It is 10:23 p.m. and I am walking the streets of Berlin. I’m on my way to Clash, one of my favorite bars, where the beer is cheap, the guys are cute, and my friends are waiting. I think to myself, “Ah, this is my life. Here I am, meeting my friends at one of my favorite bars, walking the streets knowing exactly where I am going, passing one of my friend’s apartments on the way.” In this moment, I am in pure bliss: living a life that feels right, a life that I love. Suddenly a sense of anxious pain runs through my whole body. There are only two weeks left of my semester in Berlin. I find it difficult to accept and even more difficult to believe. I try to live in the moment but how can I when my time here is almost up? One week until papers are due, two weeks until my family comes to visit, and four weeks until I return to the United States. These blocks and chunks of allotted time run through my head and are simply impossible to erase. It pains me to write this.
You might think I am being dramatic. If I were reading this, I would think so, but to me, Berlin is the one place where I have made a life for myself, a true life. My parents chose California, my birthplace. Goucher was chosen for me by fate. I chose Berlin for myself. I decided to live here for a year, have my own apartment, make my own friends, and live my own life. I didn’t just study abroad, I lived abroad, and as much as I want to see my friends and resume my life at Goucher, the feeling is so bittersweet. I think it is so hard when you have to uproot your life just when you feel as if you are finally home. A feeling of security is something I don’t find often as a bi-costal college student. The constant trek home to California every break is draining. Not having a solid place for three years has made saying goodbye to Berlin even harder. However, I know I am so lucky to have experienced what I have, and I am curious to see how I have changed as a person and how I now fit into the Goucher community. I am excited to spend my summer on campus, creating a new home for myself, and re-entering such a warm and loving community that I feel so lucky to be a part of.