after having received complaints about insufficient blog posts, here I am starting this year off right! These past few weeks have been insanely filled out. On land alone, I covered around 5500 km, thereby reconnected with old friends, made memories with new ones, and took a lot of photos.
Here we go!
Mer Jul. Ge mig mer jul.
= my favorite Swedish Christmas song
Different from my exchange year to the US, I this time around got to spend Christmas in my beloved Switzerland. That week was filled to the brim with coffee dates, strolls, and excursions. I laughed tears with all of my wonderful friends and ate a lot of cheese and chocolate. Coming home for Christmas is something I look forward to every year no matter the distance.
It is hard to believe that I most likely will not return to Bärn until June. Switzerland is truly my first and dearest home, and I always miss it whenever I am not there.
After Christmas, my family and I flew back to Sweden together. In the company of some friends, we spent a couple of days and New Year’s Eve in Dalarna skiing. That was an adventure since I had not stood on skis for eight years. Turns out, skiing is like driving a car: You lose confidence but not the ability itself. Nevertheless, I felt incredibly guilty for living my best life while my co-slaves were working the last gasque of the season.
Still waiting for their forgiveness.
= my favorite slaves
January 2nd, I took the bus at 6 am to get back to Uppsala in time to celebrate Bullfesten, the traditional klubbverket goodbye party. That was a wonderful end to a wonderful semester of intense work load, dance parties, and insider jokes. Especially the latter of which framed Bullfesten as we took a walk down memory lane and my group took home the crown in the quiz!
Ever since, nation life has been in a transition stage. Most of my friends currently have exams while simultaneously new students are arriving. In a couple of weeks, the semester will be fully on again and with it all activities at GH. For this new semester, I have taken on the responsibility of pancake host for our weekly pancake bar. So, if you know of any good recipes – let me know!
De vackraste solnedgångerna
= the most beautiful sunsets
In early January, I fulfilled one of my goals for this year and took a trip up north of the arctic circle to Lapland. There I not only went sledding with huskies, rode a snow mobile, visited reindeer and the ice hotel, and jumped into an arctic lake, but most importantly: I saw the Northern lights. That was truly breathtaking, and I feel very lucky I got to witness this spectacle. I also made many of my Swedish friends jealous since very few of them have seen Aurora Borealis themselves.
That trip was also very interesting since I got to experience a 3-hour-day. During this time, you could never really see the sun up in Abisko. Instead, it simultaneously rose and set, which created wonderful conditions for photography and nostalgia.
Tillbaka i Uppsala
= back in Uppsala
For the past two weeks, I have finally settled back into Uppsala and started an attempt at a normal life again. Today, January 24, I am actually also beginning my new course! This new semester I will take many more courses than last time as well as more specific choices from the departments of Theology, History, and English. I hope to be more challenged that way, especially now that klubbverket will take up less of my time.
In addition, I am writing a research paper for Heidelberg on women in U.S. fundamentalism. If you’re knowledgeable in that area, hit me uuup!
My goal for these following months is to get as integrated as possible in Swedish culture. Thus, my best friend Lovisa is teaching me about Swedish songs (in order to yell the lyrics at parties) and Swedish comedians/humor. Others are trying to explain politics to me. I can by now understand Swedish to a vast majority and am starting to use it more and more actively with friends on- and offline. Heck, I am even considering applying to Master degrees in Sweden!
En Sak i Taget
= One thing at a time
Life has been turbulent. I have had to say goodbye to many international friends who only stayed for one semester. While this saddened me, I am incredibly thankful to have another five months to spend in this gorgeous country with wonderful friends. This second half of my exchange will be much different from the first, however, I am excited and bursting with ideas and plans.
Also, I am very slowly but surely starting to think about life after Sweden. When will I graduate? What will I choose for my Master’s degree? What country will I even live in?
I guess we’ll have to stay tuned to find out!