The reason I went to Germany for university? A question I’m asked a lot, one with a very simple answer: I needed to experience something new, I needed adventure. The following is a summary of my entire first semester broken up in months. Enjoy!
After several issues with my visa and finally making it to Germany considerably late (a month and a half), my backpack didn’t seem that heavy while skipping out of the airport in Dusseldorf. It was all new, the Rhine river, the beautiful golden and scarlet of the fall trees surrounding the road. I was so ecstatic. It was the new place I was to call home, the place I could finally be independent in. It goes without saying that it was a pretty big adjustment, coming from Saudi but regardless, this was the start of my five months away from home.
Being late, I had a lot of catching up to do and midterms right around the corner. Being the responsible and new independent girl I was, I decided to ignore all of that and go on a trip with my university to Berlin, on the other side of Germany.
It was a lovely trip to put it simply. Being a university planned one, it was mostly educational, we visited the German Parliament, Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, and several museums and monuments. The trip for me also consisted of rather comical situations, such as getting rather sick right in front of the German Bundestag, nearly getting killed a good fifty times by very quickly approaching bikes, and a failed attempt at entering a night club. Experiencing this with a bunch of wonderful friends really put me at ease with me missing my parents and I was all ready for everything that awaited me in my new home.
The month of November consisted of me figuring out the ins and outs of living alone, attempting to create some friendships, and cramming for exams. All the humorous antics of living in an all girls house began to arise the more I got to know all the ladies I was going to be around for awhile. One day, for example, some girls were trying to get a crock wine bottle open. It didn’t help that the instructions on the internet consisted of: “get the man in the house to do it.” The means of opening it was with a Shawrma knife (do not ask me who’s it was and why it was there) to get a few drops out.
The end of the month is when I had my very first Dutch experience in the Netherlands to visit a few friends from back home, an extremely memorable trip! After the trip, I went through a tiny identity crisis because I didn’t have anything to focus on but I had a pretty good idea in counter it..
The idea was to start a blog! I loved it so much, it was a place I could totally be myself and let everything out without my anxiety getting in the way. But with every happy story comes a few dark times here and there. In mid-December, I got an eye infection, a bad case of insomnia, a fever, and a ton of girl drama, combining all of this together brings you a hot mess of anxiety. The fever especially left me quite terrified as it was my first time getting sick away from home. After all of this turmoil and carrying a friend of mine home after her great decision of drinking fifteen shots of Vodka (yes, I am the designated sober friend) while she sung London Bridge is Falling Down into the night, I really needed a refresh.
I decided I would take a trip to Dusseldorf (a city two hours away by train) during my Christmas break. I slept in a church basement and I could honestly say it was one of the highlights of my stay in Germany. I got to know so many people both in and out of my community. I got to experience a warmth that I had almost forgotten in my stay away from home.
Right off the bat in the New Year, I went to my friend’s house for her birthday for a family BBQ. Again, I felt the familiar feeling of belonging. Top that with a lot of unexpected and wonderful Christmas presents and you got yourself the feeling of blessing. It was nice escaping
hell university for awhile but this only meant it was time for finals. Right after my Economics exam, a friend took me with her to a city where there a lot of snow. I live in the warmest place in Germany, though there was snowfall, there was barely any white on the ground. I got to see a lot of it all at once and it was such a exhilarating day. To new experiences always!
Speaking of new experiences, my toilet exploded in January. Yup. I woke up to my roommate’s screaming one night to find that the toilet had exploded and caused a major leak throughout the house. On a positive note, it wasn’t too bad a clean up, it resulted in some bonding with my roommate.
I write to you now from my little home in Saudi Arabia, I’m back for the semester break. Before leaving I had celebrated my birthday with my friends and I am now celebrating with my family and friends here. Thought I would love coming back to my folks but I was actually slightly sad leaving my cozy little room. I’ve come to like a place I thought I would forever lack comfort in. Thank you for coming along with me on this journey and I hope I can elaborate more someday on a lot of things I’ve been through, had to keep this post as short as possible. I hope you enjoyed this, cheers!