Whitney: First day of orientation

October 5, 2011

Today was my first day of orientation at Freie Universität Berlin. The orientation days are only for exchange students, so I felt confident in the fact that I’d be able to cling to a few fellow Americans if I felt overwhelmed or confused. I was amazingly mistaken, because I didn’t meet a single American all day long. It seemed (based on my snooping over people’s shoulders to see there papers) that every other nationality was thoroughly represented aside from American. I saw a Swiss girl and a Russian boy and a bunch of Spanish kids. The French were abundant and so were the Chinese, and I’m sure there were many Americans there, but they must’ve been just as quiet as me because I didn’t see a one. Thankfully, it wasn’t overwhelming and I got all the information I need to register, figure out the campus IT stuff, and so on, but I totally failed at making friends. They gave us a nice long coffee break during which I would sit down next to someone who was alone and then totally freeze up! I kept thinking “What should I say?! Should I say it in English or German? What if they only speak Armenian or something? Ahhh Ummm Hmmm” and then I’d get up and sit down next to another person and the thought process would repeat!

Tomorrow I have the second and last day of orientation, and I have one and only one goal: MAKE A FRIEND. Just one. They don’t even have to be someone I think I could be best friends with. They just have to be a human that breathes and moves and stuff. Wish me luck!

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