When I arrived I knew only a couple of words in German. I knew little about the German culture or the way of thinking, even less about what was waiting me. I thought people would help me in any way, would understand that I was alone in a new country, without family, without friends. Instead it was hard, just to understand what I was supposed to do, and it was even harder because I had always the sensation that I was letting the people around me down, because I didn’t understood them. I must say that I am a very social person, I get bored alone and I need human interaction and in the beginning I almost had none. I also missed my friends and my boyfriend. I just wanted to go away and feel somehow home.
Then I met Kata, who worked with me until December. She invited me out, helped me with learning German, introduced me to her friends, tried to make me feel at home. I felt really good with her, I felt like I’ve known her for my entire life and so we became really close. Through her I met two of my now closest friends, Tabea and Mia, with whom I spend almost all of my time now that Kata is gone. She’s doing a voluntary year in Ghana and what makes me sad is that when she will come back I won’t be in Germany any more. Nevertheless I will never forget her and how much she has helped me, in order to feel at home here.
I decided to have a gap year after high school, because I didn’t know what to study and I wanted a challenge, I needed a way to prove myself and get to know who I am. I needed time to discover myself, away from what I have always known. So, I decided to join this program here in Ulm, because it gives me the possibility to meet a lot of people everyday and I can live in a city. Probably this wasn’t the best way to learn all of this, because I wasn’t prepared for anything at all, I just kind of expected everything would go the best way. And it did, eventually.
I’m still learning of course, it’s more of a journey, in which I’m trying to understand who I am and what I want. It’s not easy of course, some days I really have no idea what I’m doing, other days I’m sure I’m on track. Overall I can say that being in another culture, without anyone you know, it’s rough, but it puts yourself in front of your true self, forcing you to confront who you are and deal with it. There’s days in which you love yourself and days in which you just hate who you are, and you would do anything to change it. At the end, I guess that is just a part of growing up, a step up in the journey to become and adult and a better person, that everyone has to take. Leaving home and confront another culture has taught me a lot about who I want to be and the world I want to live in.
Now after almost five month I can speak German and understand it, not always of course, but most of the times. I’ve learnt how to love the job I have and how to do it the best way, I met many people that have become special and, most important, I feel at home. Not because I want to live here or I understood what I want to become: I can be myself even if I still have to learn who that is.