Expectation vs. Reality

Hallo! I just completed the third week of my study abroad program in Berlin, where I learn something new every day. Before leaving for Germany, I tried to come in with an open mind, yet I still had expectations for how my experience would go. Expectations can be good or bad, depending on how you utilize them. My expectations center more on myself and my actions during this program, not on the experience itself. That way, I would focus more on bettering myself, not having a specific, cookie-cutter German study abroad experience.

Professionally, I came in with one main expectation for myself: to complete each assignment to the best of my ability and learn from them. A large part of the reason I decided to do this program was the internship aspect, so I think expecting myself to try to utilize the job experience as best I could was only fair. At this point in the program, I think that I have been meeting this expectation for myself, even if it may be difficult to always give it 100%. I don’t see this changing, because not fulfilling this expectation would be a hindrance to my learning experience and goals for the program.

Academically, I expected to be proactive in completing my assignments and for them to be easy to finish. This assumption came from the fact that I have written blog posts before, and I think they are much easier to finish when I am writing about something I am interested in. Unfortunately, this expectation has altered to where I just expect myself to finish everything by the deadline, even if it is a close call. It is so easy to find things to do here and get wrapped up in exploring, so I find myself procrastinating my schoolwork. I was accurate with my expectation for time usage in terms of assignments, because I find the words for my blog posts kind of flowing out. That is how I can truly tell that I am learning every day and appreciating the knowledge I am gaining from this program.

Personally, my main expectation was to visit all of the main boroughs of the city and the main tourist sights. Currently, I have checked off a decent portion of the neighborhoods on my list, and I have planned out days and times for each of the historical sights. I expected these to be easier to achieve, but I am finding it more natural to explore based on recommendations and restaurants, not just checking off areas. At this point, I have decided that the neighborhood expectation is not as important to me, because I know that I will get a full Berlin experience even if I do not reach every corner of the city on a map. As you can tell, I am really enjoying my time in the city, and I am already dreading the day that I have to leave.

Until next post,

Caitlin Jarrell

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