I’ve been thinking rather more about my time in Cambridge recently, as a result of my younger brother having just started a Computer Science at Christ’s College Cambridge. There was a common phenomenon known among students as “fifth week blues”: the novelty of uni is wearing off, the work and deadlines are building up, you may be missing friends and family, and yet it’s still quite a long time until Christmas. It is at this time that the college welfare officers step in, providing free tea and doughnuts after lectures, and leaving surprises in the form of chocolate in your pigeon hole.
Unfortunately I don’t have a welfare officer here in Berlin, nor am I living in a cosy, supportive college environment (although we do have a constant supply of chocolate in the office).
For me it has been different, but similar. I’ve been here for about five weeks now, I’ve only just been able to officially register as living here, I still don’t have a bank account, the weather has turned disappointingly cold and rainy, and I haven’t made any new friends as such. I was well aware before I came that it would take time to get to know people and establish friendships, particularly when working full time, but that doesn’t stop you feeling isolated from time to time, wishing you could just have a cup of tea and a good chat with someone who knows you well. However, I am still glad to be here and I am looking forward to getting more settled and feeling part of a community.
On the plus side, I have now found a flat and hope to move in next weekend, and I have also been enjoying Berlin’s cultural offerings – Rusalka and Meistersinger at the Komische Oper for €10 with amazing seats and free truffles at the end were definitely highlights!