Another week has passed, wow… Time seems like a relative thing here while it actually is everything but relative. Or is it? This week was my introduction week at the university. Saw and did a lot of things, so let’s take a brief look at some of those things.
Parties… I mean: Parties!
Alright, so… I’m not going to lie, parties in general are not really my thing. They usually involve:
- Music (The kind I don’t really like)
- Drinks (The kind I don’t really like)
- A lot of people (The kind I don’t really like)
I associate a general party with bad (I know that’s a relative term, so please read: “Not my kind of”), way too loud music, a lot of beer or alcohol in general (because that’s what we all do and love, right? … Right?) and a lot of people in a small area that all think they have something to prove, or are forced to prove something to others by others, who feel like they have to prove something to the people who don’t feel like proving anything.
But that’s just my boring stereotypical self. In reality, a party with music, alcohol and people can be pretty fun 😀 I live in the Smestad Student Building, Block A. It happens that on the floor where I live (The already famous “4th Floor”) parties are being held almost every night. At first I was sceptical, but even I have to socialize, right? Actually I don’t have to do anything, but I just felt like checking it out. And you know what? The parties were all great!
And I think I found the difference that is essential for (in my opinion) a good party. The mindset of people here is actually different from the one I’m used to. I have not touched a bottle of beer, or a glass of wine for about 9 months now. Sure, I like my whiskey from time to time. But beer or wine in general is just a no go for me. When my Spanish friend Nico offered me a beer on the first party, and I kindly rejected, he respected that and said he appreciated that I did not drink beer. Now, my whole block knows I am not drinking beer, so they won’t offer it to me anymore. And they all completely respect me for it. There is no “Ah, come on. Just drink one. Just blend in with us who seem to be the self-proclaimed normal standard at parties like this”. Because that’s what I tend to experience back home. Remember, these are the same 18 to 24 year old students that really like to get drunk from time to time. Or everyday, when they get the chance. But the mindset just differs from what I am used to.
This doesn’t only go for beer, but for other topics as well. People are very open-minded and are looking for more than just one perspective on the world. I very much like this because I feel like 1). I can learn a lot of new things by just listening to new people and 2). I have a lot to offer to these very same new people. This for me is what makes life interesting and what should be at least one of everyones hobbies. Just talk and listen. And I mean really talk, and really listen. When you talk, offer something usefull for someone else. When you listen, try to take a new perspective on life with you.
So I had a very good time going to every single party on the 4th floor, getting to know a lot of new people and talking about many (and I mean many) different subjects. In the beginning of the week, I did attent most of the organized activities, but on Friday I was done with that so I just went hiking/running/cycling on my own or with friends, or joined our own parties. Organized group activities, how well organized they may be, give me the feeling that I am constantly being held back from what I like to do most: explore, get off the track, forget time and just go with my own flow.
I mean, I’m probably never going to be a world-traveler. That’s not what I would like to do, or what I would see myself doing. But when I am in a country like Norway, or in nature in general, I just like to explore. Search for the unseen, walk the unwalked path. I try to forget the rational, calculating person in me and I try not to calculate for once. Normally, my planning is the holy grail of life. Structure is what I need in my day to day activities. Sure, I like my days off with nothing planned so I can do something with friends or family that I didn’t plan. But you showing up at my doorstep without any notice or prior warning, trying to be funny or kind or something? No way!
All jokes aside, in nature, I want to do everything but calculate. Point A and point B, sure. Time of leave and time of arrival? Yes please! But a strict route that I should follow, or paths I should walk? Nah-ah! Nature has so many beautiful things to offer, and I learn that lesson every day here in Norway. Today, I went for a run. I only knew that I wanted to run, but where to, and for how long? No idea… I just ran for 45 minutes exploring the beautiful area behind my Semstad Block A where I didn’t go yet. The view was amazing and I discovered a lot of roads I want to do on bike as well.
Everyday here in Norway, I realize how much I value nature. And how empty and small my home country feels. The Netherlands absolutely has beautiful nature and I like to walk, run and bike there for many hours. But compared to this… It’s just another dimension. The landscape is so wide, small rivers and lakes are everywhere to be found. Wherever you look, there is something beautiful only created by nature itself. That to me is truly touching.
So now that I did a lot of exploring, and went to a lot of parties, it’s actually time for me to do something usefull. My first lessons start on Tuesday, the 20th of August. I will go to university about 2/3 times a week, and study at home for the rest of the days. I think it will be a very fun experience and I can’t wait to update all of you on my first actuall lessons!