That letter I’ve been waiting for

In November (2012) I applied to be a language assistant in Germany for my year abroad. And today is the day that I finally got the letter I was waiting for!!* I knew the region I was going to already (Nordrhein – Westfalen (or North Rhine Westphalia in English)). I was hoping to go somewhere near Köln (Cologne) or Bonn, but that was not to be! I am instead off to the most northern town in Nordrhein Westfalen, Radhen (which is actually nowhere near Cologne and Bonn at all.)

A bit disappointed because it seems like it is a bit in the middle of nowhere… It’s at least an hour to the nearest big place and it looks like it’s a town in the countryside. But every cloud has a silver lining – I will probably learn more German there because the smaller the place, the less likely they are to speak English (apparently). 

Also, my research this afternoon seems to conclude that there is nowhere to go rock climbing nearby, which is disappointing (especially as there are so many rock climbing centres in that region, it just turns out most of them are in the centre/south and I am in the very north!) 

I am hoping that there will be good transport links and that it won’t be too expensive to travel, so then I can still go to see these bigger cities – Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Bremen… And even Northern cities like Hamburg and the far-away Berlin are on my list of places to go, which will be a bit easier to get to as I’m further north than I expected.

I don’t think I would’ve been happy wherever I was put though. Because this makes it real. There’s a real school in a real town where I’m really going to go and live for nearly a year. And it’s scary already. I think this made it feel more definite, and now there’s not really a way out. Before there was always going to be the chance that they email me and say “oh sorry there’s no place for you” and I would’ve had to stay in England and it wouldn’t have been my fault.   But I am going in September. I need to start planning and actually looking forward to it, at the moment I am just scared, I want to cry (who am I kidding? I am crying..)

I think it’s a bit of a shock really, as the wait has been so long, I wasn’t actually expecting the answer to come! 

And today also marked the end of “year abroad preparation week**”, so now with my brain full of information, I’m meant to be ready to go. But I’m not.

There’s still a couple of months but I’m scared. What if I can’t do it? What if I fail? What if I hate it there and become more depressed? No one is going to be there to help me then…

I know I should be excited, I should be grateful for having a place and for having this new information. But the fear is getting in the way of all of that, and the disappointment that I’m so far from where I hoped to be.

I’ll probably cheer up soon 😛

Lots of love,

From a very anxious and worried Ellie xxx

*Ok, so technically I don’t have it yet, but it arrived at home (London) and my mum has told me the details and has now posted it to here (Lancaster).

**which did not last a week (as one might expect) but 3 days!

22 thoughts on “That letter I’ve been waiting for

  1. bpshielsy says:

    I hope you have a great time in Germany. Try to think of it as just another comfort zone to smash through. You did it when you left London to go to Lancaster.

  2. bpshielsy says:

    Sorry a bit premature in posting there…

    I’m guessing you had similar feelings of worry over leaving home for Uni as you are now.

    Maybe talk to your GP & see if they could contact someone out there, so you’d at least have someone to talk to about your anxiety etc.

    • anxiouselephant says:

      That’s a good idea, I will have to speak to the doctor and see. But will have to see what is possible as it’s likely that therapy would be very expensive abroad, not to mention the fact that my German is probably not good enough for that! xx

  3. Anya says:

    It’s normal to be a bit scared or anxious so don’t beat yourself up over that. I am thinking once you are there it might turn out better than you think. Will you have a doctor or therapist there you can go to if need be?

    • anxiouselephant says:

      I think you’re right, it’s normal to be scared and hopefully once I get there and settle in I will enjoy it. I am not sure what the situation will be with doctors/therapy because it would probably cost a lot and I don’t know if it would be possible to get insurance for it etc. – this is something I need to look into before I go. Thanks for your support 🙂 xx

      • Anya says:

        Okay 🙂 You’re welcome. I hope your anxiety lessens some when it’s time for you to take the trip. Just try not to think too far ahead as that always raises the anxiety! Or it does for me anyway 😛

  4. Grace says:

    Ah, that post I have been waiting for 😉
    I’m sorry… I’ve never heard of that place before :s but that’s probably not what you wanted to hear…
    Of course, it’s scary and I’d be as scared as you are. And I know what you mean about being it real now…. but I think it’s true what someone else already said: You already moved away once, to Lancaster.
    Germany really isn’t that big and I’m sure you’ll have plenty of occasions to travel. Don’t worry too much. I’m sure things will work out once you’re there – and even if they don’t you can still work out things once you’re there. xx

    • Grace says:

      “No one is going to be there to help me then…”
      That’s not technically true, you know. I’m at the other end of NRW but that might do in case of emergency. xx

    • anxiouselephant says:

      You are right, I did it before when I moved to Lancaster, but this time the language will be different. I think it will be very hard to start with but I’m hoping once I settle in it will be good. Thanks for your support and reassurance 🙂 And Rahden is a town about an hour from Bielefeld (if you’ve heard of that?) or an hour and a half from Münster, Bremen and Hanover, it’s right on the border of Lower Saxony!! xxx

  5. seventeenmonth says:

    I like to think that I have a quote for every occasion, lol, and here I would say ‘Stop thinking about what could go wrong, and start thinking about what could go right!’
    It will be a massive change for you, and you might not enjoy it for a while, but I think you will come back feeling so much more confident in yourself, in your German, everything. Du schaffst das! x

    • anxiouselephant says:

      This is a brilliant quote!! Actually I am intending to write a post on positivity soon (maybe later today), would you mind if I include that quote in it? I will credit it to you and put a link to your blog if you have one?? 🙂 I think it is a change that I need to make, so thank you for showing me this!! xxx

  6. dudahangulena says:

    Try to see for a European insurance card, not sure about the name, but there is something for EU members so you can get treated abroad if necessary. You may find expat groups there (try to check on who can help you to find your way around in burocracy and social life as well. Plus, I’m sure there is some helpline over there like Samaritans here. May not be as professional as CBT but can help in an emergency.

    • anxiouselephant says:

      I have an EHIC card which would cover emergency cover but it doesn’t cover ongoing treatment for psychological stuff. I am going to talk to my GP when I get home for the summer and I am hoping that they will prescribe enough medication for when I’m away, and I am going to try and keep up the mindfulness so hopefully I will get by without therapy out there. Thanks for your suggestions – great ideas xx

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