And just like that, first semester was gone.
Four amazing months with amazing people in amazing places. I remember the first time I woke up in Sweden thinking to myself ‘what on earth have you gotten yourself into?’ I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t (and still don’t) speak the language and I certainly didn’t feel ready for it. I had a fairly short summer break where I found myself working in a warehouse most of the time, so it flew by and all of a sudden I was on a plane to a country I’d never been to before. I remember walking through town on my own on the day I arrived. My parents had just left and I didn’t really know where I was going or what I was doing. My throat had a golf ball sized lump in it, my heart was beating faster than ever and my whole body was trembling. I sat down on a park bench in the August sunshine after grabbing a coffee and contemplated my decision. I repeatedly told myself that this was a good idea, and it was natural to feel nervous, but something in my head was telling me otherwise. I found myself in an incredibly uncomfortable position and the only person responsible for that was myself. However, only during times of great duress does one tend to thrive.
I was incredibly lucky from the outset. It only took me a few days to meet a large group of friends, including those who I count as close friends. The Swedish equivalent of fresher’s week meant that you were thrown into the deep end with others who were just as confused and eager to meet new people as you were. I taught myself how to say ‘yes’ to everything, to go places and do things that I’d never been to or done before, but mainly to make sure that I could get everything out of this year as possible.
New semester equals new opportunities, new beginnings. I now walk around a country that I know so well without a lump in my throat, knowing exactly where I’m going and what I’m doing. There is still so much to do and so many places to see, and although these next four months or so will fly by, hopefully it lives up to the standard set by semester one.
And just like that, second semester has begun.