After nearly eight months in Germany (five of which overstay my initial tourist visa) and a bureaucratic nightmare worth of paperwork, I finally have my visa!!!
I won’t bore anyone with the details, but suffice to say, this all came together due to a combination of advice from many other ex-pats, the accumulation of an exorbitant amount of documents, far too many frustrating moments, the aid of my dear friend S., the cooperation of my parents and the stubbornness of myself. Also, talking about cats with the lady handling my case this week probably helped a bit too.
Needless to say, I’m grateful for everyone and everything that contributed to this satisfying end result. Now, I can stay in Germany legally for another two years while I pursue schooling (more language courses and hopefully a doctorate). I can also legally work (during the summer and winter holidays)!