I knew this time would come, and frankly, it was supposed to come two years ago when I finished my au pair year as it originally was planned. Nevertheless, (nearly) three years passed and here I still sit in my adopted home of Karlsruhe. This all happened because I loved Karlsruhe and my life here. It’s a life free of the complexities and obligations of home. There’s no financial burdens, no social ladders, no politics (for the record, these all exist in Germany, but do not apply to my life specifically here). Life is simple and I appreciate every thing about that simplicity.
As of three weeks ago, not coincidentally the last time I managed to blog, I learned my days here are officially numbered: eighty-five at most.
What could possibly be pulling me away from this little German home and super special comfort zone I’ve found? It could be none other than the big city that I initially fell in love with on my first Eurotrip back in 2010. Yep, that’s right, I’m moving to Bavaria’s capital city, Munich.
How did all this happen?
No matter how happy and comfortable I felt in Karlsruhe, the little worker’s voice inside of me started getting louder, telling me again and again that I’d lost purpose here in Germany. Sure, I was content, but perhaps too content? I was no longer an au pair, a company employee, or a German student. My one year anniversary as a part-time pub employee at the Bray Head just passed and I was at a standstill. Truthfully, I could go another year this content, but the fears of future stability and waning progress pushed me forward.
At the beginning of this year, I was in last round interviews with Trivago, my favorite hotel search engine. The opportunity really sparked my interest and the possibility of moving North to Düsseldorf was equally exciting. After they ultimately passed on me for the position, I felt more let down than I anticipated. Didn’t I want to still be in Karlsruhe? These feelings motivated me to find my new purpose. I wanted to stay in Germany, but it seemed I’d used up all my opportunities in Karlsruhe. I’m a city-slicker at heart, having only lived in Houston and Austin before this move, so maybe it was time to look to Germany’s more metropolitan offerings.
Back to School
Germany definitely takes the cake when it comes to providing students with affordable education. In fact, most students in Germany study for free, paying only around 100 Euros/semester in student union fees. Not only does this apply to German citizens, but everyone. I know, I could not believe it either.
As a freshman at The University of Texas at Austin, I never dreamed I’d stop my education after four years. Two Bachelor’s degrees later (B.S. Public Relations, B.S. Communication Studies), I was off to Europe and further education was not even at the back of my mind. Luckily, it entered the forefront last fall as I began searching for options to study here in Germany. I found about 10 programs in English that related to my background, but one truly stood out: the Masters in Consumer Affairs at the Technical University of Munich. It is one of the best university’s in Germany, and thus the world, and the EU-backed program focuses on consumer and behavioral economics, as well as sustainability management and marketing. Plus, it’s in freaking Munich, which so happens to be my favorite city in all of Europe!
At the end of February, I clicked submit on my application and began the waiting period. The deadline is in mid-June, so I knew it’d be awhile before I heard anything. As the wait continued, my lazy ass contemplated applying to some of the other programs I found, but I kept putting them off as they just didn’t excite me like the Consumer Affairs program.
Well, cheers to putting all my eggs in one basket, because the evening before I left for my two-week trip home to the USA, I received an acceptance email!
How it Really Feels
The moment I received my acceptance, I let out a sign of relief – relieved to have a life plan again and a true reason for staying in Germany. Now, I feel excited about the opportunity, but incredibly sad to leave Karlsruhe – so sad that just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes typing it. I will miss my friends and the Freund too much, but I know fantastic friends await me in Munich and making them this go ’round will be much easier as a student. I’m also terrified to study again; it’s been three years since I did anything academic. Let’s get real, I never studied much before, but Germans, do they study! It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I can only think the compare it to my crazy law school friends. Lastly, I’m 100 percent stressed about finding a place to live in Munich. Once I have that nailed down, I think many of these emotions will actually go away because it’s causing a lot of anxiety at the moment. I just want a clean roommate, or two, or none, in a decent part of the city, with rent not through completely through the roof – really not too much to ask.
So, that’s what’s basically my life right now. Cheers to a new adventure and more Speaking Denglish!