17 Memories // August 2017

Hello world,

wow, what a month. August started hot and crisp, and now September is slowly taking the reins to segue into my favorite season of them all: fall. But before we start that chapter, let’s look back at all the wonderful moments I got to experience these last weeks in the most beautiful country I know: Switzerland.

Here are 17 memories I made in August 2017:

1 I went back home to Bern. Boy, did that feel good.

2 Some friends I made in Heidelberg this year came to visit me and had to admit that I do have the prettiest home town possible.

3 We took the boat 20km from Thun to Bern and got soaked, because we all sucked at rowing.

4 On my first Swiss National Day as a Swiss citizen, I visited the federal government building and got some chocolate for free.

5 With a good friend, I hiked for the first time this year. We got lost but ended up in a perfect spot anyways and with awkward tan lines.

6 I slept in a tent on the shore of an alpine lake 2537m above sea level and witnessed one of the most beautiful sunrises of my life at 6:13am.

7 I participated in a kids’ program from church. This year was the ten-year anniversary, and I have been a part of it for eight of those ten years.

8 Flora, another close adventure buddy, and I hiked a super scary trail along the ridge of a mountain. We concluded that we thereby both overcame our fear of heights.

9 I cooked salmon, and it was so good.

10 I spent a lot of time writing a lot of applications.

11 My best friend Nicole and I drove to a remote but insanely beautiful part of Switzerland where we stayed in a hut after hiking up 1000 meters of elevation.

12 We had already taken disappointed photos, when we discovered a gorgeous sunset breaking through the thick clouds. Sorry for our high-pitched screaming. We were very pumped.

13 Reluctantly, I went back to Heidelberg, because I had fallen so deeply in love with Swiss mountains.

14 There, I surprisingly managed to write most of my scary term paper. That lifted a heavy burden off my shoulders.

15 Since all my friends were gone or busy, I took a trip up a mountain for sunset all by myself. Thank God I did that, because that sunset was one of my favorites. Plus, I even met someone to chat to about Swiss history, legends, and geography.

16 For my last trip to the mountains, I went to Lauterbrunnen, which is one of the top tourist attractions of my area. That was surprisingly pretty. I was about forty years younger than the average visitor on a Wednesday afternoon, but I did not mind. I am a pensioner at heart anyways: All I want is nothing more than hikes, sleep, and coziness.

17 I donated blood! I had been wanting to do this again for a long time now because of my rare blood blood type. Thankfully, I finally got up the nerves to go through with it. Thus, I have this month not only overcome my fear of heights once more but also my fear of needles.

This August was a long-awaited break for me, and I am so grateful for all the wonderful memories I got to make. My summer bucket list is so full already, and I can’t wait for late summer/early fall to take over. I am leaving Switzerland tomorrow, which saddens me, however, I truly made the most out of my time here. Let’s hope I get to witness many more mountain sunsets and sunrises in the years to come.

xo

The Things I Learn at University

Hello world,

This post is fresh material for all those who’ve ever asked me, “What can you even do with American Studies?” And I don’t even mind.

Two weeks ago, I did something I had been wanting to do for a long time: With a good friend, I packed my bags, hiked up a mountain, pitched a tent, and woke up early to watch the sunrise in a beautiful spot. Check that off my bucket list.

I love nature. I love spending time in nature. Thus, because I am now a smart-aleck university student, I want to talk about… the study of the love of nature. Yup, that’s what I learnt about this past semester (among other things equally important).

In a course called Call of the Wild, we talked a lot about transcendentalism, which was a philosophical movement in the U.S. in the first half of the 19th. It sought true happiness in nature, because nature and humans itself were considered inherently good but corrupted by society. So, if you are mean, don’t worry: You have simply been corrupted by civilization.

The two main representatives of Transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, coined many of the quotes you will find upon typing in ‘nature’ or ‘nature love’ into Pinterest. You know, the perfect Instagram captions.

“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

But what even is nature and wilderness? What is left of it? Hasn’t everything been civilized through satellites and maps? Is wilderness constructed, because there would be no wilderness without civilization/us? What is the value of wilderness?

Isn’t it unfair that some landscapes are considered far more beautiful — scientists would say ‘sublime’ — than others and thus more worthy of protection? Because I just posted four pictures of the exact same mountain that is super hyped in Switzerland, because it is on the Toblerone packaging (among other reasons).

We also talked about ecofeminism. This is a philosophy that connects feminism and ecology, because feminine adjectives are so often attributed to nature (especially by Emerson and Thoreau). In American literature in general, nature is often depicted as a female refuge: the untouched land, which can be moody but is undeniably beautiful. Funnily enough, society was also associated with female adjectives: clingy, domesticated, and overprotective.

Ecofeminism draws parallels between the suppression of nature and women. While it sounds far-fetched, it is actually very interesting. One could argue that the suppression of nature was justified by ascribing female characteristics to it, e.g. conquering the virgin land.

Of course, I myself don’t consider these characteristics female, however, a lot of people have in history and sadly still do. I know a ton of clingy, moody, domesticated men.

When I told my brother about my topic for my term papers this summer, he said he couldn’t imagine anything more irrelevant and boring. Maybe you’re thinking the same after reading what I learnt this past semester. That is fair enough, but I absolutely love my major and getting to know more ‘irrelevant’ stuff on a daily basis.

And I also love nature, which is why I had the best time exploring the Matterhorn area. Last summer,  I flew halfway across the world to experience nature and forgot thereby that everything I could ask for in nature is right here: in my beautiful home country.

Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air.  (Yes, that is an Emerson quote.)

xo

17 Memories // July 2017

Hello world,

yes, I have been slacking blog posts this semester. However, I am not sorry, because this semester was simply so intense I decided to spend that time on loads of new experiences instead of this blog. This semester, my second semester at uni, was epic, all-consuming, and one the best times of my life. A constant shower of blessings. How lucky am I to say that I am truly happy and have been for such a long time now. Life is good.

It is amazing to see where my first year of uni has taken me, and I can’t wait to explore the second volume, but first: summer break.

Here are 17 memories I made in July 2017: 

1.  I played at a volleyball tournament with my dorm after training towards the event for three months.

2.  We didn’t place as good as expected, but we had enough team spirit for it not to matter. We cheered, encouraged everyone, threw ourselves into the sand, and absolutely freaked out, when we managed to win one game against the best team. That day was such a good day.

3.  I decided where I want to spend my year abroad.

4.  Surprisingly, I got a perfect job I had not expected but hoped to get one day far away. What a blessing!

5.  At the dorm, we threw our yearly summer party, which was full of interesting conversations, dance battles, and memorable moments we still laugh about now.

6.  I started to study for my exams.

7.  With the help of my lecturer, I handled a difficult situation at uni very well. I solved it with the help of an anagram and a GIF. Yes, I am a millenial.

8.  I went home to Bern for a festival! It was so fun!!

9.  A close friend, which I had not seen for a long time, and I spent three nights in a super cheap tent, which I documented with a one-way camera.

10. I fell in love with music again. Imagine Dragons was just as epic as Lizzie and LP. Also, I had the best Rösti at the festival.

11. I swam in the freezing Aare.

12. One week before my exams, I went to a theme park with some friends from the dorm. That was probably not the smartest decision but a good one nonetheless. Shared fun is the best.

13. Somehow, I managed to pass Swedish, although I had not studied enough for it.

14. On the 22nd, I turned 20! My entire dorm surprised me at midnight and showered me with love. In the afternoon, my parents, my brother, and my godfather came. My first day as a post-teenager was calm but absolutely wonderful. Year No. 20 was definitely a good one.

15. I wrote all three of my exams well prepared, because I had been very organized and disciplined for the past four weeks.

16. The celebrations for the end of this epic semester were emotional, intense, and great: the farewell service as well as the party. Both caused me some dark bags under my eyes, which is pretty symbolic for this semester: tiring but absolutely worth the memories.

17. The end of this month signified the end of an era with friends which now feel like family. Goodbyes are so hard, but I am also more than ready for some deserved time off and some upcoming trips.

Have a good August!

xo

17 Memories // June 2017

Hello world,

I love June. It’s the beginning of summer when every heat day is still a sweet surprise. Everything seems to explode from life, and everyone seems to burst from ideas of what to do next.

My June was great, which is mainly due to my wonderful dorm. Together, we had so much fun!

Here are 17 memories I made in June 2017: 

1.  One of my best friends visited me in Heidelberg.

2.  We hiked up the local hill after an epic brunch and sweat enough for the whole month.

3.  I absolutely slayed an assignment I had been dreading for weeks.

4.  I delved into German politics, because I am voting for the first time in September and I have no clue.

5.  I chopped off half of my hair and dyed it.

6.  I slept too little, because there were so many fun things going on 24/7.

7.  After four months, I finally met my new niece.

8.  For my youth group, we all individually baked a cake, because we all thought nobody else would. We ended up with seven cakes.

9.  With my whole dorm, I celebrated Midsommar, which was so much fun!

10. My very best friend visited me even though we were (and still are) both super busy.

11. We biked 15k to get take the first outdoor swim of the season and both got annoying sun burns.

12. I played a lot, a lot of volleyball.

13. For uni, I somehow managed to stay on top of it even though I had to sacrifice every single Sunday.

14. I remembered all the birthdays.

15. Slowly, I started to think about what is in store for me after my bachelor’s degree. Now I can’t stop envisioning the wildest scenarios.

16. Jag pluggade mycket svenska.

17. I just had a really good month. 2017 has been so fun so far, which I am extremely thankful for.

Have a good July!

xo

 

17 Memories // May 2017

Hello world,

this is May 2017: an insanely active month for me. So many cool things, but boy, am I tired.

Here are 17 memories I made in May 2017:

1. I utterly fell in love with Swedish.

2. Having taken far too many courses for uni, I read and studied a lot this month but managed to stay on top of it.

3. I physically prepared very well for my race: I did not drink alcohol for two weeks beforehand, trained sufficiently but not too much, and slept a lot.

4. Irregardless, I got sick five days beforehand.

5. Running that race was a good decision,  even if I had to stop after 10k. I would have regretted not even trying.

6. Since the race was in Bern, I got to spend some time with some lovely friends and my family.

7. Following up, I took a break from running and played a lot of volleyball instead.

8. I gave some good presentations.

9. On two occasions this month, I got all fancy.

10. During Ascension, I visited Berlin.

11. I experienced Obama live from a ten meter distance.

12. One of the most exhausting days of my life consisted of my alarm clock at 6am, 300.000 fellow sufferers, 35° Celsius, a heavy sunburn, 4h walking, and a 12h bus ride.

13. I ruined my bike.

14. My brother turned 18 and got an epic card from me.

15. I had an important conversation that was long overdue.

16. On a weekday, I made some mistakes but at least also made a lot of people laugh.

17. I had one of the busiest months ever, but I created so many memories! And the business isn’t getting anywhere as my second uni semester progresses.

Have a great June!

xo