Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Winding down

So my time here is drawing rather quickly to an end.I've been meaning to write for a while, but somehow just haven't found the time. Lot's of things have happened since I last wrote. My class threw me a surprise going away party, I've been to three other going away parties, I've had my own going away party, I've seen my rowing "family" here for the last time, there have been lots of tears and laughs, and one of the girls in my class here has even come back from her exchange year in the U.S.
As I think about the fact that I'll be flying back in three days it doesn't seem real. Ith's funny though becausse in a way my mind is preparing me for going back to the U.S. Sometimes I think of a word in German and then it just comes out of my mouth in English (ok so this does happen vice versa as well).
As I think back on this year and that it will soon be over, an overwhelming sense of thankfulness sweeps over me. I am so thankful to have had this chance. It has been and continues to be an amazingly rewarding experience.
My advice to any new exchange students or exchange students to be is just to put your all into it. You'll get even more back.

The 25 things I've learned in Germany

1. I'm more of a child than some people ever have been.
2. I'm more of an adult than some people ever will be.
3. A new life can be built in less than a year.
4. Rowing is my constant and the people I row with will always be family to me.
5. Riding is still important and makes me just plain happy.
6. I can ski.
7. Skiing is fun.
8. To be a "normal" and "abnormal" teenager.
9. Life isn't always about the big turning points. A lot of time it's the little things that make the difference.
10. I'm lucky.
11. The thing I find most in my good friends is support.
12. I may be one of the least cooridinated people on this earth, but I can finally scull!
13. There is a point where nothing is embarrassing anymore.
14. German stubbornness has new meaning.
15. The more you have to say goodbye the harder it gets.
16. It's not saying goodbye that's hard, it's going on living normally without those people afterwards. Sometimes just knowing that you can and will live without them.
17. I am religious.
18. In order to find yourself you might have to temporarily lose yourself (or part of yourself) first.
19. I'm not a "typical" American in German terms.
20. I have a very German family in the U.S.
21.American's are not as concentrated on outward appearance as our soceity thinks. Germans are (generally) much worse in this sense.
22. Handwashing and disinfecting wounds are not normal healthcare or everyday procedures in all "modern" countries.
23. I'm sorry that I've lost contact with so many people, and I won't let it happen again.
24. I'm happy in Germany and in the U.S.
25. The more you put into something the more you'll get out of it.