The start of June marked the end of my junior year and, most importantly, the start of summer. For the past two years, I have found myself immediately getting on a plane headed back home to Korea, where I would divide my time napping with my dog, becoming enthralled by F. Scott Fitzgerald books, and failing to stay off my bed. Yet, this past summer was much different.
A few weeks after commencement, I found myself on a flight to Germany where I would partake in a “Sprachkurs” (Language course) in Göttingen with a group of other Concord Academy students. I had been in Germany before, but when I was last there, I was cluelessly standing at 4 feet with two missing front teeth. Needless to say, I had both a mixture of nervousness and a serious excitement about this reunion.
I had only spent time in the southern part of Germany, so Göttingen was completely new to me and the other ten students. We stayed with host families who, for the most part, didn’t know a word of English; our conversations were mostly an amalgamation of hand gestures and bad German that often ended in laughter. This was translated into the first few days of our German classes with “uhm”s and “ahh”s presiding over our conversations. Yet we felt that by the time we had spent a week in the town, we progressed on to utilizing German vocabulary.
Though a chunk of our time was spent in the classroom, we were also lucky enough to go to other afternoon activities, walking around the city, bowling, mini-golfing, swimming, sightseeing, holocading (Virtual Reality gaming), and eating. I would say that out of every activity, being drenched in rain after an hour’s bike ride and running to a small grill area for shelter was definitely my favorite, but swimming was a close second.
Our two-week language course in Göttingen eventually came to an end. Next up was Berlin, where we devoted our time to sightseeing, visiting the Brandenburg gate, going to museums, and other significant landmarks. By the end, we were all in a daze, filled with a serenity that was truly reflective of how tired we all were. So ended the 2017 CA Germany trip and afterwards, I started student-interning at Thomson Reuters, a news agency, in Korea.
Something about the word chaos seemed to be the right, if not the exact description of the news agency. I sat amidst a pool of journalists and editors, who were busy writing, editing, and calling other journalists. For some time, I was lost within the environment, struggling to breathe in a moment of tranquility, but a part of me felt vehemently alive, yearning to savor every second of the action.
The world of journalism was unexpectedly vivacious and not only limited to the confines of an office. I was lucky enough to go to the press release of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the Reserve Bank of Korea. Over a hundred reporters were present at the conference, writing articles on the ongoing conference and within a few hours, they had already finished writing, editing, and publishing.
Looking back, my experiences this past summer are now only fleeting thoughts, and as the vacation ends, I still feel as if I’ve only spent a few hours.
Now, as you’re in Orientation, think about how you spent your summer and the endless amounts of experiences leading up to CA. As a senior, I cannot tell you how similar the past three years feel like that at the end of summer. Enjoy every moment that you have from when you first step into CA leading up to when you step out.