Waiting for 'The Kick'

found w/o credit, I claim no rights to this poster
Ich verstehe nicht. Ich bin Auslanderin. (I understand nothing. I am an 'foreigner.')

Wow. Will the feeling ever go away? Throughout these both long and short three weeks I have been in Germany, I keep waiting for a kick. What's a kick you ask? Have you never seen Inception?? (if not you should, and if not this really only a little to deal with it.) Me and the other Americans here are waiting for that beautiful moment when everything we have been learning here and also from our past semesters of German in America makes sense. The day German clicks and becomes a part of you. The kick.

But Angela, you are only 3 WEEKS IN! I know that is what you are thinking. But the truth is, when you are abroad, time goes by so fast and you feel that the confusion may never end. I wake up every day hoping to remember having a German dream or to think in German. Sometimes the feeling that precious time is being wasted each second of the day because you cannot get past the language barrier will overcome thoughts. It really is like being a baby in a world full of adults who can't understand the crazy gibberish you are trying to tell them and vice versa. But I know these times were meant to make me stronger.

And so, if you are already studying abroad, hoping to go, or yearning to explore a foreign country at some point don't worry. Let the bad times roll. Seriously, these low points are the ones that will build you up once 'the kick' arrives. Let both the funny and sad culture and language confusions be the birds that fly you up onto the top of this barrier. Let them inspire you to study diligently, stay focused and leave American security to spend a whole day speaking nothing but a language you know little about. I'm serious. Another American student spent his whole day in Freiburg speaking German with the other students. He is learning, rapidly. It can be done, and it will help you become a better conservationist. You'll be over the barrier in no time.

And so yes. I am still waiting for my kick. But with each passing day and new word learned, I'm getting more patient. Soon enough I'll fly over that barrier too.
credit: Jan von Holleben

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