It’s rather surprising how one adapts to change without even realizing it. My first few days in Germany were a tad overwhelming. The jet lag, living in a stranger’s home, using public transportation and buying food when I was incapable of verbal communication. To be fair, I studied German before coming here. However, even the best classroom can’t create that feeling of total immersion. It took me a long while to feel comfortable actually utilizing my German. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to speak up in the classroom unless I know the answer or feel like a have a good point to add or a useful question. A basic conversation here felt like a test that I hadn’t studied for. However, necessity leads one to overcome such inhibitions. The daily German classes combined with my desire to explore lead me more and more outside my comfort zone. Now, looking back at the past weeks, I am still outside of my comfort zone. But that comfort zone has grown so much bigger. I have gained so much confidence, especially in communication. I have become more open to differences in my environment. I feel like I’m so much better at putting myself out there and rolling with the punches. Studying abroad is difficult, really really difficult. But it seems that if you can endure the struggles, there’s a lot to be gained.