As promised, this is the YA Feature for February …in March! 😂
One of the things I love about life is all the great people I meet along the way. Judith Rotering is one of those people. She came all the way from Germany to volunteer for a foundation–and she’s been doing an awesome job teaching under-privileged kids among many other things. Today, I thought I’d interview her about how her YA life is going so far. So, without further ado…meet Judith!
Name: Judith Rotering
*really, Judith?! LOL*
Hobbies: dancing (ballet / HipHop), meeting friends, traveling
Ultimate travel destination: Where I want to go or where I have been already? I really want to go to China and my best travel destination so far was Ireland.
Describe yourself in three words: chocolate, tall, curious
Favorite TV Show: Sherlock Homes (the series with Benedict Cumberbatch)
*oh, yeah, Sherlock!*
Okay, so you’re taking a gap year, right? What are you busy with nowadays?
During the week I’m quite busy with work (tutoring urban poor children in our area). Some evenings I go out with friends, we meet in bars or sometimes in clubs. On the weekends I do my chores (laundry, cleaning …), sleep, or meet friends. I really enjoy my life right now; no exams, no homework, no studying. I was very busy with high school last year, so I’m really enjoying study-free life now.
Oh, “study free life” sounds amazing!
You’re thousands of miles away from your home (Germany). What made you decide to do what you’re doing now?
There are a loooot of reasons.
First: A year without studying and exams. I had many possibilities–work and travel, spend a year on my couch annoying my parents, do an internship in Germany…but I wanted to go abroad and most importantly, I wanted to do something useful and not feel like I wasted my gap year. So I decided to do volunteering.
I think as a young adult, you’re still quite flexible when it comes to living with very little money and having to limit yourself in many things. Once I go to university, I’ll probably be busy studying and won’t have time for a full-time volunteer job. And after university I hope to get a job right away, and once I have a (hopefully good) job, I’m sure it would be harder to live with the little money you have as a volunteer.
What I’ve heard a lot from other people, and also realized myself by now, is that you become very self-responsible and independent when you live one year far away from home, family, and friends. You’ll have to cope with a lot of difficult situations, you’ll sometimes have to go through hard times of feeling alone and homesick, but afterwards you are going to feel like you could handle any problem that you will encounter in the future.
Oh, that’s true. I mean, the longest I’ve been away from home and family was my two-week cultural immersion program in Italy. And if I feel like I grew in responsibility during that experience, I can only imagine how much practice you’ve had being away from home for almost a year now! So awesome job, my friend! 😉
You’re a YA, and you are, in a sense, “on your own”—being in a different country and all. What are a few of the things you’ve had a hard time with as a “baby adult”?
Realizing that life is incredibly expensive. Did you ever think about how much your parents are actually paying for you? Of course, food, rent and sometimes the things you need for school. But also toilet paper, soap, laundry, water, electricity, your medicine …
And it’s also hard to be without your parents when you have problems, even if it’s just tiny little things that bother you. Back in Germany, when I was annoyed by anything or when I had a problem with somebody or something, I would just talk to my sister or my parents about it. Honestly, I really miss that annoying question, “How was school?” or “How was your day?”
Awww…okay, I’mma ask you now. How was your day? 😂 I’m kidding…
Give us an instance where you’ve surprised yourself with more maturity than you thought you had! 😁
Dealing with banking and booking. My mother is an accountant, so whenever I would have to pay any bills, I would always ask her for help. Just to make sure I wasn’t making the wrong person rich. Now, I can’t just go downstairs and be like “Mom, can you help me book my flights?” Or “Mom, why doesn’t my credit card work anymore?”
Oh, yeah…moms are great at teaching us that stuff!
How many countries have you been to? Can you list them for us so we can all be jealous of you right now? LOL!
17. Germany (of course), the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Luxemburg, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, USA, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines.
I’m crying. 😌
And of all these countries, which one is your favorite and why?
Ireland. It is beautiful and green. People are cool; they have very good music, especially the street musicians and the live music in their bars. You have breathtaking landscapes (ocean, mountains, lakes, rivers…) close to big cities with great nightlife. I love historical sites, and Ireland has lots of castles, cute little villages, and old churches.
The only thing I really don’t like about Ireland is their beer. How can anybody like beer that tastes like water with just a hint of malt and hops?
L to the O and back to the L!
Any advice for YAs who want to travel?
Don’t expect anything to work out as planned. Traveling is an adventure that can oftentimes be quite challenging. Even if you’re having hard times (which is for sure going to happen), remember that amazing times are about to come. Just don’t give up on your adventure.
Oh, and always check your flight time twice. It’s definitely not fun at all to run to the airport…
Okay, how bout we do a few trivial things!
Coke or Pepsi? (You can say neither if you’re a health buff! LOL!
Ballet or Hiphop? (Mhmm, I know you’re good at both! 😉 )
Any hidden talents?
Because I’m so messy, it’s quite hard for me to find anything. So it’ll probably also take some time to find my hidden talent.
What’s one of the things you love most about life?
Cheesecake and chocolate
What’s something you don’t like about life?
Aw, Judith, you’re hilarious! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this with me. I’m really glad I know you. You are truly a wonderful person 😊 Before we go…one last question. Life advice from a YA? 😉
In a pub in Ireland I once read a very good quote: “Life is like riding a bicycle–to stay balanced, you must keep moving.” So get on your bike, leave your comfort zone and just try to never ever take your feet off the pedals!
Oh my…that’s beautiful. See? I knew it. Us YAs…we really are wiser than a lot of people think we are. At least most of us are…
Again, thank you so much, my wonderful friend! I wish you the best of luck on your YA journey!
I hope y’all enjoyed my YA Feature for February (in March LOL) and learned a few things from my friend, Judith! 😊 I there are any questions you’d like me to ask my next YA Feature, feel free to comment below! Or, if you beat Judith’s countries visited score, comment that too! 😂
Hang in there…Friday’s on its way.