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I thought that I hated Sundays. I rolled out of bed, went downstairs where my parents were already awake, and made the same coffee that I always made. Watched the same polish-pottery coffee cup, speckled in blueberries, steam. I sat on the couch, and thought about everything that I needed to accomplish for the day. I thought that I hated Sundays.

Sometimes, after this coffee cup, my family would take a long walk and stop at a bakery for a pastry. Bakeries, after all, are the only places open on Sundays in Germany. I thought that this leisurely pace was something that I could not afford to enjoy. A mountain of homework could not possibly translate to cafe talk and boxed lemonade. I stressed at that small wooden table in that all-too-familiar bakery. I thought that I hated Sundays.

Other times, after this coffee cup, my mom and I would pack our backpacks and camp out at her office all day. We would work for hours on our assignments, refill our coffees, light tea-candles, and snack. I must have spent every Sunday of senior year working the day away at her office. And so I thought that I hated Sundays.

Now, two months into my first year of college, I realize that I miss Sundays the most. I miss the routine of watching my coffee cup fill up while my dad worked on the computer and my mom graded her students’ papers at the dining room table; the routine of spending the whole day in my mom’s office, watching her type animatedly as I nursed my third can of LaCroix. Sparkling water on Sundays is our modus operandi, to say the least. I miss the routine of knowing that every Sunday evening, my dad would excitedly grill. Most of all, I miss the routine of being able to spend the day with my family, a calm anchor, when my world is otherwise filled with rush-hour energy.

Nostalgia certainly makes hindsight so beautiful. There was nothing particularly exciting about these routines. Routines aren’t supposed to be thrilling. They are supposed to positively affect you. Today, I reflect and see that I may have been happier if I appreciated these little habits that I had formed while they were happening. Although I thought that I hated Sundays, and I am not particularly a fan now, it is without a doubt that these glimpses of Sundays in Germany made for a beautiful memory and a better version of myself.

As I struggle now to assimilate and make the most of a new environment, I am searching for new routines, because I want to find this part of my life beautiful sooner rather than later. I wake up, drink a cup of coffee, read while the grogginess wears off, and pack up my backpack for the day. I call my parents; I head out the door with my roommate. Soon, I hope I’ll love this routine too. I don’t think I hate Sundays, after all.

Bettina is a first year and a prospective Neuroscience major at the University of Virginia. She loves painting, baking, and planning eclectic events! She hopes you enjoy her various takes on topics that inspire her!
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