My time in Germany is nearing its end.
If i am ever to return to Germany, however, I would most definitely return to the south. The region’s amazing nature, beautiful weather, and small, sleepy towns stand in stark contrast to the flat landscape and large cities of the north. As a small-town man myself, I far prefer the former. Although I wouldn’t wish to change much about my time in Reutlingen, I do wish that I had planned more trips sooner in the semester. There are many stunning sights to see in the region, with Strasbourg, Konstanz, Salzburg in Austria, and the Black Forest not too far away. Despite not visiting all of the above, I am grateful that I was able to at least see a few.
As the semester winds down, I come to face several conflicting emotions.
I was fortunate to find a social circle almost immediately after my arrival in Reutlingen, and it is with the wonderful individuals of this social circle that I have spent 90% (or more) of my time for the last three months. As the homesickness began to set in, the warm treatment of these individuals mitigated the worst of it. In short, I have grown rather close to the members of this social circle, and leaving them behind is perhaps the hardest part of leaving.
At the same time, my homesickness constitutes an overwhelmingly strong factor in my eagerness to return to the U.S. Though it seems as if it were but a couple of days ago that I dreaded being away from home for three months, the time passed rapidly, particularly after integrating into my new milieu.
Now, I find myself weighing the emotions of happiness to return home and sorrow at farewell.
This semester has been an anomaly not only in my college career, but also in my life. These have been three months of experiences unlike any I’ve ever had, but that I have enjoyed like few things before. I cannot yet tell the purpose that this experience will have in shaping what is to come, but I am already aware of the ways that it has changed me. The next two weeks bring finals and preparations for departure; I pray that I have the presence of mind the enjoy my final days here, among those to whom I have come to hold dear.