This week, I had my first lessons at the university. Did I like it? I guess so, but it’s way too early to tell you already. So you can now stop reading this blog because there is no point to all of this. Or maybe…
The first thing I noticed at university, is that it’s all very open. Open-minded, open doors and open conversations. I like that. It’s a little bit less formal, I guess. Professors here are always called with their first name. I have not remembered one since I got here, but it shows the mentality of everyone at the university, and I like it. The level of everything is probably a bit below my (high) standards, though. The level of education in The Netherlands is considered pretty high, and I have already learned a lot of the models/theories that are being presented here in the fourth year for the first time.
Rich is when…
What I like, is that this gives me a lot of time to interact with the teachers after class. I had a great talk with the strategy teacher about different strategy models and how they compared to eachother. Perspective is a very, very important thing for me in life. I think gathering a lot of perspectives on a lot of interesting things makes you a “rich” person. So that term is, there it is again, relative. Rich for me is when I have done things in my life that give me 1). The feeling that I have gained experience myself, 2). A reason to share my experience with others and 3). The feeling that I do things I love to do. That pretty much sums it up. I feel rich when I am exploring nature. I feel rich when I am having a talk with my professor about his perspective on strategy models. I feel rich when I am on my bike, running, writing articles, playing games with friends, making music, talking to interesting people, and many more things. Because all those things meet my 3 requirements of enrichment.
I don’t think it’s that hard to become a rich person. You have to ask yourself the question: What am I truly looking for in my life? And I mean, truly. Not what you have been told, not what you have learned. What are your three requirements for personal enrichment? Write them down and live by them. I am pretty sure it will make you a more happy person in the long term.
The Great Besseggen Hike
So this was the golden ticket. Many of the international students have not done anything like this, and will never be doing anything like this ever again in their long lives. The Besseggen hike is a roughly 17 km long hike that goes up and over the Veslfjellet Peak at 1,743 m. It’s a hike in the Jotunheimen National Park area which is, if there is even a word for it in the very rich (ha!) English language, breathtaking. I did this hike when I was a kid and to be back in this area was a very happy moment for me. I am glad to have joined this well-organised trip by the International Office of the Inland University.
About group trips… Not my thing. I have talked about this earlier, but this was a great example of how very well-organised activities are just not for me. We were with a large group of around 25/30 people. Many of whom were not experienced hikers. This resulted in a large amount of short breaks for water, food, pictures, Instagram posts, Instagram stories, more Instagram, Instagram and Instagram. Did I mention Instagram? I get it, sure. But it was made clear at the beginning that we had to stick together for most of the hike. I kinda ignored this rule and went for my own pace and own experience. It is very important for me that I can walk at my own pace and decide for myself when I want to take breaks for, lets say… Instagram.
A thing I was very annoyed by, was the loud music played by the French people (no hard feelings). They were carrying a bluetooth speaker and had decided that the apperently very famous French club beats had to make an entrance into the Norwegian landscape. This for me was the main reason to get as far away from the group as I could, or let the French pass me and wait a long time for the music to fade away. Music, no matter the genre or origin, is non-existent for me in a place like Besseggen. It has to be experienced while listening to the wind, the birds, the waves on the lake, your own footsteps in the dirt, grass, or on stones. Loose, like gravel? Or solid, like rock? Wet or dry grass? And what bird was that? Did you hear that? All these sounds add to the experience and should not be taken away or worse, ignored.
But keep in mind that this is just my perspective. It’s interesting to gather as many as you can and make up your own mind, a fool once said.
In the end, it all didn’t matter because… Just look at my face! That, my ladies and gentleman, is the face of a person who truly feels rich. Like I said, it’s not that hard. Just walk to the top of a 1743 m high mountain and take some pictures. No, forget about that. Look around you! Memories in your head can’t be replaced by pictures you took. Sure, a picture can set a memory in motion. But the true feeling and experience? That can’t be captured by any mankind made device. So please, put your phone away and just look around you sometimes, will you? Or do you feel that Instagram likes make you a rich person? Then, of course, there is no problem. And I mean that.
Besseggen was great and I hope that we will do more hikes with the people from Block A. We are exploring the local map as we speak to see if there are nice hikes around the area, which I’m sure there are. And you will be the first one to know about them! Or the last. Depends on the day of the week…