Almost 9 months ago my dad and I boarded a plane flying from Hamburg to Manchester. As we landed, we got our rental car and drove through the Yorkshire Dales, I started to realise what I had gotten myself into. Three months in a different country in a place where I don’t know anyone seemed like a very long time.
It was the 8th January 2018 when my dad dropped me off at Fyling Hall School. Since I had arrived earlier than most students I was sitting alone in my dorm that I would have to myself for the first week because my roommates would arrive a week late. As I was staring at the ceiling trying to wrap my head around the fact that this would be my home for three months suddenly the door flew open. A girl, probably about my age, was standing there. As soon as she saw me she ran towards my bed with an excited sound and hugged me. She introduced herself but I didn’t understand her.
“My name is Maria” was the only thing I managed to say. She ended up showing me around the school while I was overwhelmed trying to understand her through her strong accent and taking in all the information she gave me. That’s basically how the following days went. I was constantly confused and overwhelmed.
My first week is only a blurry memory of waking up early to figure out how to tie a tie, busy days full of new things and different people, a lot of rules that I had struggled remembering and lonely nights where I would count the days until I could go home again.
A week later my two roommates moved in. I was so worried. What if they don’t like me?
But within a week we became friends. And they kept me busy talking at night and soon I forgot to count the remaining days. After only two weeks I knew I didn’t want to go home anymore.
And even though I was only meant to stay for three months, nine months have passed and I’m still here and I’m not planning on leaving any time soon.
Maria Gerteis – Year12 – 2018-2020