I spent all last week dreading the start of my intensive German class on Tuesday. I was so nervous that I spent the entire day before binge-watching Netflix and willing myself not to throw up. Not only was I nervous, but I was a little bit depressed. I just graduated in May. I made it through classes and homework and early morning alarms. I deserved my slow-paced mornings and drinking entire pots of coffee and porcelain coffee mugs.
After all the worrying, it turns out that I actually love my class. Number one, because it’s literally a three-minute walk from my apartment. Number two – and probably more importantly – everyone actually wants to be there, which is a lot more than I could say for most of my young Klassenkameraden from university. We’re a motley crew for sure – sixteen students from eleven different countries – but there are definitely potential friends in there (yay!). I partnered up with a girl from Venezuela, spent the break talking to a guy from the Ukraine, and walked home with a Jordanian from Saudi Arabia now living in Germany. That’s pretty incredible.
And best of all, my German skills are holding their own in class – another thing I was previously worried about. After making introductions and playing an ice-breaker round of Bingo out, we quickly got into a review of the takeaways from the previous level. Past participles, check. Wechselpräpositionen, I can hang with the best of them. Adjective declension, meh okay. Confidence in speaking, nope. My complete lack of faith in my German is something that really developed once I got to Germany. I could study a grammar concept for hours (and I have) and still not be comfortable enough to talk to people. If I get nothing else from this class, I want to get rid of this fear. I just need to embrace my imperfect German and love it, at least for now. At the end of day two, I can’t say there’s progress yet because I still dread being called on, but I am excited for the next six weeks.