I would be lying if I said that the days leading up to my departure have been exiting. My schedule consists mostly of waking up at noon, catching up on reading, doing some packing, watching Netflix, and maybe hanging out with a friend. Needless to say, I’m anxious to get to Denmark. Coming back home for the break can be relaxing, but it can also cause me to fall back into a lot of my old and mostly undesirable habits. Once the warm, hazy glow of the holidays has worn off and most of my friends have started going their separate ways, being at home can feel a bit too static.

Winter break feels at first like a time without bounds where anything is possible, but usually ends up being one big slug-fest. As the hours and days blur together, I’ve been looking forward to having structure back in my life. At this point in my college career, going back to school has lost its excitement of newness and promises of a fresh start. Only this time, I won’t be heading back down south– I’ll be going much further north.

As I struggle to pare down the absurdly large pile of sweaters and start to learn more and more about my classes and living arrangements, I can’t help but feel that I have an unbelievable opportunity ahead of me to be a first year again– entering a new place full of unfamiliar faces, all of whom are in the same boat. I get to leave everything I know behind and immerse myself in a completely different culture, full of new foods to taste and new sights to see. While I know that there will be challenges ahead, I feel incredibly lucky to have the chance to explore myself in a new country.

I’d like to start off with a few goals to help focus myself for the upcoming semester. I want to be able to take full advantage of this opportunity, and to do that, I would like to:

  • stay present and off the internet as much as possible
  • grab on to as many opportunities that come by me as I can – did someone invite you to go check out the cute cafe a few subway stops away? DO IT!
  • keep up with work so that it remains manageable
  • journal or document my experiences
  • step outside my comfort zone socially and experientially
  • take advantage of the resources around me, especially from locals
  • learn about and understand the successful parts of Danish sustainability that I can take back home

These are good reminders to have along the way, and at the end of my semester, good points to reflect upon.