I started writing these posts wondering what kind of person I was going to be as I packed for my year abroad. I tried to remain open to whomever the city would shape me into being because, in my previous experience, I knew placing myself in an entirely new environment with new people had the potential to completely change me. I thought I was entering this experience prepared to uncover previously undiscovered facets of who I am. And yet, Berlin still surprised me.
I’m more adventurous than I ever imagined I could be. I always cast myself as a bookworm who lived her adventures vicariously through her books. Today, I’ve barely had time to read because I’ve spent so much of my time actually out there living my own adventures. I’ve discovered I can be bolder and more open than I ever thought I could be. I learned to love Techno music, something I never would’ve believed in myself before. I took the leap and went on dates with people I’d met while out at the techno clubs. I allowed myself, for the first time since high school, to take a step back from academics and do only what I needed to do well in the classes, instead of striving to be among the best in the class. All of it was absolutely nerve-racking. And so exciting.
I’ve also learned that I’m more capable than I expected myself to be. I handled the loss of my wallet in Italy, started the process of opening a new bank account, and did the dirty day-to-day tasks of laundry, cooking, and cleaning that every adult has to do. For the first time in my life, I actually think that the label ‘adult’ can be accurately applied to me (something that is rather silly to admit, since I’ve technically been an adult for 4 years).
Even though I don’t have the medals or academic achievements that I’d usually tote on my return from a semester at school, I’m proud of myself for what I’ve done in Berlin. I think for the first time in my life I’ve thrown myself into enjoying the small days of life without thinking about how much this’ll count for my future. The fact that everything here is temporary, the knowledge that in a few months' time I’ll be returning back to the states probably lends itself to that fact, but I still think the experience is a life lesson I’ll carry forward. There is a possibility of a healthier work-life balance than the one I’ve been leading in college. My life doesn't have to wait for the weekend to be experienced. And while I do think that I will reinvigorate my wealth of academic rigor, just because I miss having things that I was proud of creating, I will also continue to pursue new experiences with the zeal that I have in the past few months. There’s no reason not to. I’m glad the finite nature of my time here made me realize how to genuinely enjoy experiences. I’m glad for every second of it.
More Blogs From This Author
Hello everyone! My name is Eliza DuBose and I'm from the area surrounding Boulder, Colorado. I'm a junior at American University studying Foreign Language and Communication Media, which is (very) basically a Journalism and German double major. This is my second time living in Germany and I am so thrilled to be studying in Berlin for the year. In my free time, I spend most of my time hiking, reading, writing, or consuming an inordinate amount of media.