With only a few weeks left in Berlin, finding the balance between work and play has been a bit difficult. Assignments from our excursion to Russia, term papers and final exams are tasks that require attention, but the thought of spending my last few weeks inside instead of out and about in newly-warm Berlin is a less than desirable trade off. But when work must get done and cultural experiences must be had there is always a way to find that happy medium.
At GW, weekends are my savior. Almost everything that could or should be done can easily be compiled into a Saturday morning and Sunday evening. However in Berlin weekends are filled with parks, markets and adventures during the day and Berlin nightlife is famous for extending into the late hours of the morning, so it's safe to assume those three days won't be the most productive of your week. This means that the weekday - emphasis on day - has become my most productive time and it's wonderful. I believe this is partly to do with the structure of my class schedule, which allows me large chunks of time to be productive rather than short and scattered 30 to 60 minute time slots.
Also, while Gelbucks and Tryst hold special places in my study spot heart, I have discovered the study cafe to end all study cafes. Named St. Oberholtz, it is filled with large tables, plenty of outlets, fast wifi, good food and lots and lots of coffee. After nine pm its atmosphere changes into more of a bar vibe and if a well-priced glass of good Reisling with friends is a positive motivator for you to get off Facebook and actually get your work done you can end your productive day on a socible and relaxing note.
Thankfully, most of my finals this semester are papers so my last week won't be entirely occupied with studying for exams. But even as satisfying as it is to cross things off my to do list, I know when all this work is done and the pressure of exams has lifted I'll be sad since that will mean my time in Berlin will be over and I'm not quite ready to go.