I hope all has been going well on the other side of the pond (am I still allowed to say that even though I am not in Britain? I’m going to say it anyways). This summer your girl’s been doing some research at Technische Universität Berlin (in Berlin, Germany). I’ve been researching sustainable development, namely how startups can be used to further it, and how these startups can help better developing communities. It’s through a scholarship program called DAAD RISE, which you can find out more about here.
For the purpose of neatness, and because my ability to properly structure paragraphs has all but disappeared into the abyss of my brain, I present to you a list of all the things I want to say about my summer thus far. I’ve also thrown in some pictures of my summer at random because, you know, why not?
1. Research is super cool! It also helped me figure out what I might want to do in the future. But in all honesty, my plans for the future are about as fickle as the weather in Berlin, so I am unsure how much weight that statement carries. I do really enjoy it, though.
2. I have met the cooliest people. All my friends here I’ve met through the program, and I am honestly shocked at how easily and quickly we all got on. I’m a little bummed to be leaving them so soon, but we will keep in touch.

5 of us went to Leipzig and signed their tourist book in 7 languages, which was super cool and ~lingual~

3. That being said, it’s lovely when your friends from USC visit you in foreign countries. It kind of reminds you why you like USC so much.

pleasant picture of my USC friends visiting me 🙂

4. If you want to become fluent in German, don’t live in Berlin. Everyone here speaks English, and you’ll probably end up switching to that to save face.
5. THAT being said, move to Berlin. At the risk of sounding extremely silly, this is the hippest and happiest city I’ve ever lived in.

from my pretty intermediate german abilities, i think this art piece is pretty profound, but that’s partly because it’s an art piece in Berlin

6. Switching constantly from a German keyboard to an English keyboard is quite difficult. I keep missing umlauts and using quotation marks instead of apostrophes. It’s been rough.

some of my new friends and I cheesing next to a church

7. This may be me speaking from a very privileged point of view, but budgeting is difficult. Learn it before it’s too late.

8. What else? This has been the most notable experience of my life thus far. I went into this summer hoping that it will help me figure out what I want to do, and it truly has, just not in ways that I thought it would. I thought I would learn that I want to found a startup, but now I think maybe I’ll hold off on that and actively pursue higher education. But then again, who knows? Maybe tomorrow I’ll decide that baking my true calling.

I got all my friends to refer to the TV Tower as the Spice Noodle and honestly I think that is all the legacy I need

Last thing! Having a consistent schedule has allowed me to re-immerse myself into music. I have come upon some skin-tingling, heart-hurting songs and albums, though obviously I cannot share them all here. I will just leave you with these three: a new one, a foreign one, and a clever one. Not all of them are skin-tingling and heart-hurting, but all of them are good.


*The title picture is from the Berlin Wall, on which artists are contracted to create beauty. There’s also a lovely park right behind it, and some greate food options, too. I would highly recommend checking it out!