Thoughts On Leaving

Between completing term papers, and checking things off of my “things-I-must-do-before-leaving-Berlin” list, this last week has proven to be a chaotic blur.

Paper writing and studying has taken up a large chunk of my time, but luckily, I’ve been able to sneak plenty of fun into my last days.  The Christmas markets are in full swing, and I can’t help but bask in the festive spirit every time I get the opportunity to pass through a market and sip on a cup of glühwein (hot mulled wine).  And as frigid as the weather has been the last couple of weeks, the nearly constant snowfall we’ve had has only added to the holiday feel.

On Thursday, both IES Berlin programs, along with all of the professors and IES staff, came together for a farewell dinner.  Typically, I don’t really register goodbyes as they are happening, but this evening forced me to realize that I’m leaving both a city I love, and some really incredible people.

This experienced has evoked such a stark juxtaposition of emotions.  I’m elated to be heading home, back to my family, friends, and everything that is familiar and comfortable.  On the other hand, I’m leaving a totally separate life that has provided me with new comforts, incredible friends, and innumerable opportunities for learning and personal growth.

For now, I think I will just take comfort in the fact that when I get home, I will always know I have dear friends living half a world away from me.