halfway point

Despite having very few commitments outside of classes these past few days, they have seemed like a whirlwind, sandwiched between two trips. I am so glad I had some downtime to get work done this week, get back to the gym after a little vacation, and catch my breath before leaving for a long weekend. This blog post won’t be super long, but here is a quick recap on my week in Cope.

Monday

  • In positive psychology, we had a discussion about savoring our best moments from travel week. Kamilla said that in order to reap all the possible benefits from positive experiences, we should be sure to share our feelings with others, as the process of telling someone about an event that made you happy actually has the same psychological impact as does witnessing the event itself the first time. Each person described her favorite moment from traveling the week before, and it was fun to see each person’s face light up with a happy memory.
  • I ran with Adina at sunset, and although it was colder than usual, it was nice to get outside exercise.
  • I spent most of the evening writing my blog from last week in Barcelona and in Copenhagen with Emma.

Tuesday

  • On Tuesday morning, I visited Cafe Mellem Rummet (the place I had gone for my first ever field study with my Travel Writing class) for a paper I have to write. The assignment is similar to others we have had in the past, in that I must approach a stranger with an interesting story in a place with “good reportage potential.” I ended up talking with an older woman who was volunteering there, as well as several customers who I thought may be able to contribute some details to my essay. This class is constantly putting me outside of my comfort zone in that I have to talk to strangers, especially Danish people. However, even though it may seem awkward at first, I usually leave these conversations feeling like I learned something, which may not happen as much if I kept to myself.
  • I met up with Goldie after her classes, as we were going to get manicures, but after trying three different places that were all booked for the afternoon, we gave up.
  • I worked on a Danish assignment for the rest of the afternoon. The paper is due on Monday but I don’t expect to have too much time this weekend for homework, so I’m glad I got most of it done.
  • I went with Adina and Goldie to Old Irish Pub on Tuesday night for an “American Tuesday,” and we had fun. We left on the earlier side, though, because they both had early morning field studies.

Wednesday

  • I was able to sleep in a little, which was nice. I still feel behind from last week.
  • I booked my trip to Berlin with Rachel via facetime, and then we did a workout video together. I think I have all of my flights booked now for travel this semester, which is exciting. I may decide to do one more trip at the end of April, but I would book that more last minute.
  • I had lunch with Adina and Goldie at Paleo, which is very close to my apartment. I forget about the food there and 42 Raw, and I really should go to those places more often. They are both healthy, filling, and quick restaurants with food that is entirely gluten-free.
  • I spent the rest of the afternoon getting more work done and getting ahead on starting some assignments due in a few weeks. I have a bunch of papers due immediately when I get back from my class trip, and I want to avoid having to do work while I’m traveling, as there is hardly any time for it.
  • I took the train to my host family’s house for another exceptional dinner. Pernille made lentil soup with bread, broccoli and cauliflower patties, and roasted potatoes. It was very, very good. We also drank tea and sat in the living room, and I told her and Oscar about my recent travels and experiences in Denmark. Some topics we discussed were divorce in Denmark vs. the United States and family lifestyle in both countries. I always love spending time in their house, as it is very home-y.

Thursday

  • In Positive Psychology, we had a super interesting guest lecture about the psychology of time, which is actually a class that I was super close to taking here. We learned about how we subjectively appraise time in different capacities and for different tenses, such as the past and future. We also did a survey that measured our “temporal profiles” based on how we answered a bunch of questions.
  • In my Psychology of Peak Performance class, we did a bunch of exercises in studying the theories behind concentration. They involved finding specific numbers within a grid, and we had to zone out the other distractions in the room.

Before ending this post, I also wanted to write a little reflection about my abroad experience so far, as this week officially marks the halfway point in my semester, which is crazy! On the one hand, I can’t believe how much I’ve already seen and done, it feels like I have been here for way longer than two months. On the other hand, two months sounds like a really long time, and days feel long, as I have been packing a lot in. I still have so much ahead of me.

I have been journaling a little bit about my personal goals for this semester, and I just re-read them to make sure I was following what I set out to do. Although I have a lot of learning and seeing left to do, I am so proud of everything I have already absorbed. In addition to learning about the customs of a whole new country, I have learned how to plan itineraries, book flights, and navigate my way confidently around Copenhagen. Things that seemed overwhelming and nearly impossible in the beginning have become so much easier, such as supermarket shopping. I have been trying to “go with the flow” when it comes to traveling, especially because people’s plans change last minutes with flights, and there is really very little to do about that.

I’m learning more about Denmark with each class and each day that passes, especially as I have been trying to talk to more locals and tourists about their experiences, even if it’s a quick exchange. I have been open to exploring and trying new things, sights, foods, and routines, and I have tried to vary my Tuesday and Friday schedules so that I’m never really doing the same thing each week.

I miss the comfort of my friends and family at home, but I have been so fortunate to meet amazing friends here, especially Adina (full credit to the DIS housing placement system for matching me with someone so compatible) and Goldie, who may as well be our honorary third roommate. And, I also feel lucky to be abroad during a time when keeping in touch with people at home isn’t so difficult; no one is more than a phone call or facetime away.

I leave for Dublin tonight, so I’ll update you on that when I get back.

One thought on “halfway point

  1. Hey A:)

    I’ve been following your blog. I’m so happy for you:). Love how you have found it in yourself to get every drop of learning and growth from your time there, at this halfway point. Seems like your deep dive into Positive Psych is delivering all kinds of benefits. From a professional standpoint, it’s like a Liberal Arts degree: it presents a way of looking at life that delivers unappreciated benefits that extend far beyond the academic value. Best wishes for a great 2nd half:)

    Love, Uncle Steve

    Like

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