The last letter from California! Louis Potthoff will be staying until May and is enjoying all that California has to offer.
Feb 24, 2016
How time flies! The first semester is over, and the second already in full swing. My initial concerns were quickly forgotten in everyday life. It is true that Berkeley demands a lot from its students, but that doesn't mean that things are any easier for the others. Contrary to my initial fears, the American students were just as overwhelmed with the workload of homework, reading assignments, and tests as I was. That is just part of studying at Berkeley.
Some of my other expectations also needed to be adjusted. Not everyone in Berkeley is a "genius," but it is striking that everyone has at least one extramural activity – that they often pursue more passionately than their regular studies. It may be as a member of the national bridge team, as an actor in the modern South East Asian Theater, or even as the organizer of a charity.
On Campus: Exclusive and Informal
The possibilities are endless. Although some of these activities are quite competitive and therefore exclusive, there are also informal events and groups for just about every interest group. Due to the campus structure in Berkeley – as opposed to Berlin – it is easy to be confronted with these activities on a daily basis. For example, if there is dancing on one of the open squares and anyone who wishes to, can join in.
California Landscapes: Something for Everyone
I still have to mention the natural resources! California really has something for everybody: sandy beaches, deserts, and rocky landscapes in the south, and a stunning coastline, huge forests, and snow-covered mountains in the north... there is really something for everyone's taste.
I still have three months to continue exploring the state and the country. Maybe I will even find a good bakery during that time – that is one of the few things that I haven't seen here yet.
Berlin? I miss it just a little....
My classes continue to keep me busy, but that is what I came here for. And at the beginning of summer, I will be returning to good old Berlin. As wonderful as it is here – I do miss Berlin just a little!