Jesler in Freiburg
The first deadlines have come and gone. The first final examinations are silently knocking on my door, whispering, in the true UCM spirit, that everything will be ok.
I look down at my phone. The train ticket back to the Netherlands, back to my other home, has already been downloaded on it for weeks. The e-mail from the Semester Abroad Office that tells me what will happen after Freiburg, smiles at me whenever I open my mailbox. Reminding me to start preparing for the next adventure - Ecuador, my first choice.
But, didn’t I just arrive in Freiburg two days ago? Though, at the same time, haven’t I been here forever?
I wrap my cold hands around the warm cup of Glühwein and look around. Up at the church I’ve never entered because when you live somewhere, you don’t do the touristy stuff. Up at the lights that decorate the Christmas market, thinking back to how I looked up at the Christmas market as a child, feeling the same internal happiness and gratefulness - the same feeling of belonging I felt as a kid. And, most importantly, up at the faces of the friends shivering in a circle around me, telling funny stories about what happened in their tutorials, how they will celebrate Christmas or how they can’t find a proper present for their Wichtel (the person receiving their secret Santa gift).
Somehow, this feels like a milestone. The second block of the first semester hasn’t even started yet, but there’s something about packing your suitcase and getting ready to leave your bubble for two weeks. It feels like the first part of my Freiburg adventure is coming to an end. The hardest part. The part I was most anxious about when I came here.
Everything will be ok - it always sounded so cheesy to me. But I guess that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true.
Jesler van Houdt