Data in Deutschland #1: Happiness

Jason Lebofsky Headshot
Jason Lebofsky
June 17, 2024

Greetings from Berlin! I am three weeks into my journey here in the Gray City, but that nickname has not at all been indicative of my feelings here. It has been a whirlwind of emotions, as I navigate a whole new series of challenges in life. There are little things like the public transportation system here or having a meal plan for myself. It’s all been such a fun new environment to go though and certainly better than the complacent summer relaxing at home that I was projected to live in. All of this has had me brimming with happiness, the first topic of interest in my studies for Data in Deutschland.

Studying my overall mood these last 3 weeks is difficult because there are so many factors to consider with mood. There are so many ebbs and flows to each day, hour, and minute. However, as I hit the pillow before each night, I tried to do just that. I thought a lot about not just the highlights of what I have done, like a museum where I was moved or fulfilling work at my internship. Did I really enjoy the life I lived out that day? Did I make it count? Although while I was making that decision, I also found myself magnetized to the little moments in a day. When I bit into my sandwich before I began my day, did the mixture of cheese and ham make my taste buds flutter? All of this culminated in a score between -3 and 3. Three implies that the day was phenomenal, an excellent day I wish I could live over again and again. Meanwhile, a negative three implies that a lot went wrong to generally bring my mood crashing down for the day. In between those peaks is a solid 0, which is a day where the good and bad of the days cancel out to make for an average day.

The following chart shows my scores throughout my first three weeks here.

While it is not a large amount of data, it is enough to tell a good story about my first three weeks in Berlin. The first day stood as a bittersweet day, having to say my farewells to my life at home to make a new one in Berlin. After arriving on the second day, things skyrocketed into a legendary place in my life. I was introduced to my place at the Social Hub, the city of Berlin on a series of tours, and all the wonderful people I would be sharing this memory with. Those connections I made would carry me throughout the rest of the week through a series of wonderful moments. I had plenty of free time in the afternoon after our orientation was over. So, I went to thrift stores, a Jazz cafe, and played ping pong throughout the night. Suffice to say, those initial days got 3s from me. They were just such unique experiences. It was the exact thing I was looking forward to when I came to Berlin this summer.

Then, some of the newness came crashing down over the weekend. I had done so much over the last few days that I felt like I needed a collection of rest days. Although, this in turn left me disgruntled through this push-pull to live as much life as I possibly could while I was here. I think I have a habit of trying to optimize my time throughout the day and here, it got the better of me as the other part of me just wanted to relax. I acknowledged just how long it might be after this summer until I live out my next day in Berlin. Then, there was the following Monday when I recorded my lowest scoring day yet: -2. I like my internship because it is related to my major of Data Science. However, to get the needed data for the project, I had to do data entry. It’s a rather tedious task that brought me back down to earth from last week’s workless week. I had some difficulty adjusting to doing work again at my first internship but since that day, I have found a nice rhythm.

That seems to be the common theme with the next two weeks of my time here in Berlin. Now that the sheer jubilation of being here has worn off and I figured out a good balance of how to spend my time here, I have been loving my life here. There’s a fun blend I am really enjoying while I am over here. On the weekdays, I work mostly remotely on my internship and finish up entering the information of migrant-run businesses out of the yellow pages. Now, we move onto data cleaning, which is a nice change of pace. Additionally, I have classes on Global Workplace Cultures and German 101. The latter has been especially fun because I had hardly any experience with German before my internship. Now  right after leaving the classroom, I am able to apply what I just learned to read a few basic signs or say a few phrases. If all else, there is always my good old pal Google Translate.

Then, starting on Friday afternoon once my Global Workplace Cultures Seminar is finished, I can begin the weekend with the entire city of Berlin as my playground. Some of my highlights include checking out Jewish Museum Berlin, the Flughafen Abandoned Airport, and watching the Euros. While I am not a fan of soccer, I have been trying to become a Germany mega fan this summer and bought a jersey to prove my investment. It’s been a perfect storm to have the Euros taking place in Germany this summer, as I am viewing the city so united for their country I am in the weeds of.

This is a pie chart, showing the distribution of days.

There are certainly a few more mediocre days, like one I rated -1 on June 11th when a fire alarm woke me up at 8:00 AM and threw off the flow of my day. Although days like that get overshadowed by the majority of wonderful memories. My average score per day is 0.95, good for days being above average consistently. Although, I didn’t even need the data to tell me how I have already been feeling.  I can already confidently report back on my happiness to have made the “leap of faith” into the unknown. Going abroad creates a well of experiences and memories that I can already tell are to last me a lifetime. I look forward to making plenty more in the next few weeks and report new data back in a few weeks. Tschüss!

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Jason Lebofsky Headshot

Jason Lebofsky

Hi there, I’m Jason. I’m a Junior Data Science major at Commonwealth University Bloomsburg. I enjoying running my video game club at my campus and playing ultimate frisbee. Back at home in Philadelphia, I like relaxing with my tortoise Merle.

2024 Summer 1
Home University:
Bloomsburg University of PA
Data Science
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