A few days ago, it hit me that I’m almost 5 months in. I’m nearly at the half-way point. I’ve already made it through the “tough first months”, and everything is falling into place. I haven’t written a single journal since I’ve been here, and I think it’s mostly because I’ve been afraid to.
Sitting down to analyze my “exchange”, just anchors me back down to the real world; that I’m not in a dream, that I have a whole other life back in Florida, and that this is only temporary. It’s difficult to think about Denmark as exchange, because it’s so much more than that. This is my life. These are my friends. This is my school, and this is now where I feel at home.
However, this year is just life; while exchange is a great adventure, you can’t expect this year to be never-ending excitement. We were shown the diagrams, our “emotional roller coaster, but I think nothing can actually prepare you for it. Doing this is hard. Being here is hard. This the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is totally and completely worth it. I am enjoying my time here, and I’ve learned more in the past months than I’ve learned in the past 16 years of my life.
I would not change a thing. I’ve done things that I would have never dreamed of doing in Florida. The things like riding my bike to school and eating cake in pajamas with my host siblings have become the moments that I find the most happiness in.
The first month of my exchange was very nice. Everything was new and exciting and I loved it. I biked around the town and found my way around. I began school and met all of the other exchange students at Introcamp.
When I reached my second and third month, things began to slow down and I started to miss home. Everything was uncomfortable; it was hard to get past the fact that I was sleeping in a strange bed, going to a strange school, and constantly pushing myself. However, there was almost an immediate change when I reached my 4th month. I switched host families, became better friends with my classmates, and Danish started to click. While there are still hard moments, Denmark has been magical. I just experienced my first white Christmas, and I can’t even put into words how lovely it was. Christmas is celebrated on the 24th in Denmark, and the whole day is spent with family. The Danish Christmas was very cozy; days of “hygge” and Christmas food. I am fu ll-heartedly looking forward to what the rest of my exchange has in store for me. (And I promise to write these more often).
Thank you SO much to Rotary Florida and Rotary Denmark for this opportunity.