Changing directions/exploring new prospects
In many aspects, I seem to stand on a crossroad. The time in Stockholm that lies ahead of me is roughly equal to the time of my stay which has already passed. It is a moment to explore lots of new things and I am very excited about that. I love change and I like things new. It keeps people active and fresh, I think.
When I wrote my latest blogpost about two weeks ago, my friend Lauren from England had just arrived. Not having seen her for five months – she travelled a lot this summer – it was great spending time with her! As both of us are art lovers, I got some new museums in Stockholm to check off my museum-list (which is by the way no actual list, it only exists in my head – and I still manage to lose it every now and then).
We also participated in something which was called The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment. The project originates in Perth, Australia, with the aim to fight the decrease of human interaction in big cities especially. The concept is really simple: people are challenged to sit down and just share one minute of eye contact with ‘strangers.’ Stockholm also participated and as a result I found myself sharing important, intense and most of all inspiring minutes with a variety of people: Swedes and non-Swedes, children and youngsters, adults and people the age of my grandparents. It was without doubt one of the most rewarding things I have ever done! Some people liked having a little chat after we were done ‘staring’ and one woman even had tears in her eyes! Afterwards, Lauren and I and some other people we met at the experiment went out for pizza.
A couple of days later, Lauren left and I made my way to the ferry terminal. Six other students and I from Södertörns Högskola joined the ESN trip to Saint Petersburg, Russia! Since I heard about the trip for the first time I have been extremely looking forward to it :-). And it was great! We visited the State Hermitage Museum; saw a mesmerising ballet performance of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’ and explored the city by ourselves too. The cultural difference with Europe was bigger than I expected; I was impressed and I fell in love with the city. I don’t feel like I completely grasped its essence – three days are too short for that – but its people and lifestyle still left their mark.
Did you know that Saint Petersburg is made up out of several main avenues, which are called ‘prospekts’? Hence the title of this blogpost – it is said that these prospekts function as perspective lines in the composition of the city, leading into certain vanishing points, like in a photograph. I really like that the city is constructed in such a thoughtful way.
The entire trip included two stop-overs in Helsinki, so we had some time to explore Finland’s capital as well. When we stopped in Helsinki on the way back to Stockholm, I even randomly met up with two friends, one of whom was – who else could it be – our all-time traveller Lauren.
Once back in Stockholm, I had a meeting with Johan Häggqvist, which Stockholm Academic Forum kindly arranged for me in order to become more accustomed to the working field and get an overall idea of what it is like working in the communication business (something I am potentially interested in). We talked about my future and it was great getting some more insight and handy tips!
Finally, I am close to finishing the media course here at Södertörn University. We are now working on a final group project which includes the launch of a (fictional) campaign, an interactive website, posters and flyers, and a TV-commercial!
This course has been very exciting, but I am also looking forward to starting my new course next week, which is part of the Gender studies programme. It is called ‘Sexualitet, kropp och estetik’ (Sexuality, body and aesthetics) and YES it is taught in Swedish. It is the first time I am going to follow a course in Swedish, so to be frank I am getting quite cold feet by now. However, I did talk with the course’s supervisor, and together we decided that I should be able to catch up.
I am keeping my fingers crossed! :-)