Hello NYU Berliners,
Is it really already mid-May? Just a couple more days and most of you’ll be boarding a plane again and begin your journeys to various parts of the world. No matter whether this semester has been your first experience abroad, your second or third semester away from your home campus, or maybe even part of a routine of changing locations and transitioning cultures, having studied here in Berlin will have made an impact on you for sure.
Remember, your experience is unique. No matter what others might consider a “great time,” the only one who knows what your experience was like is you. Some of you may have fallen madly in love with Berlin, others may feel ready to leave. You may have realized how much you value your friends and family, set new priorities, and discovered that you have more than just one home. Some of you may wish they had done things differently while in Berlin. Hopefully, most of you will consider your experience of the past four months a valuable experience.
Now, take a moment to stand still. Just stop doing what you are doing, clear your mind, and travel back to the moment when you boarded the plane to Berlin. Do you remember what you were thinking and feeling? What did you expect or hope for? Remember how you met us for the first time, how you arrived at the Student Residence or the Academic Center, and how you began your first German class. Do you remember the first German word you tried to pronounce or how you made your first new friend here? Be mindful of where you are now, reflect upon the insights and important skills you have gained, and think about how you are feeling about leaving Berlin in a couple of days.
Before I let you all go, though, try this little exercise: write down five things you are taking with you from Berlin. These can be memories of something you experienced, the acknowledgement of a personal development, an actual item, etc. Really do write it down, as these precious memories might fade with time and now is the moment to preserve them.
Now it’s time for me to say “Auf Wiedersehen.” It has been wonderful getting to know you all. While we will miss you here, we hope that many of you will come back for a second semester, summer internship, personal vacation, or to get an M.A. from a local German university.
Dankeschön for your presence and for your contributions to our community.