Well, it’s official! In exactly one week, I’ll be getting on a plane to Stockholm, Sweden, and not coming back for four months. It hasn’t exactly come as a surprise—I have been planning this for a long time, and had a countdown on display in my room for most of the summer—but the thought that this is getting real is more prevalent than ever. It’s a thought that I’ve had many times in the past few months, whether sending in my application or filling out forms or choosing my classes, but each time it’s more exciting than the last. And right now I am through the roof.
It doesn’t feel like I’ve done a lot to prepare, since it’s been spread out over time, but when I look back I have to give myself some credit. I’ve been all over the place putting all the pieces together, maybe even overdoing it at times, to make this experience not only real but the best it can possibly be. Here’s just some of what I’ve been doing:
- A lot of adulting. Getting documents together, seeing my doctors, and making sure everything is in order. I’m somewhat used to making big moves for school because I go to college over 300 miles away from home, but there’s a lot more involved when you add borders and an entire ocean to the mix.
- Simultaneously saving my money, because living in Stockholm isn’t cheap, and spending it, because I have to make the most of the time before I go! It’s been a bit of a balancing act, but as the summer comes to an end it seems to be turning out fine.
- Learning Swedish since before I even applied. People have been saying that you can get by there only knowing English, because almost everyone has learned it in school, but I’m not that kind of person. I don’t just want to get by, I want to live life in Stockholm to the fullest! (Also, I’m a known language freak.)
- Bothering an alum from my school, who will be in Stockholm at the same time, for information about what I’ll need and what to expect.
- Making a bucket list of things to do while I’m there, which covers a range of things from “meet new people” to “see if that giant goat they build burns down or not”.
- Most recently, finding out more about my studentboende—which is like a central dorm shared by students from different universities—and the people I’ll be living with.
There’s still quite a bit to do, and even more to figure out once I get there. I’m excited, and occasionally nervous, but overall I’m looking forward to my semester confident that I can handle it. Whatever happens, I can’t wait to share all my adventures!