Sometimes, you lose track of important things. And sometimes, those things come back to mind at the most unexpected moments.
During our last German Politics and Culture lecture today, we were asked to fill out an evaluation on the school-organized excursions we went on over the course of the semester. One of the questions was, out of Berlin, Helgoland, Brussels, and St. Petersburg, which excursion was your favorite, and why?
I checked Helgoland without thinking, but then paused to think as I stared at the word “why”. Why indeed? Why was this trip to a tiny island in the middle of the North Sea of which no one has heard, in freezing temperatures and mediocre weather, more appealing to me than Berlin and St. Petersburg?
The most important factor, for me, was the people. I knew most of the Lafayette students in our group before the start of the semester here, but I only knew a couple of them really well. I fully expected to be spending most of my time and traveling with those couple of people, but some events at the beginning of the semester gave me cause to branch out. And I’m so happy I did. I found 3 friends that I have so much in common with and feel comfortable around, and Helgoland was an important bonding period for us. Even more importantly, however, I made an unexpected friend, someone I barely knew before this trip and really got to know in Helgoland, and she and I went on to become really good friends.
In addition, when you’re on an island in the middle of the North Sea, you get to do things that you wouldn’t normally associate with Europe. The five of us had midnight adventures in the screaming sea wind, epic standoffs against cow-like sheep, and fun with seals. The adventures themselves were awesome, and when you throw in 4 of my great friends? Sheer epic-ness.
It’s been almost two months since my Helgoland adventures, and only a month remains before we must return to the reality of, well, Lafayette. Right now, I am especially fond of this particular memory, because I really hope that once we return to our normal lives, even though we won’t see each other very often, we will still be close friends.