A Couple of Thoughts on Transition (a.k.a I Moved!)
Another way too long amount of time has passed between me writing blog posts?
I really do have the best of intentions…. For what it's worth.
However, since it has been such a long time and the little well that is my brain is just overflowing with thoughts and feelings I think I’m just going to stream-of-consciousness talk about the last few weeks.
So here’s the overview
I had my last couple of weeks in Saarbrucken.
To even write that in the past tense is strange. Time is wild man. As I write this now, I have been gone from Saarbrucken for 2 weeks now, and there is a part of my mind that feels like it was yesterday, and a part of my mind that feels like my time there was distant as if it were years ago.
In our last weeks, we had so much to accomplish.
We finished our language course at the Carl Duisberg Center. We had a test covering all 2 months of material we learned, and I am happy to report I passed with flying colors and will be continuing on in the next level of German studies (For anyone who knows language levels, ya girl is officially in the Bs) Finishing the language courses also meant saying goodbye to our two wonderful instructors as well as the administrative staff at the CDC all of whom have spent the last two months making sure we were happy, healthy, learning, and well acclimated. They truly were all wonderful and I will remember them all fondly.
Amidst all the studying we also managed to pack in plenty of fun.
Some of the highlights were celebrating a few more birthdays, spending a few nights in the city, going to my first official German Fußball game, and going apple picking for the first time. (More pictures and descriptions below)
Then it was time to go,
which leads me to the theme my brain has been stuck on these last couple of weeks… transition. To piggyback on my earlier comment about time being wild, I'd like to also add that, like, hearts and minds are wild. Moving to Germany was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Saying goodbye to my family and friends knowing that I can not see them for an entire year was really difficult. Moving to Saarbrücken and getting placed with the Linslers was just the coolest and most serendipitous way to start this year. So, leaving them was terrible.
I’m not big on complaining, so throughout the process of packing and getting ready to move, I really tried to frame everything as positively as I could. EX: How cool that I got to spend 2 months with such a wonderful family. How cool that I got to travel throughout a region of Germany I had never even heard of, and now can refer to as home. How cool that I got to experience having 8 siblings! How cool that no matter where I go, I can keep the friendships and relationships I made in Saarbrücken forever. If you try hard enough to only think this way, you can actually realize there’s nothing to complain about while moving at all. If only that also could have stopped me from crying anyway.
Turns out when you move across the world and life is overwhelming and a bunch of wonderful people take you in and you feel like you are a part of the family and then you have to leave, you just cry no matter what. I will always be so SO incredibly thankful to them for everything they did for me and don’t worry, I’ll be back to visit plenty of times before I head home. ( I don’t know who exactly I’m telling not to worry there, honestly, probably myself)
Then I got on a train and I moved to Heidelberg, Germany!
YAY! I cried half the train ride, but now here I am and it's like a whole new life for me here in Germany.
I have been in Heidelberg for 2 weeks now. I am living with another host family, though this one has no kids here in the house, so it is just host parents. They have been absolutely wonderful so far. We have breakfast and dinner together most days and they often spend the evenings reading and listening to music. I have spent the last two weeks getting settled here in the city. This means I had to register with the Burgeramt to maintain my visa status, I got registered for courses and the university, I have started to learn my way around town and even began making friends.
I have been attending a lot of Erasmus Student Network events. Erasmus is an exchange program for EU students, however lucky for me, they are super inclusive and don’t mind if other exchange students like me join their events. We have done city tours, pub rallies, picnics, and more and I have made friends from Germany, Belgium, The UK, Poland, France, Italy, Hungary, Denmark, and more.
I am currently writing this on Sunday and classes begin officially tomorrow. So, hopefully, in the near future, I will have more updates regarding my life as a student here in Heidelberg. (fun fact almost 25% of the residents in Heidelberg are students, so it's a really great place to be as an exchange student!)
leaving Saarbrucken was incredibly difficult, but I really try to focus on how lucky I was to have made the connections I did there and remember that they are only a phone class and a 2 hr train ride away. And here in my first two weeks in Heidelberg, I am really overwhelmed with the possibilities before me. There's always a sense of excitement that comes from the anonymity that accompanies a new semester, or even a new move, so imagine doing that but in a country where you literally only know like 5 people. I could become whoever I want to be and all these people have no context on me to tell me it's different or wrong. So, here’s to hoping I can use this opportunity to create a version of me that I’m really proud of and is living life to the fullest and not taking the year abroad for granted. Hell, maybe this version will even write her blog posts on time!
As always, pictures below… these people own my whole heart.
<3 - Kennedy
EINS) I know I’ve had every combination of them already, but I just gotta say the Linslers one more time. They truly went out of their way to make sure I had a great last few weeks in Saarbrucken. They embraced me as a part of their family and made me feel loved from the first day when I was here all alone. I can’t wait to go visit them again!
ZWEI) My classmates in Saarbrucken. We spent every hour of every day together for two months and that can make some people crazy. But I am really proud of what we accomplished and glad to call them my friends.
DREI) Fall! Maybe that's a weird thing to be grateful for, but as I move and embrace this change in my life it's just pretty rad that all the trees around me are changing too. If I'm gonna uproot my life it's nice that at least it's aesthetically pleasing. lol
One last girls' night before we all move away!
Last day of class with my two favorite gals.
Low quality photo, but the sunlight was hitting Ludwig's Kirsche in such a beautiful way I had to snap a quick picture out of the bus window.
Our first of many goodbyes. Waving to Elise (She's on that bus, you'll just have to trust me)
A little sister brunch to for our last weekend. <3 Emmi was an absolute rockstar during my time in Saarbrücken. I can't wait for her to come and visit me here in Heidelberg.
Fußball mit Ralf, Paul, Deb, Me, Emmi, and Benny! The game ended in a tie, but it was such a fun evening. I so SO glad we got to go before we left Saarland.
Apple picking! (L to R: Marie, Me, Julie, and Deb) Can you believe I've never actually been apple picking before!? This was my first time!
This is a top-tier Saarbrücken pic for sure. Deb, Paul, Me, and Emmi. I'm gonna miss this crew.
Mama and Papa Linsler. I'm so glad we stopped and took this picture. I just really love it, and I think I would have been so sad to have left and not gotten a picture with them. <3
And last but not least, the Linslers at the train station. Not pictured: Me ugly crying on the other side of the phone.
And just a few sneak peek photos of the first few weeks in Heidelberg...
Update: I'm a bike girl now
Did I mention this town is straight out of a postcard!?
Cheers to new adventures!