It’s officially July, and I can’t wrap my head around the fact that in two months time, I’ll be starting my Master’s course
You’d think the prospect of moving abroad would be an exciting moment to look forward to — only happy thoughts and good vibes surrounding it all. While I do have those moments of excitement, a lot of the time, they quickly turn to ones of panic, stress and anxiety. It’s because this particular adventure is different. It’s grander, it’s longer, and it’s not a week or a month of travel like I’ve been used to in my few years of traveling. Apart from my study abroad semester in London, which was only 3 months long, I’ve never lived anywhere else in my life. I’ve mentioned how unique and sometimes strange it is growing up in New York City, especially since I’ve never left. This is home, where I went to school for 17+ years, where my family lives, where my friends and colleagues are, where I’m comfortable and what I’m familiar with.
A move abroad is stressful for a lot of reasons, but especially because it feels more stable and permanent. I’m not going to be living in Berlin in the same way that I lived in London during college. I’m not going to be living in Berlin in the same way I live now in New York. I’m moving somewhere where the native language isn’t English, where I have to register at offices and with authorities, where I have to purchase my own health insurance (since it’s mandated by law in Germany), where I have to get a phone and a SIM (…not sure how I survived London without one), where I have to buy internet and my own groceries, do my own laundry, and where I have to find somewhere to LIVE so that I can live, away from my family. I’m moving a lot of parts of my life abroad that I’ve never done before. And it’s very new, strange, exciting and especially terrifying as a newbie. You can imagine my constant state of feeling overwhelmed.
To make matters a bit simpler, I am going to be going to school, so that does make things slightly less complicated in terms of visas, since there’s only one that I can actually apply for. Yep, a student one and not even at that, since its technically called a residence permit for the purposes of study, for Americans. Sure, the sound of it sounds easy, but I still need to secure an apartment, register, apply for residency and all that bureaucratic nonsense that Germans are known for, at an office, where, again, the main language is not that of my own tongue.
Of course, everyone who works at the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigner’s Office), do in fact speak English. But do they want to? And will they? Not a chance, and I don’t blame them. I am moving to Germany after all, not England. Although, I’m not entirely sure what my level is just yet, my optimistic self says I’m at A-2 but only because I know how to order a coffee, ask for the toilet and the basics of grammar and sentence structure.
“Kann ich einen kaffee haben?” (…I see you, Akkusativ).
I didn’t even look that one up. It’s now been ingrained into my mind. Danke to mein Lehrers! (…not sure if that’s right, someone please correct me).
But having less than two months left in New York means not only do I have to get everything together and prepare for a huge move, but it also means that I’m leaving everything I hold near and dear to me for a while. It’s only fair that I take advantage of my last summer in this city. Even if it means waiting on lines to get into events or parties and sticking to the subway seat when there fails to be AC installed in the car I’m sat in. Even if it means having to deal with the humidity and muggy air, the random smells and unexpected sprinkles of water falling atop my head from somewhere up above or the ice cream truck playing that ridiculous tune over and over again until I finally cave in and buy one of those deliciously overpriced vanilla ice cream cones with sprinkles.
It’s summer in the city and I’m all here for it.
June was a great start to summer. I experienced yet another Governor’s Ball Music Festival with a ton of friends (that’s a 3-year streak!), and for free. Michelle’s friend gracefully got us the hookup and nothing ever feels better than attending a music festival free of charge, does it? I’ve also been to a ton of shows, including that of my favorite band who headlined Madison Square Garden. I’ve been to a few BBQ’s, events, had my cousin visit from Florida which forced me to be a tourist in my own city — fitting since I’ll be leaving — among other fun moments that we’ll recap here soon. I’ve also been working a lot and saving up like crazy, too, which means a constant exhaustion. But when I think about the prospect of what it’s going toward, my sleep schedule is more forgiving to me.
Overall, there’s tons to look forward to and lots coming up. I have too many feelings and thoughts to condense into a single blog post, but for now, I guess this’ll do.
Anyone have advice on a big move? How’re you enjoying summer in your city? Share your thoughts with us below! 😉