July 2nd // It was 4am, we were on our way to another club. I was tired but excited. I never went clubbing at 4am before. As we neared the huge building, I saw the cost of entrance, 14 Euros. I paused. Did I want to spend 14 Euros at a Techno club? A week’s worth of groceries? I don’t even like Techno! I looked at one of the other students and told them, “I can’t afford this.” I wanted to go home.
They said, “We won’t be going out that often, the cover fees aren’t that much.” I saw them all give the people the 14 Euros. In that moment it was to follow along or try to find a way home at 4am alone.
Since it was only my first week, I stayed. I was too fearful of getting lost and hurt in an unknown city to have gone by myself.
I wish, I wish I didn’t go into that club. It was surreal and something I would have never experienced before. However, it was also just not a financial sound decision for me. I soon realized my peers fell into a pattern of going out to places with cover fees that I could not afford. It made me realize that I couldn’t afford to socialize with them. Instead, I found free and cost efficient things to do in the city. Although I didn’t have people to do them with, I did them, had fun, and saved money.
What I wish someone had told me is that your experience in Berlin doesn’t have to end and begin with Northwestern students. I found it so much more meaningful and interesting when I began to befriend the locals and learn about the real gems of the city. Go beyond NU.
And lastly, to know yourself and be true to yourself. I don’t understand why I tortured myself through two hours of techno when I know I don’t like techno. Don’t do what I did, do what you want to do.