No matter how fond I’ve grown of Lucerne and her beautiful mountains, Rhineland-Palatinate and her soft hills, covered with vineyards as far as the eye can see, have a special place in my heart. I do feel a bit nostalgic now, gazing out of the train window while the landscape is swiftly passing by, reminding me of my solitary year in Germany.

I’d never have the strength and self-confidence I have today if I hadn’t left Switzerland two years ago, isolating myself while giving me the space that I needed in order to grow and to discard the chains I had let society put around me. For over a year, I was free – and I flourished.

But being in my new class has put those chains on again. I’ve felt a dissonance in the first week and the gap has been widening ever since then. I’m rediscovering my most awkward self in group situations. I don’t feel like myself, dislike the insecure person I turn into. It reminds me of my horrible experience as an exchange student in Uruguay. The difference is that my classmates here seem to be nicer. And that’s exactly the thing I don’t understand: They are nice and I usually don’t have issues with people either – so what the hell is wrong? Bad chemistry?

I’m not even sure whether the notion of not being accepted is real or just in my mind, but anyways, it doesn’t help closing the gap that is very real. I haven’t been feeling like an outsider for a while and certainly didn’t expect to ever fall back into this role again. It inhibits me. And this time, I don’t have the luxury to leave, breaking free in order to get the space to reinvent myself.

So currently, I’m somewhere between sorrow and acceptance. I didn’t enjoy the Paris trip mainly because of this – no trip is enjoyable when you feel left out. It’s a pity, because in one-to-one situations, things seem to be okay. We get along. It’s just the group dynamics that troubles me. On the other hand, I survived Uruguay with almost nobody giving me the feeling of being appreciated. If the worst comes to the worst, I know I can manage. If they don’t like me, it’s not the end of the world, I have supportive friends near and far. And if the problem is bad chemistry, you can’t force it to be right anyways.

All that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my hopes of having a good relationship with my classmates. I just try not to be disappointed if it doesn’t work out.


Fortunately, it’s different in my flat. I adore Vera and Robin, with whom I’ve been living for two months. Being with them calms me down and fills me with joy. Just now we’ve been talking about stalkers, psychos, and so forth, and whether ripping off an ear or poking out an eye is the more effective defense method – all the while laughing wonderful belly laughs. From the beginning, things have felt right. And our two new flatmates are lovely as well.

Besides, Robin’s friends (who I see like once a week) are super nice as well. I’m not used to people including me in conversations, but they’ve included Vera and me from the beginning and are wonderfully warm, fun and kind-hearted human beings. Extra bonus: We (my flatmates and I) have started taking random (but fun!!) group photos every week and they’re crazy enough to join us.

I’m accepted. I appreciate it so much.

    1. That’s true, sometimes things just don’t click… but it’s good that you have your roommates! Sometimes it’s even better to have good roommates than good colleagues. At the end of the day, you can always come home from school and feel welcome <3

      1. Thank you so much for your supportive words, clicking the “publish” button really freaked me out this time :D I totally agree, it’s always great to return in the evening and know that you’ll be welcome. Currently I actually even feel more welcome in my flat in Lucerne than at home, but that’s another topic :P it’d be amazing if you were able to visit me and get to know my flatmates next spring! :D <3

          1. hmm would end of May be possible as well? I have lots of self-study in June and might not be here..

    1. You are at an age of self-discovery. Part of the process is to discover who you are by dis-covering your self to the world.

      Alas, so much vulnerability is involved. So much courage. Not to mention wisdom when one must test the waters before diving in. Some environments are conducive to openness and trust. In some environments people are fearful of disclosure, largely influenced by the power of social norms, sanctioning in subtle ways those who do not conform.

      If one can not freely open oneself then art, music, writing, etc. help.

      Socrates said, “Know thyself.” Polonius counseled, “And this above all, to thy own self be true…”

      Listen to others to learn who is authentic. Spend time with them Reveal yourself to them and reveal yourself at a rate at which you feel comfortable. If you are authentic you will draw people to you who are authentic, deep, and sincere.

      You have a beautiful soul and a sensitive spirit. When you are alone, allow yourself quiet time to get in touch with your soul and feel the love within.

      When necessary, sleep, so that through your dreams you can replenish your soul. The streams that nourish your inner world are many and varied.

      As you discover peace within the environment around you will change and the seeds of love will bear fruit in your relationships.

      1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Alex! As you can see in my last post, you’re right, I’m definitely back to the “self-discovery” topic; I foolishly thought I was done with it.

        I really like your advice about looking for authentic people (though maybe I’d rather say that I’m drawn to people who are okay with being vulnerable, letting their guard down and creating something with it).

        Also, thank you for your lovely words. You are a really kind-hearted person. Take care!

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