Drawing to a Close

And so it ends.
This post is an attempt to have logical thoughts, but, let’s be honest, they’re quite scattered.

This past week was our finals (something no college student enjoys) and we’ve all made it our relatively unscathed. We had papers and projects and exams and stress and complaints. But we also had fun trying to pull one another through and breathing a sigh of relief every time we handed in one more test, usually followed by a look of shock because we generally had no idea how we did on the tests.

We had our farewell dinner Thursday evening where we mingled with the friends we’ve made and the teachers we’ve been learning from all semester. We also said our goodbyes to those leaving on Friday to go home, the ones who were continuing to travel for a bit longer, and the ones who would be staying here until the summer. As large as our group was, we still bonded really well. I’ve met some people I’ll probably keep in contact with in the future who have made my time here so much better.

In between stressing over finals and losing our minds over finals, we decided to hit up the Christmas markets and enjoyed the snow that would surprise us some mornings (it’s been a while since I’ve seen snow so I was super pumped for that!). Everyone enjoyed their Glühwein (hot, mulled wine) and we braved the freezing temperatures to wander through the markets after classes to unwind.

There is no question, this was absolutely my toughest semester yet. The balance of wanting to explore every inch of this continent, but also wanting to put in the time for classes was difficult to figure out. It was very different from my college and that gave me yet another challenge (aside from the whole ‘everything is in German’ thing). I did not enjoy that challenge, but I somehow made it through.

And now I’m sitting in my room with my bags half-packed and wondering where the time went, if I did everything I wanted to, and what should I do with those last few scoops of Nutella still left.

It’ll be wonderful to be home again. I’ve been gone for a while now and, though I love to travel and would do it all the time, it’s still great to know I have a place that I can always come back to.

Hopefully I’ll remember to make one more post when I get home to let you guys know about my return.
Happy Holidays to everyone and I’ll see you in the US!

And here’s pictures from the last few weeks. (as usual this site won’t load mine properly so some are missing, but none that are important. I’m mainly hoping IES/Wordpress will see this and address the issue.)

Some Christmas decorations at IES. Christmas market at Alexanderplatz Alexanderplatz Alexanderplatz Alexanderplatz We celebrated one of our last classes with some Indian food and insanity. IMG_0192 IMG_0194 IMG_0199 IMG_0200 Up before the sun for our last German class and found it had snowed throughout the night! Candies and clementines to celebrate. and Glühwein. SNOW. Snow also provides a second, significantly larger, refrigerator. Snow starting to pile up on my window. Another Christmas market. This one close to the Humboldt Box and the Berliner Dom DSC_0479 Lil' Sebastien. DSC_0486 DSC_0491 Zweibelkuchen (like an onion pastry thing), Glühwein and hot chocolate. DSC_0519 DSC_0525 We went back to IES to get some warmth and Chelsea couldn't have been happier to be out of the cold. Woke up one morning to find this in the kitchen. It disappeared before I could ask why it was here. More snow than I expected built up on my window. More snow! We all went out for a little bit after our farewell dinner. DSC_0562 Walking around Berlin at night once again heading toward a Christmas market. DSC_0571 DSC_0573 DSC_0575 DSC_0577 DSC_0583 The Berliner Dom, the Fernsehturm, and a ferris wheel. DSC_0592 DSC_0594 I also walked around Alexanderplatz a little bit more to make sure I knew where the bus stop was for the airport bus. Sad times. DSC_0597 DSC_0598