So, I have been in Sweden for almost two weeks now. I think that I have finally adjusted to my new, temporary, life here. I have had some interesting experiences so far and have learned a lot already. Here is a list of things that are bound to happen in the beginning of your new journey:
1. You’ll Receive TONS of friend requests
I have a new friend request every time that I go on Facebook it seems. It is really nice because I can then remember people’s names easier. It makes you realize how many people you are meeting in such a short period of time. Making new friends is such an important part of being abroad. So, get out there, and be yourself! I am quite thankful for social media. I don’t know how people traveled before. When you were gone, you were really, really, gone!
2. The realization that hauling things from the store to your apartment really sucks
I realized that just a few hours ago. My friend & I had to haul loads of things from IKEA up six flights of stairs because the elevator decided that it didn’t want to work. You will think to yourself “wow, having a car was pretty great” as you make the trek to the store & back with groceries and such. I have learned to appreciate the luxuries that I have at home and how easy it will be when I get back.
3. America is really really really stressed out
Honestly. Everyone needs to just chill. People in Sweden are incredibly, almost uncomfortably, relaxed about things. I am used to feeling stressed about things and for the people around me to be stressed as well. The culture here is so different than at home. If there is a problem, it will probably be fixed sometime soon. It is sort of nice though. I don’t have to worry as much when I am here. At first, I found that to be one of the hardest things for me. I felt out of place because of the culture shock I was experiencing. Now, I am thankful for that part of Sweden.
4. People have a warped view of America
Most people here seem to think that every Friday night at home is like Project X for me and that we are all going crazy all the time. In reality, it is totally opposite. I think that the movies make America seem way more exciting and full of fabulous parties and fancy houses. I have had to shoot down the rumor that we are crazy party people to so many students here. It just isn’t true. Europeans definitely party more than Americans, no question there.
5. Being in a constant state of confusion is actually healthy
80% of the time, I truly have no idea what is going on. Especially when I go out to order something or interact with the Swedes, I am extremely confused. I don’t really know what they are saying usually and then something generally happens with my credit card and then things get confusing (thanks, Chase) and I am getting used to that. I have learned to laugh about it because I don’t know what else to do. I was scared to go in public when I first got here because I was so overwhelmed with the uncomfortable feelings that I was experiencing.
Alright, folks. Those are some things that will probably happen when you are an American studying abroad. Here are some pictures from my past week.