Greetings from Berlin!
I have been having an incredible experience studying abroad thus far. So many things are different from home- one being my access to internet. I honestly never realized how privileged I was back in the states. At home, I go through about 14 GB of data a month. Here, I pay a crazy amount of euros for 1 GB. The first couple of weeks were super hard. I couldn’t communicate with my parents or friends except for when I had wifi, I couldn’t pull out Google Maps, and I couldn’t snapchat all my adventures!
All of us in the program struggled together. Our apartments do not have wifi. They don’t even have channels in English. We rushed to the nearest Starbucks or McDonald’s every chance we got and stared at our phones the whole time. However, we slowly got used to the inability to access the internet and (hush!) kind of liked it.
When we were in the apartments, we were always together! Socializing became completely normal and late nights talking about anything and everything because part of our daily routine. I have been sharing with my friends here in a way that I do not necessarily do at home. We don’t text about nonsense things, we actually sit and talk about our days and experiences! IT IS SO REFRESHING!
I have also not been engrossed in social media. It takes up a lot of data to get on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram… So those were the first things I stopped using. I only get on them about once a day, IF I have Wi-fi. It’s actually strangely liberating to not rely on social media for “fun.”
Yesterday, I realized I had learned this valuable lesson of adulthood. I went to the McDonald’s by my house and sat and ate with a friend and didn’t connect to the Wi-fi there at all. I actually didn’t even realize I did so until after we left. It felt incredible to not “need” that access, or even long for it. Our generation is so intertwined with the need to constantly communicate, that sometimes we forget the little things.