27th of September. I just arrived in Frankfurt and settled in at the FS Dorms. Didn’t know anybody and my German skills needed a bit of polishing (to put it mildly). I knew that the majority of the students from the class of 2020 came from a German-speaking background, but they probably too shared some of my anxieties.
Fast forward a week later, I now feel that a strong connection has formed within the new bachelors, good friendships that will last have been made and an atmosphere of enthusiasm, tolerance and understanding is present among my peers. What is more, the students are already not only a part of their respective study concentrations and circle of close acquaintances, but also of the broader FS Community that includes lecturers, other staff members, more experienced students and alumni.
What made the difference?
The Introductory week. It was a combination of a wide range exiting and useful events that aimed to prepare the new students and give them a small head start. A balance was struck between in-class workshops, official ceremonies and socializing events. I was particularly fascinated with the diversity of activities and settings during the week. During the opening ceremony I got to see every one of my peers wearing a suit in a more formal atmosphere, while on the next day we were building cars and competing against each other at the Neu Isenburg Park near Frankfurt.
The Scavenger Hunt throughout the city was the perfect opportunity to explore Frankfurt. I now know that whenever I feel like having a meal, I can go to one of the many restaurants at Berger Straße (54 to be precise), or can give the impression of a local by quoting the inscription at the main entrance of the Alte Oper.
However, the initiatives that I found the most useful for my personal development during the upcoming student years were the workshops. All students had the opportunity to choose up to three workshops from a pool of around 10 and develop a skill (public speaking, successful negotiation, time management to name a few) that could benefit them in the long run. The workshop that left me with a lasting impression was the one dedicated to the way we present ourselves in social media and how to leverage our social media accounts to our benefit in our career and personal life.
Time-wise, the workshops had the duration of a regular lecture and this presented me with the opportunity to get used to a different working schedule, which, having already completed my first week of classes as I am writing this post, turned out pretty helpful.
Finally, the two on-campus parties during introductory week convinced me that FS knows how to have fun with style. Having participated fully in the past week, I now get a better sense of what one of our lecturers said when he used the phrase “FS Spirit”.
However, it could not be understood in a single word. Similar to Hegels’ Zeitgest, FS Spirit is a conglomeration of all of the experiences and emotions that my classmates and I shared. We are now the united class of 2020 and an integral part of the FS community.