Ain’t no sunshine…

… when she’s gone.

My roommate, the awesome person you know as Ari or sunshine2091 (and yes, I have tried, and failed, to figure out what the numbers stand for… date of birth being the obvious guess but then the month is missing?), has left. In about 18 hours or so (I didn’t actually calculate so this might be way off) she’ll be boarding her flight… right now she’s on a train to a friend’s house close to the airport. She checked out of her dorm room, the door is locked, I am alone. And I’m staying here until the end of July. She’s coming back next semester just in time for me to NOT see her before I go to Kenya for several months. So… the person that I have spent anywhere between 10 and 24 hours per day with is just gone. It’s a bit like missing a limb.

Plus, it’s raining, so there is literally no sunshine.

Anyways, this separation of ours was the whole reason for this blog… because we don’t actually care so much whether YOU read it, we just kind of wanted to keep each other updated, and do it in a way that makes us look like the cool, technologically savvy, gadget-wielding hipsters that we would so love to be. (Don’t tell me blogging is SO yesterday. Have you ever seen a long-distance-roommate story on Instagram? Exactly, me neither.)

So anyways. Since the Long-Distance-Roommate thing (can I abbreviate this LDR, please? I’m a lazy typer) is kind of the reason for the blog, we won’t bug you (or each other) too much with how much we miss each other. Instead, we’ll tell you about all our amazing adventures in New York City, Germany and East Africa. Just not today, because the most exciting thing that happened to me today was that somebody told me they were going to sponsor my dinner from their mealplan.

See you next time!

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A heart in New York

Hello everybody!!

I think it is more than time for me to finally raise my words, to talk to the masses, to share my opinion, to PUBLISH A POST ON THIS BLOG…anyway…. Jupp, Judith is right, I will (hopefully) be crossing the big pond in three weeks to live and work in New York City for three months. I am really trying my best right now to transmit this hipster “yeah-so-I-will-be-living-in-NY-no-big-deal-man-slash-like-a-boss-slash-YO” attitude but the truth is: Whenever I even think about it, I  can’t help but jumping up and down and scream in a very high-pitched, very girly way. I am sorry, I am actually neither hipster nor girly. I am just about to fulfill something that was on the very top of my bucket list ever since I got to know what exactly a bucket list is (which was half a year ago). Im not gonna lie, at the moment I feel like Meryl Streep must have felt when she finally won the Oscar for Best Actress after 13 nominations in a row. I am so damn proud of myself. Okay, yeah…I know what you must be thinking: “Is she kidding us, the only thing that she did was finding an internship in the US, not even at a very known organization so what is the big deal???!!!” Yeah, you are right. I would still advise you not to raise this argument in my presence if you want to stay alive. The whole process is…it took… Okay, let me actually hold my Oscar speech:

Dear Blog reader, dear Judith, dear all other people in my life;

I DID IT!!!!! DADADADAAMDADADAMDADADDADADADAMMMM. I found an internship at a place that I love, in a position that I am passionate about, in a city I A.D.O.R.E! I did not let anyone get into my way, even though people tried. I wrote applications for three months straight, which sums up to around 40 applications. I got 38 rejections and 2 phone interviews, one in San Diego with Invisible Children, the other in New York at a theater NGO. I died a thousand (metaphorical) deaths preparing for these before-mentioned interviews, lying awake for hours and hours at night, repeating answers to possible questions over and over and over and over again. I drove my roommate crazy, who basically had to become the interviewer person for me for hours and hours. I got both internships offered and freaked out about having to make a decision. I chose the NYC one. I started the visa application. I was told that my visa will cost me around $1,000 more than I was planning on spending and will take 6 more weeks than I had available. Several embassy calls, a bunch of emergency calls to my parents (“Dad, I need an international health insurance within the next four hours” “Mom, can you let the bank somehow prove  by tonight that we have more than $3,000 available?” “Erm, so…Mom, Dad…this whole process will exceed my budget by pretty much $,1500…could you lend me some?”) and a lot of lost nerves later, I finally have an interview appointment next monday. And hell, I am scared. I have nothing to hide of course but these consulate officers are so intimidating.I understand, they are just good at their job. But if they look at me and ask me in all honesty whether I am planning on attacking the US terroristically or whether I am planning on transmitting any highly infectious deceases, I will have trouble not to die of laughter. Because that could go bad in terms of visa approval. No, but I think I will be doing good. Until they ask: “Will you come back?” HAHAHAHA. I wonder if they ever had anyone sitting in this office, being asked that question and responding with a straight-forward, dry: “No.” ?! Honestly though, I just hope everything works out. I put so much effort into this, I don’t want it all to fail because of any visa problems. So, please keep your fingers crossed!

In terms of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, this whole thing actually helps me a lot. Only the fact that I will have to cross the whole country to go to the embassy with the earliest visa appointment, going to a city I haven’t been to before, having to find the consulate and getting my visa makes me nervous. Not because I am spoiled but because I grew up very protected. Oh well, the things you do for three months in New York…

I got my apartment already, since I will be living with one of my closest friends from campus. She got an internship in NY as well and trust me, we have so many things on our To-Do-List already, you will for sure be entertained with us doing all of that!

Now, everything should be perfect, right? Yeah, except for one thing that I completely forgot about over this whole internship drama: My finals!!! I still have four finals and three research projects, one moving-out process and one financial aid renewal application to do before boarding my plane (not to mention above-explained process of crossing the whole country for my visa appointment and booking a flight in the first place). Will I survive? HA, of course! Will I have a break-down out of exhaustion once I am actually in the air? HA, that for sure! Anyway, all in good time. And now I think it is time for my favorite TV show 😉

….To be continued…

Finals!

So, it’s official… Ari and I are gonna be long-distance-roommates starting next month. I’m going to stay on campus working with admissions for two months, while Ari’s going to fly across the big pond to freakin’ NYC and work there… but I’ll let her tell you about that.

Before we get to the good part, we have to first get through finals. For me, this year, that means six exams in three weeks, plus two group projects (both of them, coincidentally, with my roommate), and a poster summarizing a presentation from earlier in the semester. Sounds pretty terrifying, but actually, I don’t think it will be so bad, the exams are nicely spread out over the three weeks, with enough time after each one to get going on the next. So, contrary to my first three semesters, this time I’m not actually very nervous. Also, the nice part of finals is that they mean classes are going to be over soon. That, in return, means sleeping in every morning, if we feel like it. No more “Anti-Aging through Learning and Health Self-Regulation” on Wednesday mornings for me (don’t even ask), no more Finance on Fridays for Ari. This is it, we’re almost done.

I also think we’ve developed certain coping strategies for finals by now… besides, obviously, time management, which means theoretically we should be able to avoid the stress completely. (Yeah, right). But if that doesn’t work, we have a pretty rich arsenal of procrastination techniques, ranging from Facebook and TV shows to the (valid) argument that we don’t get a lot of good weather here in Northern Germany so we should go lie in the sun while we can. I wonder if it’s a blessing or a curse that finals are in May, coincidentally one of the most beautiful months in this part of the world.

When procrastination has finally brought us to a point where we have to pull an all-nighter to still get things done, we’re no longer freaked out like we were as freshmen. We shrug, sigh, accept our fate, make instant noodle soup and cappucchino, and get started. (Last year, we invited two rather charming gentlemen for an all-night stats study session, who were nice enough to both bring snacks, candy AND ice-cream. Turned out to be a good strategy for an enjoyable evening, less so, however, for productive studying… well, you have to set priorities.)

This year, a certain feeling of insecurity comes with finals. So much is going to happen in the next few months. Both Ari and I will be working full-time for most of summer break in our respective jobs and internships. Then, if everything goes as planned, I’ll be studying in East Africa for a semester (more on that at some point later), Ari’s gonna move in with someone else for that time, and we’ll move back in together for the last semester at this university… and then what? Next year around this time, we’re going to be graduating. Class of 2013, ready to take on the world? Doesn’t really feel like it yet. Thank goodness we have another year!

I’m gonna hand over to Ari at this point (next post) who is basically bursting with happiness since she got her internship… it was quite the process, but she can tell you about that. For now, I’m gonna get back to my Chinese vocabulary… final next week. Wish me luck!