Social Interaction is Hard

by Katherine Carraway

I know what you’re really wondering: Kath have you gotten yourself into any awkward situations? Have you butchered the German language?  I mean the answer to both of those is yes. (I once used three conjugated verbs in the same sentence because I couldn’t figure out how to get my point across—and I hope no one ever tells Frau Hoequist that.)

But at the same time, I can really see improvement with my German. I learned the verb “to annoy” which is “nerven”, but I originally heard it as “nerfen” which led to a long conversation about nerf guns.

Also, I think I’m finally, finally starting to get comfortable with the people in my class. Last week I had three free periods in a row, so I went with a group of people into the city for a couple hours to get noodles and stop by a book shop. I actually felt comfortable being part of the conversation. Not to mention the fact I saw three dogs and turned into a squeaking mess.

Last weekend was also super busy, I had things to do every day of the weekend, and that’s honestly a massive deal when you’re an introvert like me. Two of the things I was most scared of about in Germany was having to talk to people and not having friends, so it was kind of a double-edged blade there. Honestly though, I think the introvert thing is working out in my favor.

You can’t show up in a strange place and immediately fit in—making friends is hard. I didn’t really click with the girl that was set up to be my buddy, and that was terrifying. I mean, she was supposed to be nice to me, what would everyone else be like?

Fortunately for me, there are nerds in every country. I come home from school every day with dozens of little anecdotes that I have to write down because they’re honestly too good not to be, and I find myself really enjoying the time I have here.

One of my favorite things about Germany and traveling in general is the people, and I’ve grown to really enjoy everyone I talk to throughout the day. Whether it’s someone who is taking the time to explain a pun to me or the person who invited me to Köln because I casually remarked that I wished I could see more of the country while I was here.

I love people, and I love getting to experience the world in a different way.

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