Yep, I’ve been here for a couple of months now – don’t worry, I’m not gonna make a fuss about it. In fact, if it wasn’t for all the work we’ve been doing at school, I wouldn’t have even noticed it.
As far as life outside school is concerned, I’m still pretty much at the same stage I was when I’d just moved here: my knowledge of the city – read pubs & clubs – is still almost nil, although my mix of Norwegian and Swedish is getting more and more comprehensible for at least half of the Stockholm population.
But I guess that’s just the norm when you move to a new country, as the first month(s) usually tend to be the adapting one(s).
Nevertheless, I did have some true (?) Swedish experiences: for example, we did celebrate what I suppose was the kannelbollar day, which was indeed lovely. To be honest, food as been my best comfort lately, mainly because the cafeteria in our school makes the best chocolate muffins ever – ok, maybe they’re not that special, but they are HUGE and, yeah, I don’t need to get out in the cold to get them.
Not that it’s been that cold yet to be honest, although it did snow a lot – like around 40 cm in a weekend, which is apparently pretty unusual for this time of the year, or for Stockholm in general.
Fun fact: it appears that the municipality of Stockholm applied a “gender-equality” policy in regards to snow removal around the city, which means that pavements and cycle lanes get to be the first to be cleaned from fresh snow. Gotta love the Swedes.
Oh, by the way, I absolutely love Konstfack: yes, it is pretty tiresome at times, and having to do researches on site all the freaking time can drive you mad, but apart from that, I must say I’m learning a lot about co-designing and a variety of different processes and methods. Also, they have a lot of open lectures about a zillion of themes, which usually turn out to be really interesting and inspiring.
And don’t get me started on the after classes initiatives: just to mention one, in a couple of weeks there’s gonna be the so called Julmarknad ( or Christmas market) where students can sell their own designs and products in general – if you happen to come by, I’ll probably be the one greeting you at the entrance and taking care of your coat while you’re around shopping.
After months of excitement, struggle, thrill and joy, I finally made it to Stockholm and to Konstfack – an Art, Design and Craft Academy, for those of you who don’t know. One week has passed now since the school started, and I must say I’ve already gone through a series of mood swings that could do for an entire lifetime: I genuinely though my exchange year in Norway at the age of 17 had prepared me for everything, but apparently the nervousness of moving to a new country and lifestyle never fades away.
View of the Stockholm archipelago
First things first, though.
Sweden, and Stockholm in particular, is beautiful, literally breath-taking, I thought I would never see such clean water in an island-based capital, whereas it looks like it’s the norm here. Oh, and don’t get me started about the amazing nature which surrounds the whole city – truly unbelievable. I didn’t get the chance to do much sightseeing, although I did go on a boat trip around the city’s archipelago on Saturday – a MUST for anyone visiting Stockholm – but the little I saw was enough to make me fall in love with it.
As per the university experience, well, first of all I must say I was lucky enough to get a spot at the university dorms, which are just 1 minute walking away from the school – and yes, that came in handy already as I’m NOT in anyway a morning person. The university itself is unique in its own way, and truly amazed me for the freedom it leaves to its students, although probably it being essentially an art school may play a big role in this.
You are now probably wondering “How come you say to have had mood swings, since you’re now speaking so beautifully of everything?” and you’re right, I’m wondering the same, too. The thing is, even though everything is incredibly beautiful, there are just so many little things you have to adapt to in a short amount of time – new people from different backgrounds, new schedule, new flat/room, new language (more or less, in my case), etc. – that it all seems at times too complicated to manage on your own. But you will, eventually.
Better be going to sleep now, as the new week is approaching – and I’d really love to avoid having to use the dry shampoo again tomorrow morning – but I’ll keep you updated about the perks of living in the beautiful Stockholm. Hej då!