Being foreign

This Wednesday was the last day of school before Christmas break. It ended with a beautiful candlelight service, much like our Swedish lucia at Kungsholmen actually. Chorale and Chamber choir sang in the chapel, and everyone lit a candle. I have no pictures from that (yet anyway) unfortunately.

After Thanksgiving, there were suddenly Christmas decorations everywhere. EVERYWHERE. It felt so strange. Even Christmas music in the malls. The Starbucks redcups, Christmas trees in every corner. Just like Halloween, everything is so extra. If it can be decorated, it will be. I love it! Also, hockey season has started! It’s so fun and I’pretty terrible but it doesn’t really matter. I played my first game last week after being on the ice for only a few hours in total. Can’t really say i contributed much but I’m still proud that I managed not to fall hah

I started following this Facebook page a while ago that’s called Exchange Student USA which I highly recommend to other exchange students here, it gives great advice and provides really accurate articles etc. I’ve heard from  a lot of exchange students that coming back home is a strange experience, because abroad you feel foreign, but coming back you feel as though you’re foreign too all of a sudden. As if you don’t realize how the new environment actually changed you.

I still feel very Swedish though and I think people are starting to get sick of me commenting on EVERYTHING that is even remotely Swedish.. It’s a weird feeling, being “the foreign, new one” for the first time in my life. Things I’ve commented on include:

  • IKEA (obviously)
  • Zara Larsson
  • Angry Birds
  • NOT Swedish fish (it’s a lie they’re not Swedish)
  • PewDiePie
  • ABBA
  • Swedish meatballs
  • Tove Lo
  • Swedish House Mafia
  • Anything blue and yellow
  • Vikings
  • Snow (it’s basically Swedish)
  • Hockey
  • Zlatan!!!
  • Yes, I’m skyping in Swedish right now
  •           in Swedish is           
  • Yes, I just sang in Swedish
  • My accent is Swedish
  • Avicii
  • We kinda take credit for cinnamon rolls tbh
  • Spotify
  • The first discoverer of America (Leif Eriksson), so America is basically Swedish lol ..shh he wasn’t Norwegian
  • We don’t even have that where I come from
  • Socialism
  • Yeah we get paid to go to school
  • Yeah we have 480 days of parental leave
  • Yeah we have at least 6 weeks of vacation
  • Sorry, it’s because I’m Swedish/foreign
  • Skype
  • The girl with the dragon tattoo
  • Minecraft
  • Santa Lucia
  • Oh sorry I didn’t realize I was speaking Swedish (when someone suddenly looks v confused)
  • Midsummer (flower crowns!!)
  • I can’t eat ALL THIS I’m Swedish
  • Swedish pizza (we have banana and curry them, which apparently is weird)
  • Yeah, I’m “the Swede” (Oh, you’re “the Swede” right?)
  • Swedish hiphop (have you seen the fault in our stars?)
  • This food is basically carbs covered in fat
  • This math is not like Swedish math
  • Volvo
  • Yeah this is what Swedish writing looks like
  • Yeah I was just talking to “my Swedes” on Skype
  • Oh sorry I wouldn’t know, I’m foreign
  • Pickled herring
  • Sweden has a king and queen wooow
  • That word is the same in my language/ that word means            in my language

But oh well.

This Saturday was formal, which in Swedish is vinterbalen. It was fun because of the hype of asking people to formal. Everyone had different creative ways of asking and I asked one of my favorite guys called Chris by scheduling a fake tour for him through admissions. Then when he came to pick uptake people he thought he was going to tour he instead found me with a huge sign saying “sail to formal with me?” because he loves sailing and I thought it was funny.

It has occurred to me now how much I’m actually going to miss things. It’s a strange feeling, this year is so temporary but still so long. I’m going to miss it so much, even though a lot of the times are very though too. I don’t necessarily mean the country. Or the school. Maybe not even the people. I’m going to miss the experience. Being almost at the halfway point, I have come to realize that this is never coming back. It is such a unique experience and every moment is so brief. Seize the day, they say. Its easy for a two week trip abroad, but not a year. But at the same time, it’s not long enough to feel permanent. So you’re somehow stuck in between. And it’s funny, you think you’re so prepared. But new surprises wait behind every corner. It never gets old. Maybe that’s the beauty of it.


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