which field I want to specialise in. Before coming here, I was inclined towards both Botany and Marine biology and my tutor back home suggested I could combine the two in the form of sea grass! So when it came to pick a topic I looked for one with sea grass and lo and behold there was one going on about sea grass restoration in the Wadden Sea! I jumped at the opportunity to be on the project and haven’t looked back since.
Since starting the fieldwork aspect of my thesis I have encountered a lot of new and unfamiliar environments such as mudflats. Not just any mudflats but one where if you stand still for a few seconds you find yourself knee deep and stuck in the mud (yes, I am in fact speaking from experience). It took me 25 minutes to get to my goal what took every one 5 minutes to do. Luckily I had help and was never alone. My friends kept pulling me out of the mud, but obviously I kept on getting stuck.
So finally someone suggested crawling. Best idea ever! Yes, I did end up covered in mud. Yes, I was late. Yes, I was tired and scared. But I was tenacious and didn’t give up. Just like you shouldn’t dear reader give up on your goal, because you know what? The second time I went there it only took me 10 minutes to get to our location and I only fell once on the way there!