August 12 2014, sometime around 9pm. Arrivals at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm. While pushing over 70kg of luggage, my eyes excitedly look for my uncle, as they usually do when I know I will see him. Several emotional moments and tight hugs later (mandatory in emotional situations), my uncle, my cousin Denny and I continue towards the car on a chilly August night.
Driving towards the city, I can barely contain my excitement.
It wasn’t my first time in Sweden.
It wasn’t my first time in Stockholm.
It most definitely wasn’t my first time hearing Swedish all around me.
Regardless of my familiarity with Sweden and all things Swedish through my uncle, his family and my Swedish friends, this particular night brought up a whole new level of emotions that made me see Sweden in another light.
I had moved to Sweden. And I had a lot of luggage and a residence permit to show for it.
Sweden was going to be my home from that moment onwards for two full years. 2 years! It felt like an eternity. But it felt like a good eternity.
It was only a few days later that I had gone to Lund and settled into this cozy, Oxbridge-like student city.
Fast-forward a few months, and you can see me studying for my first take-home exam. The first test, the first chance for me to prove myself worthy of the prestigious programme I got admitted to. No pressure, eh.
And now… One dark, cold winter later…
June 6 2015, noon. Juridicum, Lund.
My class is leaving the final exam and standing in the sunlight, discussing how fast this year went by. And it flew by, really.
We can’t believe the year is over and that most of us will be flying home soon to spend the summer with our families and friends.
It has always been curious to me – the way we perceive time. What lies ahead of us always feels like it will be a long way, a long struggling challenge. And on the other hand, once it’s behind us, it feels like we didn’t use the time well enough, like we didn’t attend enough parties, studied enough… And that it simply went by way too fast and we didn’t enjoy it enough.
However, when I look back at the first year of my LL.M., I am quite happy with it. I have learned and grown so much. I have met so many intelligent, wonderful people I now call friends. I survived the darkest November in Sweden’s history and I made fika and Kalle’s kaviar a part of my daily routine. The only thing that makes me a tad sad is that some of my good friends are graduating and leaving Lund for good now.
I know I have a nerd reputation, so I will just confirm it: I already cannot wait for September and the start of a new semester.