Coming Back

I’m not quite sure how I feel about coming back. But as I am reminded every time I see an old face, I am definitely back.

I’m a study-abroad alum now!

I am thrilled to be back among my family and friends, be back in a familiar environment where I don’t have to worry about doing something wrong and saying something wrong, and to take up old routines and habits again.

At the same time, seeing how everyone has continued their lives while I’ve been abroad makes me surprise myself in how much I’ve changed. Just working through normal bureaucracy at the Uni reveals that I’ve become more assertive and less patient with the services I need. It’s because I’ve become used to a higher standard. Towards the end of my stay, I found out how expensive things like lawn and plumbing care are in Germany, and I was told that it has to do with the higher standard of service. I didn’t think that the same work is valued differently in the US than in Germany, but it has to do with the higher training Germans have. Even the cashier at the supermarket has an Ausbildung, an extensive program 1-2 years of training. Compared to that, the 12 hours orientation the day before starting at Target are a joke. Therefore, when I walk into some administrative offices now, I almost feel like I have to tell the person how to do their job, but I try not to be rude about it.

On the other hand, my jet-lag has worn off, and it feels like I’ve been back here for about three months versus a little less than two weeks. Part of my transition has been sped-up by how quickly I was put into a new position and started work. I guess it’s a good thing. It means I have less time to reflect, but reflection can only be so healthy before it becomes obsessive.

Welcome back!


  1. Hey, I really like how you submerge small snippets of wisdom that can stand solely as quotes somewhere: “but reflection can only be so healthy before it becomes obsessive.”
    Great post 🙂
    What are working at now?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m lucky a few times when I have quotable snippets.
      I’m currently an adjunct teaching first-year English composition. It’s a good job, but my real work now is writing applications for PhD programs. I want to be studying somewhere good next year, and the application for the next position is the most difficult part of finishing up a degree or job.


      1. Congrats on the adjunct teaching position!
        And goodluck on Ph.D applications.
        Have you decided where you wanna study? As in, US or somewhere else?
        Just curious, what for you is more important- the place of your study, or the reputation and ranking of a uni?

        Asking coz when I think about further studies abroad, I see myself more inclined towards the place- but then again, not so much when I want to be applying only at THE best institutes.


      2. Thanks for the congrats! And the question!
        Yeah, it’s a good thing to know that the highest ranked unis are in the US. That speaks more for me staying (and I may apply to a few). However, I want to study comparative European literature, so it makes sense to apply there too. I’m applying to two US schools and two German ones. I’m making sure to focus on the quality of the program itself, not just the level of the school. In Germany, I’m applying in Berlin and Hamburg. The Freie Uni Berlin will give me a good quality, good program, good location… It’s my top choice. We will see.
        What about you?


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s