Letters From Exchange: The One Where I’m Done With Classes

I still have one final exam and two final papers, but as of today I am officially done with lectures in Norway. Once those finals are done I’ll be 75% done with my bachelor’s degree. Wow.

Three years can sure go by faster than you’d expect. I suppose it hasn’t helped that I’ve been moving around a substantial amount in the last three years either, and I don’t intend on slowing that down. On the contrary, I’ll be back to California for two months in the summer, then to Vancouver for one more year, and then off to any of a variety of places. I don’t even know the next time I’ll live in one place for more than a year, and I’ve been saying that for a year as it is.

This temporary lifestyle is a strange one. I don’t know how easily a more extroverted person could handle it, though I do sometimes think they’d be better at it than I am. It’s a bit of a toss up really: they’d be better at meeting new people and taking advantage of their time, but I’m better at the solitary moments and the goodbyes.

Right now I’d say I have three best friends in the world: one in California, one in Canada, and one here in Oslo. I don’t talk to all of them as often as I should, since I’m horrible at keeping in touch with people and all of us have pretty busy lives (well, besides me that is). I’d still call them all my best friends though, and I never worry about not seeing them in particular again. All of us want to move to other countries, but I know we’ll find a way to see each other, I’m just not sure how long that will last.

The idea that my lifestyle is a temporary one in each place, combined with my naturally introverted nature, means that I don’t make much of an effort to make friends anymore, and I worry about that. I want to make friends, because otherwise I won’t be fully appreciating the places I travel to. When I first came to Norway, I hardly tried. There was a buddy group orientation for new students, and I found one girl in that group to cling to as my new best friend, and she still is just that. Now I have a larger group of good friends, and I do really appreciate them, even if I’ll likely never see them again. I just have to keep reminding myself of that: friends are worth the effort, friends are so, so important.

If you reading this are also inclined towards the nomadic lifestyle, I encourage you to think of the whole friendship situation the way I’m encouraging myself to think of it as I move forward: I now have friends all over the world, and what could be better than that? Even if we fall out of communication, I’ll have known these lovely people who could go on to do incredible things, and if I’m in need of a place to stay or a connecting for a job or just someone to talk to, they’re there in so many places, I could hardly go anywhere wrong.

If you’re a student and still have exams left, I wish you all the best on them. As one of my friends from Canada once told me: “beat that test to a pulp and drink it like orange juice.” 

Okay, a little weird, but then again, I’m a little weird. And if you’re done with exams, enjoy your summer, and try to make the most of it. x

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