"Try skipping a party or two!"

I've been living in Sweden for six months now. HALF A YEAR!

Thinking back to things I did in August, it feels like so much longer ago than six months. What an amazing time it has been.

On this anniversary, instead of some sort of sentimental review, which I think I give you more than enough of from time to time, I thought I would take the opportunity to shed some light on my day to day life here for those of you not living life by my side currently. Some friends and family at home are not quite sure what I'm up to. "What's the name of your degree? Are you even studying? Is this the craziest time of your life?" and this one from my dear, loving and hilarious Grandma, a comment on my wall in regards to a status update about not being able to sleep..."Try skipping a party or two!" Haha!

I am in fact studying. Craziest time in my life? Tough to say, don't know if you noticed but that last year in SB was insane. I do some crazy things here (and honestly I think the craziest are yet to come, we are going to lose our minds when Spring hits) but sometimes life is much more calm and intellectual than it's been in a long time.

My program is in the department of Business Administration, and is a track called Managing People, Knowledge and Change. We study organizational theory, strategy, HR, leadership, and business identity & culture. As a full-time student, we are expected to have up to 40 hours of work a week. Don't ask me how many hours I study, I don't think that way. It's never enough though.

As for daily life, these first two weeks of February have covered the span of regular life happening for me both overall and in Lund. Here is a peek...

On Mondays and Tuesdays I go to class for a couple hours or more, and then stay at the Economics library called Alfa for several hours to get some reading done. One of these recent Tuesdays there was a climbing wall outside of our department, brought in for promoting an upcoming career fair. Julia and I scampered up to the top (in absolutely freezing weather) pretty fast and high-fived at the top. I told my friend Adam to try his best to not take an unflattering photo, but he paid me no attention, however at least we have proof of our feat:

On Wednesdays and Thursdays after more class and studying, there is sometimes something a little more social going on in the evenings, like dinner out at a nation or maybe a theme party, but the last two weeks have been a bit quieter during weeknights. We have two classes making up our full time studies right now but we're also expected to be getting our theses underway, plus it's the season to start applying for jobs, so there is lots to do.

This past Friday I went to a birthday party for a classmate... turning 25 in Sweden is a big deal, a party is a must. We ended the night at T Bar, smashed between everyone, fighting to hang on to our friends, but mostly laughing, per usual. Hit up McDonalds afterwards for a 3 am snack along with everyone else, per usual.

fab four...

me, the hostess, and the birthday girl...

The Friday before that I went to a fantastic formal dinner event, put on for those of us on staff for this upcoming career fair. Everything was all paid for, from the pre-party drinks to the dinner to the after-party drinks...we stood on our chairs in our suits and dresses, singing and waving napkins to the remixes from the DJ, and sang snapsvisor and then after dinner danced for hours. A Swedish "sittning" at its very best.

The last two Saturdays have been spent with a handful of girls at our apartments, each of us taking a turn to make dinner. We have a glass of wine and talk and eat leisurely for hours, cozily insulating ourselves from the icy nights outside. We talk about jobs, boys, our families, funny stories from growing up, politics, the future... It will never cease to amaze how universal some things are, whether you grow up in Kentucky, San Francisco, Berlin, or Stockholm. And the differences are fascinating.

my turn to host...

fun with spoons...

Last Sunday I went to my nation to watch the Superbowl (from 12-4 am!)with Julia and the guys that live on her floor there. How delightful for me that some Swedes watch this favorite event of mine, and I was very impressed with their knowledge of American football and the latest stats. They even hung up an American flag on the wall and secured some Budweiser beer for the occasion. Swedes are amazing at setting the scene. By the way, I'd wanted to share my favorite commercial from this year but our broadcast didn't show the American commercials, but I thought I'd still share my favorites from the last two years when I brought Swedes to Superbowl parties in California...

2009 This one surprised everyone and all eyes were on my Swedish friends by the end frame...

2010 I froze when this one for Google came on, and having had just turned in my Swedish grad school apps days before, knew so well how many Google searches go into changing a life...It is actually my favorite commercial of all time.

This Sunday I went to Josefin's place in Malmö for homemade soup and bread. She is one of my first Swedish friends, for over two years now, and I am so lucky to have her nearby, our talks are some of the best.

And while all of this was going on, life was going on for you all back at home as well. My mom and stepdad are visiting my brother before his birthday. My sister is pressing on with her graduate school studies. My dad started a new job. One of my best friends from Santa Barbara became a mom to a healthy baby boy last week. And last night, my best friend from high school who also went to college with me, got engaged.

So while I continue to spend my days coming up with ethnographic research methodology plans and reading business cases about culture change at the U.N., I will also probably not be skipping too many parties. Because I have no idea what life will hold in another six months from now... let's get the craziness in while I can! I know I have my grandma's approval on that!


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