The first time I spoke to my flatmate Jonas, I was sitting at a table on the ground floor of Norris trying to get people to take a survey on an iPad (for my NU Dining Sustainable Internship). But Jonas happened to be free, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t planning on going to live with any serial killers, so I put in my headphones.
That was a good choice.
I feel inclined to say that the last eight weeks flew by, but in all honesty, they didn’t. Those four hours after lunch at my desk on the fifth floor of HCU dragged on like no one’s business, and then some nights I even watched TV. I also… learned to chill a bit this summer. I started off counting the weeks, and then I stopped.
This morning, I finished packing a bit early, and then I sat on the floor of my (sad, empty) room listening to music with Jonas. Listening to music. If you know me, you get that that means something significant.
It’s so difficult not to get sappy and caught up in clichés, but the time I spent in Hamburg was so great—and I think it was also so great for me.
Sorry to point fingers (not really), but the Northwestern lifestyle and ideology and exclusive extracurricular activities and 150-person lecture classes and sororities and auditions and the inevitable walk from South to North campus on Sheridan Road has take a pretty severe toll on me over the past two years. To be clear, I am doing 100% fine, and I’ve grown so much from dealing with everything at NU (@clichés); yet, the ability to hit reverse for a bit this summer was quite… needed. And good.
Over the past two months, I thouroughly enjoyed every lunch break and each new type beer and aimless wandering and hopping on trains and not going to the gym and forming relationships and all of the desserts and listening to music (!) and sitting and chilling in the grossest kitchen I will hopefully ever set foot in, and, well… not being super stressed or antsy simply due to my everyday life.
Granted, it’s been a long day, I’m lacking some sleep, and I’ve indeed had some beer as I now sit in this incredibly cool and hip urban garden/co-op/cafe in Berlin. So, I think I will leave the rest of my emotions to my journal at this point.
But in the meantime, some excerpts of thanks to those in Germany and not (and in alphabetical order because don’t worry—I’m still super obsessive):
To Annegret – Thank you for asking me to make diagrams that I will literally cherish for the rest of my life. Also, I promise I really will finish the Log Frame Approach PPT and send it to you soon.
To Austin – For still being awake most days when I got to work.
To Ed – Jonas and Lion really enjoyed grabbing that beer with you.
To Grace – Thank you for your genius mathematical equation. And I can’t wait to talk more soon.
To Haberly – That was a pretty great bush. And “soccer game.”
To Jonas – Thanks so so so much. You’ve now inspired me not only to be more zen, but to be more rocking, too.
To Jordan – I really, truly enjoyed hearing you talk about debate. And then also I had fun in Amsterdam. And then in Hamburg. But you should really stay longer at the fischmarkt next time.
To Lion – Thanks for that first Facebook message and your smile amidst the chaos (kitchen).
To Liza – I suppose more than the shoes and the money to ship the box back and the train ticket, I am incredibly grateful for the constant support.
To Marvin – For having the idea to buy chocolate. And yeah okay yeah okay, I’ll see you soon.
To Marvin’s “thesispartner” – Don’t worry—I’ll make him work on it on the train.
To Michelle – I really cannot imagine the 9 to 5 grind without you by my side. And sending best wishes in regards to the bed bugs—if you did bring them back to Hamburg (I think not), I’d just take it as a compliment that the bugs don’t want to leave your genuine, caring, passionate self.
To Molly – Thanks for some good advice.
To Sarah – I will steal a bike back for you someday.
To Sarah W. – We totally brought the highlights of our NU friendship to Germany and even added five museums (in one day). And for some reason, I was so comforted by the fact that I was with you when we felt like prostitutes.
To Shannon – Thank you for literally how did you deal with me as I shoved so much chocolate into my face in Brussels.