The word for “introduction” in German is “Vorstellung,” which, when broken down, is the combination of the preposition “vor,” meaning “in front of,” and “stellung” which means “position.” Vorstellung can also mean “imagination.” It’s actually a rather fitting word for my first post. With my dwindling number of hours on American soil, this post is one part introduction and one part ideas about what I think and hope Berlin may be.

In a nutshell, I’m taking a semester off  from UNC and instead am taking advantage of an internship opportunity in Berlin that I was offered. This internship doesn’t provide housing and is unpaid, so right now it feels like I am test-driving real adulthood for three months by attempting to set myself up in a foreign city and to survive on a meager budget.

I am absolutely terrified that I will fail miserably and hate every minute of it, but I also hope and pray that I will love living in a city. It’s this unknown that exhilarates and scares me.

I have been in love with Germany since I was 15 years old and met German exchange students at my high school. They somehow seemed so cultured to me, something that I desperately wanted to be. I believed that if I learned another language, I could also be seen as cultured. So I vowed to  become an exchange student in Germany and in 2008 I finally made it over to Mansfeld, Germany, where I went to German high school for a year.

While I can’t say that it made me any classier, my year abroad did help me become fluent in German, which makes moving to Berlin a little less crazy even though I probably wouldn’t have even had the opportunity to come here had I not learned German. Gah.

Since school let out, I have been steadily collecting business clothes and now have my emerald green suitcase packed full of crisp button-up shirts and high heels.

However, while I love the size of my suitcase now, I am going to hate it when I arrive in Berlin with no one to drive me anywhere. From prior experience, lugging all of your clothing across a city on public transportation after an eight-hour flight is not a pleasant task, so I am currently figuring out the most efficient way to drag my crap around. I also talked to a German woman today over Skype about subleasing her apartment today, and we’re supposed to meet on Saturday to figure everything out. I rather hope everything works out, as finding an apartment while trying to start a new job sounds damn near impossible.

With trying to get everything straightened out before I leave to go to Germany, I barely have time to be nervous until night, when I sit down and actually think about what I’m about to do.

I find myself always thinking back to this card my apartment renter had stuck to the wall when I think about my situation: Leap and the net will appear.

Let’s hope it’s sound advice.

-Miranda Murray