Final Post: Looking Back on the Eastern West | #5

“What’s even in Warsaw?”

I can’t count the amount of times I heard that from friends and family two months ago before I got on a plane heading to the capital of Poland. Now I know the answer.

Good music, good people, and

As I start to get my things together to head back to the States in two days, I can’t help but think about how much I’ve grown since I arrived in the city in May. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about where I see myself moving to after I graduate in a few years. Where will my life take me? What will I be doing? Well the way I see it, if I can not only survive but thrive, make new friends, and find a way to perform in a country across the Atlantic that doesn’t natively speak English, I think I can move to another state. Not only have I gained amazing experience in a journalism-esque field position, I’ve grown more independent and feel like I’ll be ready to start a new life in the professional world without losing my individuality once graduation rolls around.

As for actually working at Culture, the amount of autonomy I had when writing and pitching stories coupled with the projects I worked on consistently (running the outlet’s Twitter, creating listicles of famous Poles, etc.) gave me a complete overview of how a culture site operates and how I can leave my mark at a news organization. For a while, I wasn’t sure if I was helping the company as much as I could have been but looking back, I know my work mattered in the grand scheme of production. Thank you for helping me grow as a journalist and as a person.

If you’re heading to Warsaw anytime soon, I have some advice that would have helped me for sure. If you feel alone, if you miss home, if you feel like you can’t connect with anyone because of the language barrier, TELL SOMEONE. Tell your boss, tell a co-worker, talk to someone from the country if you’re feeling down. The first month, I was a little down in the dumps and if I didn’t have a guitar (which my amazing co-worker lent me) as an outlet to help me write about and focus on my emotions, I don’t think I would have had as memorable and amazing experience as I did.

In the end, Warsaw was my home and I’m glad it embraced me as well.

One thought on “Final Post: Looking Back on the Eastern West | #5

  • July 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Matt, congratulations on all that you have learned about yourself, Polish culture, and what it’s truly like to work in journalism. I’m glad you were able to have a home away from home, and your advice about asking for help is so true for anyone who is struggling to connect in a new place.


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