Before arriving in Germany, one of the biggest concerns for me was winter. Living all my life in Southern California, I didn’t really have a proper experience with temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and I most definitely did not have the proper attire for such conditions.
On the other hand, winter was one of the things I was most excited about as well! I wanted to know how it feels to live in an environment where it can snow. To start off, I was glad that the weather in late August was one I was very familiar with- around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. So the weather was something familiar to start with. I was extremely happy with that.
As the Fall semester progressed it got colder and colder to the point where I was able to have my first snow experience. Even though I am extremely grateful for the snow experience, there were times where I didn’t want to go outside my apartment because I found it too cold. During the month of January, everyone I knew went back home for the holidays, and I stayed in Mannheim. In reality, I didn’t have much to do since the semester ended and everyone I associated with went home; however, as much as I wanted to be outside and just walk around the city I couldn’t. I tried on a couple of occasions but I didn’t end up going far- it was usually around 20-25 degrees Fahrenheit.
During the month of February it did get a little warmer, and I was able to get used to the weather; I had too because classes resumed. Although I enjoyed the snow and the winter weather, I got super excited when the weather started to get warmer, especially when I started to notice the birds singing! Every time I hear the birds singing I smile because that’s nature’s way of telling spring is coming.
Moreover, seeing people with sunglasses and light sweaters was a great change. I didn’t realize how much I missed the sun until I started noticing these changes. The more I started seeing glimpses of the sun, people in light sweaters instead of bulky ones, sunglasses, spring sales in stores … everything just started to add up. It made me realize how pumped I am to see the sun again day after day.
Even though it’s the beginning of April, the weather in Mannheim is still pretty chilly, with temperatures around the 60s during the day for the most part. It’s crazy because when I talk to my sister sometimes she tells me that its 80 degrees back home. I know that the temperatures are different everywhere, but it just blows my mind how I’m talking to my family, and they are just experiencing completely different weather.
The most interesting aspect that spring has provided for me this semester is what others think of the warm weather. So far, my friends and I did a picnic out by the canal, when it was around 80 degrees and I found it amazing since I’m use dto higher temperatures; however, a couple of my Irish friends stated that it felt like a heat wave to them, because normally they don’t have these types of temperature. I found that so interesting.
I cannot wait for spring to be in full swing and I can walk the city everyday with just a light sweater.
Sayra Flores is a junior studying business management with an emphasis in human resources. She is studying abroad at University of Mannheim, Germany.