Blogger Thu Luu
Go to blogger profile

How I “survived” my first winter in Germany

Every time when I feel so in love with Germany

… and think that I finally got used to the life here, the winter comes again and whispers: “Are you sure?”. Coming from the gorgeous southwestern region of Vietnam where we only have two seasons: rainy and dry, I was struggling with the winter during my first year in Germany. I was not well prepared for this type of weather at all.

The lake is frozen during the winter
The lake is frozen during the winterThu

The first difference that can be easily detected is the daylight duration.

In southwestern Vietnam, the daylight is almost constant, we always experience sunlight from around 06:00 to 18:00. However, the daylight duration in Germany changes all over the year. In summer, even though I walk back home at almost midnight, I still manage to catch the last bit of sunlight before the darkness takes over. By contrast, the darkness already defeats the sun since the afternoon during winter. And, going to the university in the morning is like going to school in the middle of the night because the moon still hesitates to leave. The shortage of daylight in the winter months made me feel depressed and demotivated during my first semester here. As years come by, I figured out that having warm soups or hot drinks like chocolate, tea, or, in my case, a cup of cappuccino might help waken the body slowly up and improve the mood.

And, going to the university in the morning is like going to school in the middle of the night because the moon still hesitates to leave.

Thu

Wintertime is supposed to last for three months, however, I always feel like it has lasted for half of the year from November to April. I always feel cold during these months even though the radiator in my room has already tried its best to warm me up. Last semester, a professor even asked if my radiator works properly since he always saw me wearing at least two to three pullovers during our online sessions. Nevertheless, the coldness brings people together. We had several indoor activities during this time. Cooking warm meals together is a great idea to keep your body warm & delight your mood by the company of good friends.

My way to the university in the winter
A cold winter day in a Hanseatic cityThu

Last but not least

… my city is located in the Baltic sea region meaning that even though cold weather usually could be not exactly enjoyable but bearable often isn’t because of strong winds. When I first moved here, I was bold riding a bike to university without wearing gloves or earmuffs. These rookie mistakes made my fingers frosty and caused severe pain in my ears. At some points during the winter, walking to school was actually faster than riding a bike with headwinds.  Always checking the weather forecast (temperature, wind direction, etc.) before going out will make you well prepared. Sometimes, the weather looks warm and sunny, but it can be freezing outside.

The winter is no longer too scary to me when I could already adapt to the changes throughout the seasons. Now, I actually feel thankful for the winter since it makes the spring more beautiful and lively. I also appreciate the sun more and go into nature more often when the sunny days come.

The winter is no longer too scary to me when I could already adapt to the changes throughout the seasons.

Thu

  • Community
  • Everyday life
  • First steps in Germany
  • Helpful tips
  • Small town
  • spare time
  • Stralsund
  • Thoughts about life

More posts by Thu

In line with this topic