“Although my journey was not always smooth, so much good came out it” – MC
On my trip to Germany last month, i had the opportunity to retrace some of my steps. I’m excited to continue telling my story with the third chapter of my relocation journey to Germany. Year six to ten were very eventful to say the least. The theme of this phase was "I have to make this work for me." After so many ups and downs it was time for me to start having more success. In these years, there were significant milestones, achievements, and experiences. Everything seemed to happen so quickly compared to the previous five years.
In this post, I'll continue sharing my experiences on my relocation journey as well as ten tips to help you be successful on your journey. If you missed my previous posts in the My Life in Germany series, you could read about Year 1 - 2 and Year 3 -5.
A scary new start
It's early 2007, I'm now in a new city and studying at a new university. My move to Trier was a logical but tough decision. I felt very far from everything I had built over the past five years. In the first months, I had to overcome my feeling of loss and start building my new life. In no time, I made progress in school, found great jobs and made new friends. Thinking back on my time in Trier, I'm reminded of the great results that come from taking a bold step and making a change.
I'm going back home to Nigeria
After six years of trying to make it work, I convinced myself that Germany was not for me and that it was time to go back to Nigeria. Financial difficulties and not making progress with school triggered my decision to move back to Nigeria. In summer 2007, I started making plans to leave Germany. I felt like it would be easier to start a new life in Nigeria and that I would make more progress there. Within two months I went from deciding to leave, sharing my thoughts with my close friends to choosing to stay and make Germany work for me. I appreciate all the support I got during this time that helped me stay. My journey would have been very different if I went back.
Determined to continue and make it
Following my decision to stay in Germany, I found new energy to chase my dreams. It felt like I had made a decision that would help me start seeing the results I wanted in life. The bumps in the road made me more determined to succeed. I had an idea of where I wanted to be, I made plans and started working towards them. I was extremely focused and knew what motivated me. It felt like a rebirth - I knew I had what it took to overcome future challenges.
Discovering my passion for Project Management
During my Internships in university, I found my love for project management. Internships at IT project management offices in a bank and an airline set an excellent foundation for my career choice. I chose project management and would never look back. The flexibility to work in different teams across different industries was a plus. I'll share my experiences as a project manager in another post.
Completing my first degree
In 2010, after many years of tears, going to two universities and changing my course three times, I finally graduated with a Bachelor's degree. I enjoyed academic success because I was studying something I could apply, and I had learned my way of learning. My journey to my degree was long and tumultuous but, in the end, I made it. Interestingly, I knew this was not the end of my academic journey.
Starting my first full-time Job
It’s autumn 2010; I'm in Cologne, working at a digital agency and enjoying life. My first job was amazing. I was earning money, working with a great team on exciting projects. There were many learning experiences in my first year. Being a project manager was absolutely right for me. Thankfully, the discipline I learned from working part-time while I studied helped me adapt to my new Job easily.
Continuing my education
After six months of working full-time, I started studying for my Masters in Business Information Systems. It was important for me to continue my education to improve my career opportunities. Working full time and studying, taught me how to manage my time. My evenings and weekends were fully dedicated to working towards my Master's degree. The foundation for my mindset of continuously learning was laid.
I'm happy, working, enjoying life and then I have a health challenge. All of my life I had enjoyed excellent health, so this was a very new experience for me. My first surgery and stay in the hospital became part of my journey. Spending six weeks on bed rest, I learned to respect and take care of my body. In this time, I learned the importance of allowing your body to heal. My fantastic community rallied around me, took care of me and gave me space. I got better, went back to work, school and life. This became another unexpected challenge that I overcame.
Our family grew
I can't tell my story without mentioning a significant milestone in my life. I became an aunt to my beautiful niece in summer 2011. I will never forget the first time I saw her. For the first time, I started thinking about what life skills I wanted to teach my little niece. She was the beginning of the next generation of strong women in my family. My family in Germany grew, and another anchor in my new country was set.
Feeling at home in Germany
Being born in Germany, growing up in Nigeria and now being back in Germany, I have always had an interesting view of my cultural identity and where my home is. It took me around seven years to start feeling like I could have a great life in Germany. It was a slow process that continued as I graduated and moved to Cologne. I'm sure that becoming a German citizen in 2011 also helped me feel more at home. Ten years after I arrived, I was now German, and Germany was my home.
10 Tips and Lessons