When life gives you lemons, you don’t make lemonade. Maybe you will in the end. But that’s not how you’re going to start.
You decide to leave your hometown for a year. And your life is all about that. But you don’t fully realize it until you’re passing through the airport checkpoints. You say the last goodbye to your parents and then you’re thinking “Now it’s just me, myself and I”.
Let’s skip the dramatic intro. Having lived here for almost five months now, I can confirm that volunteering in Germany can be an overwhelming experience. Especially if you don’t speak German. During the first few months of the project, the cultural shock really hits you. But it’s the starting point of your self-improvement journey.
The circumstances have not been the best for me. I struggled a lot in the beginning. The idea of quitting my project kept popping into my head, even though I knew I would regret it. I didn’t feel integrated into the working environment, I felt a bit lost in my social circle and in life in Bremen in general.. I had to choose my place in the fight-or-fly dilemma.
I decided that I would just give time. I gave my colleagues time to get to know me better, to understand my interests and skills. I also needed time for the second part. But it worked. At “Deutsches Tanzfilminstitut” I have the opportunity to express my creativity through filming and editing dance performances. It’s a learning process because I came here with zero experience in the audiovisual production. I’m getting more and more inspired by the people I’m working with and I’m gaining experience that will be really useful for my next steps as an aspiring filmmaker.
The important encounters I’ve made here could not be forgotten. In this intercultural environment, I have been able to make deep connections with people from all over the world. The pictures we have taken with our minds are not going to fade away.
When too many clouds are overshadowing your mind, Bremen has plenty of nature that to visit and escape from the daily grind. The tranquility of the small greenish city can be a nice break from the chaotic, hectic Athens. If you don’t end up wrecking your bike every time you ride it (I’m not speaking from personal experience), you will definitely enjoy the possibilities there.
Time heals all wounds, and I truly believe that. That’s my attempt to close this, hopefully not too cheesy and oversharing, report. Be kind and patient with yourself to face all these changes. If I managed to adapt, everyone can.