The winter semester has come to end and that means the year is halfway over and A NINE WEEK SEMESTER BREAK! I spent those wonderful first seven days playing in the Austrian Alps before making my way back to Munich to start my internship at Die Umwelt Akademie (translated: The Environmental Academy), an environmental NGO that strives to create awareness of environmental issues in the community. While some of my fellow program-mates are travelling their way around Europe or headed back to the states, some of us are also using this time to test out a career path. While either way is a break well spent, I am so happy to have this opportunity to gain skills that directly relate to my field of study. Working at Die Umwelt Akademie has also provided me with specific sets of vocabulary that I probably wouldn’t have picked up outside of an office environment. So far, I’ve helped with the presentations and workshops in schools, created content for the NGO’s social media pages, and managed sponsor lists. With varying tasks and a wonderful team of individuals to work alongside, I am excited for the next eight weeks of my internship in Munich.
Since some are back in the states, travelling, or in Berlin doing their internship, it has gotten much quieter in Studentenstadt (where we live), and as someone who loves being around people, it’s honestly been tough. The people with whom I normally get coffee, my running partners, and my friends who were only here for the winter semester are all gone and I’ve had to do some readjusting. To do this, I’ve started a few things. For one, self reflection. I’ve started running without headphones so that I can actually feel what I am thinking. I’ve also started journaling more, painting, trying out a plastic-free lifestyle, cooking with new recipes, and wandering around Munich trying to find the hidden places I would never happen upon in my daily routine.
Have these things worked? Tremendously. I am not sure that I have ever had so much “Me Time” in my life and it has allowed me to reflect on this past semester and how my priorities need to shift. The time flew by (Es geht wie im Flug!), and I am stoked to have another five months ahead of me. I remember thinking at the beginning of the year that maybe I would get tired of Munich. Now I dread the day I’ll have to go home. Of course Walla Walla has its charm and I miss my family and friends back in Walla Walla, but living in this city has given me some of the most invigorating experiences of my life, and I’m not quite done making the most of it.