Exactly one year ago today I was hopping on a plane that took me on a life-changing experience in Jönköping, Sweden (stick around the blog to read more about it soon).
This past week on social media, I have seen similar nostalgic posts flourishing from my fellow friends from Jönköping starting with “One year ago…”.
Before you leave they warn you that you will not be the same when you come back – and then you think it’s a sh*tload of nonsense. You think you’re prepared and you will go around have fun and come back, and everything will be the same. But it never is, because during that time you grew so much.
In these posts I read, I always encounter the same “breath-taking”, “life-changing”, kind of vocabulary. And then I thought about what my “one year ago” post should look like and who I would like to thank then. Was it the University? The place? The people I met? All of it?
For sure the experience was indeed life-changing thanks to the people I met: so much openness, so many cultures from all over the world, so many spirits eager to experience something new, no-strings attached! It had to be amazing.
And eventhough the place wasn’t anything specific (well actually it was – see below) it had a different taste thanks to what was going on when I arrived back then on August 13th 2015: the free wifi in the streets, the sun shining on the lake, the fun days of Kick-Off week. Everything was new, and therefore looked so good to us.
I really wanted to start my blog then, with a fresh mind and fresh surroundings. Unfortunately (or not), I couldn’t: there were so many things to do and experience, all that buzzing around just restrained me from sitting at my desk and telling the world wide web about my day. I guess one year later, the dust as settled and I can tell you all I remember from this trip. Which led me to wonder what I actually remember from these months: did I forget about the horrible weekends spent craming to finish group projects on time or reading academic articles instead of visiting Stockholm because that paper was due the next Monday? I guess not but it was all part of the picture. Despite that, we would not have changed it for the world.
What sounds crazy to me is that everyone had an amazing experience but still so different from one another. I’d like to ask my fellow JU colleagues to tell me this: if they had to write that same article, what would they way? I am really curious. I did not myself suffer from the so called Post-Erasmus Depression for many reasons but I understand some people do, because what are you suppose to do when all of this fun ends?
It’s like that big summer camp you never come back from!
The post-Erasmus life
Top 7 things that stick, one year later
1) Kanelbulle cravings
2) A green overall at the back of my wardrobe
3) An astonishing open-mindness
4) The wish to learn new languages
5) A more European feeling (I guess?)
6) Many international friends and acquaintances whose life you keep up with on social media
7) Enough memories for a lifetime…
8) … but still the urge to travel the world & discover other cultures