Random Things I’ve Learned in the First Week

So, a week ago right now I was in Chicago, getting ready to go to O’hare to fly out.

It has felt like I’ve been here for a really long time already, and my overall sense of time is really warped at this point. I think that I have already changed a lot. My level of independence is already much higher, and I feel like I can figure things out easier. Studying abroad is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Here are some random things I have learned thus far:

The grass looks the same as the grass in America does…

This might sound really stupid but I think that a lot of people have a warped view of studying abroad. They imagine landing from a mighty large plane and entering some sort of magical fairly land filled with beauty and hope. That is definitely not the case. At first, everything is so confusing that it is nearly impossible to find beauty in things. I was so overwhelmed on the first few days that I couldn’t even look around me too much, because I would just end up getting more confused. The grass still looks the same here. Sweden has a blue sky, clouds, a moon. Everything is virtually the same to my eyes. Sure, Swedish is written on everything, but as far as the landscape goes, it is not much different from home.

Having a deep-fryer is essential to most people’s existence… 

In America, I don’t think I have ever met anyone with a deep-fryer in their home. I took part in a conversation about deep-fryers, and how most people here need one. It is a staple of their existence. I found this to be so odd and sort of funny. I am quite enthralled with how different people need different things to feel at home.

Understanding English is a skill that I have been blessed with…

 People around the world are all trying to learn the universal language of English. I have realized that people would kill to be fluent in English and to feel comfortable in all aspects of the language. I never thought that I was so lucky until I got here. On the other hand, I feel sort of under-educated for only knowing English & Spanish. Many people here know 3 or 4 languages, and I wish that I could be like that. I have always thought that schools should teach more languages here in America, but I doubt that will ever happen.

You will feel like you packed way more than you actually did…

I felt like I packed a decent amount of clothing. It has been a week and I am already tired of my clothes, ha. I love dressing nicely and fashionably, but it is tough with just one suitcase of clothes. I also need to do laundry already but I am not sure how that works. I miss having my big closet and having everything organized.

Walking everywhere isn’t that bad (unless it is raining)…

I don’t really mind walking to school, to the grocery, or anything like that. At first I found it a bit annoying since I was used to driving my car around, but now I see that it is a good way to burn some extra calories and to see the city. Americans are generally very used to driving everywhere and Europeans are used to the opposite.

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Standing on a diving board, Vänersborg.
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