Honey, I’m Home

honey im home2

Georgia on my mind.


Listen & Read (songs I’ve been listening to since I’ve been back)

“instagram” — DEAN

“All I Wanna Do” — Jay Park

“Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” — KYLE


Continue reading “Honey, I’m Home”

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Honey, I’m Home

Swiss Swiss Bish

swiss swiss


Listen & Read (songs i’ve added since being an exchange student):

Spice Girl – Amine

A Head Full of Dreams – Coldplay

Pink + White – Frank Ocean


It’s been a while. I’ve been… ya know, abroad. Kind of ashamed to be posting so random and late, because I had big plans to post a lot on here and Youtube. However, I’m in class right now and I feel inspired to write, so here I go (ignore the fact that I’m not paying attention to what’s going on in class)!

I wanna tell you about how life is going so far being an introvert abroad in Switzerland. Maybe it’ll just be entertaining, and maybe it’ll give you a bit of perspective of the realities of studying abroad if you ever thought about it.

It all started Saturday, September 2, and from Saturday – Saturday it was kind of like a dream. There were small setbacks, like how I didn’t have wifi until that Monday, but majority of the time was literally a fairytale in my head when I look back on it. I was picked up at the airport by my friend, Sarah, who studied abroad at my school two semesters before. I spent the whole day with her, in her town, meeting her friends and family and walking around this town festival. Then, she drove me to the station and there I was, at about 8:30 PM, on my first Swiss train alone, back to a place I had only seen maybe twice that day– to put my luggage down and to put my groceries in the fridge. From there I took a tram, and it was pouring rain. Two girls shared a seat, talking in Swiss-German so I couldn’t even pick up one word. I switched between looking at their outfits and watching the screen on the tram switch to the “nächste Halt”– I had sixteen stops. The next day I did a whole bunch of nothing, and the day after that started a two week long German language course. That day, September 4th, was the start of everything. I often forget I was actually in Switzerland two days before, because from that day I felt like I was shoved off of a cliff into true blue waters. I met my friends then, I met the guy that took over my entire life for the next four months, I traveled all around Switzerland with these people, partied with them, all in the first one week. Of course, swiss swiss1nothing lasts forever, I had to wake up from the dream at one point or another. That was really dramatic, actually. I’m still loving Switzerland and stuff, but what I’m simply saying is it just wasn’t the same! It’s always fun when everyone is nice and polite and no one has classes yet because everyone is new and everyone sticks together.

Learned, Learning, Learn 

  1. First of all, I learned that taking the train and getting around the city isn’t as scary and confusing as I thought. Worst comes to worst, I find a bus or a tram that takes me back to the main train station, which is like the GO→ spot on Monopoly– very familiar. And trains are so easy to take, even if it’s not in your language, and especially if they have an app connected with the train service to help. I had two internships last summer, one of them requiring me to take the train at home. I think if I didn’t have to do this over the summer, I would not be prepared for taking trains. My train service only goes in four directions, so it’s quite easy compared to the Swiss one or the fact that the Swiss one is connected to every European country, but it allowed me to travel alone via a train and get a feel for it.
  2. I learned that falafels are the reason why I live, simply. I tried a falafel once from wholefoods and it was cold and gross. Then I come to Switzerland and I try it again, in those ciabatta breads. Changed my life.
  3. I learned that you can’t go on study abroad without asking for help, especially when you don’t have internet on your phone. I’m not used to just simply going up to someone and asking where something is. You can’t get what you want if you don’t ask, and back in America I was accustomed to taking that risk and just not getting what I want. I would find an alternate way to get something that involves talking to literally no one. It took longer and probably didn’t work out. Now I just straight up start talking to them in English, getting straight to the point, without even asking if they speak it (which I should start asking because I have had a few times where they actually don’t speak English and I surely don’t know swiss-german).
  4. I learned that Switzerland is definitely a dog country, and I’m here for it.
  5. I learned that I would rather stick with people I didn’t mesh well with over finding new friends or being alone. This is really where a new version of me presented itself. Back home, if I didn’t enjoy my time around someone, I would stop spending my time around them. I don’t need to be around them, and I certainly don’t want to. Here, the first group that I find, I stuck to. The idea of putting in energy on new people makes me literally feel weak. And being alone while abroad is just not an option that I want to ……. do. Like i would just rather do anything but that. This was detrimental to my experience, because although we had good times together, I went places I didn’t want to go, I did things I didn’t want to do, I didn’t speak my mind in fear that I would lose them, I let them be rude to me, all because I didn’t want any other friends or to be alone.
  6. I learned that I will literally pay whatever price for a bag of pistachios and a bottle of orange juice.
  7. Going off of that, I learned that Switzerland is way more expensive than I thought. You really have to have your money right if you have the nerve to come here and not get a job. A normal, pint size of Ben and Jerry’s, that’s already too much money in America, if 15 CHF ($15). I’ll see you later. Actually, I’m buying it because I want ice cream and THEN i’ll see you later (then i will regret it because ice cream is never worth fifteen whole dollars wtf).

 

Best B) Moments & Worst W) Moments

swiss swiss4B) Lia’s Visit: Coldplay, Snow, Burger King Veggie Burger 

B) Trip to Italy: pizza and haunted Airbnb

W) Trying to get to Milan: midnight on the border of Switzerland and Italy

B) Sarah meeting me as I got off the plane

W) SWAT team barging in my building at 2:00 AM… long story

B) Boat ride in Malta

 

Party Foul

Do you wanna know how many times we got in trouble for throwing parties in our buildings? I wish I could tell you, but there are too may to count, so… ya know. It got to the point where friends were evicted and then unevicted, doors broken, paint on the wall, pictures of us through a window put on a warning poster, police called… We were just having fun. Eventually, we had no more places to pregame. Getting in trouble for almost every party we had really opened my eyes. I realized that without partying, I really have no more petty excuses to hang out with people that I don’t vibe with. swiss swiss5Although there were some people that I really liked, as a whole I just ran out of cards to play to the friends back home that consistently told me to get away from those people! No more parties? No more beers and boxed wine not bought by me?….. Well.

Speaking of Friends

If I were to list the aspect of studying abroad it would be this– traveling, drinking, learning, and making friends. Friends that will last with me forever? Hopefully, but unlikely. That’s how I felt going into this experience. I chatted with a few people through the study abroad Facebook group, so i felt comfortable that i was gonna have at least a few friends that i can be close with. Now, when I look back on it, I got closest with two people– Lia and Lydia. Both go to my school back in America. Both studying abroad away from me. Who was to think that during this experience, with all of the new situations, languages, and people thrown at me, I would bond with people I already know? Lia and I didn’t talk everyday, but we are studying abroad in bordering countries, and it was that kind of thing where you hope it won’t be awkward when she visits since you aren’t close, but then by the last day you don’t want her to leave, and the next month I was visiting her. Lydia and I talked on the phone literally almost every day, multiple times a day (because I would be getting on the train so i would have to hang up or i would lose wifi in my room). It went from a “can i call you because it’s too long to text” to a simply “are you busy” because I just wanted to talk. It was crazy cool to have Lia see and meet in person everyone i loved and didn’t, and I told Lydia everything everyday in immense detail so she might as well have been there too. Both of them are also studying abroad next semester, just like me, so i can’t wait for more visits and phone calls. They both made me feel extremely sane.

My first semester studying abroad was not perfect. In fact, it encompassed more tears and drama than i had packed in my luggage ready to handle. But I do recall this, although small and seemingly meaningless. I made a wish to my friend before I took off for Switzerland. I reminded her about that time I stayed with her at her university. It was a Friday night, so everyone was going out. Practically the entire population of the school, because it was as small as mine. I remember feeling like I had on moon shoes or swiss swiss6something, jumping around from one spot to the other rather than walking. The peach vodka and sprite could have had something to do with it. Her and I were holding hands and we all ran onto the bus to get to the party. Everyone was singing and yelling and complimenting each other. Taking pictures and sitting on laps and squeezing into seats meant for two. And when I reminded her of this moment, that sense of naïve purity that tasted like lemonade with too much sugar and felt like leggings after a long day of rough jeans. I told her I wished for that. Those 30 minutes of young bliss where there was unity and happiness. And through it all, the tears and drama and France and smiroff and the n-word and trains and falafels and euros and francs and bickering and napping and beaches and blood, I got my wish. Picture me, in my one party dress that i own and tights, holding hands with the person i was closest with the most on this trip. We walk in the dry, cold night two minutes to the station with a group of about fifteen. I jump up and down energetically to conserve heat, and it also makes me hyper enough to join the group as we run on the train. Picture me, eyes half shut from the wine, talking to an Australian about American rap artists. There’s three dutch people scream-singing songs i never heard and will probably never heard again. I tell these people that I barely know that I love them. They don’t say it back but I don’t care. I rest my head on the train seat and smile. I feel good.

I wish I could hold onto this memory forever. Like I said, this wasn’t a group that I fit well in, but the good memories I had with them I hope I will never forget. I recall when Lia came to visit. It was my first time I got to really sit face to face with someone and just word vomit. Tell her every situation, every good and bad moment from this trip, everything I felt. I took a breath and realized, I am not happy. Instagram is a fool. I’m lonely and I never speak up. But through that revelation, I had another one. Chris Martin, from Coldplay was in an interview about one of his albums, Ghost Stories, and the interviewer described it as sad but hopeful and he agreed totally. That’s kind of how I feel. I looked to her, as we both walked down a city I now claim as mine, getting hit with hail after it was just muddy with rain, and I said I’m sad, but I’m hopeful. I’ve learned so much. I’ve had frustrations, but I’ve also had moments where my legs burned fromswiss swiss2 dancing so heard to good music with the people around me. I’ve learned things about me that I want to keep and I want to change. I’m hopeful that I’ll look back on this experience and only see the purest of happy memories, and I’m hopeful that next semester will be better.

Sorry it took me so long to post this. I was just living life I guess,

Kennedy

P.S. this took a strange, dark turn, but …. yeah that’s all i have to say

 

Swiss Swiss Bish

An Announcement

So a couple of weeks ago I was accepted to study abroad in Switzerland! I’ll be going for an academic year, so I’ll leave around the beginning of September 2017 and come back around the end of May 2018!

Kennedy's pictures 009

I’ll be studying art history and German. I have so many friends studying abroad in Europe during the same time so I’m glad to not be completely alone while also having my space (none of them are studying in Switzerland with me, but they are all close). I can’t wait to explore, and do so many new things, and redo the old things!

I don’t know what that means for this blog, but hopefully I’ll be updating it. I honestly want to do vlogs for it. I said I would do vlogs for my first year of college, but if you look back you will see I only did orientation week and first day and then I disappear until it’s the last day of classes.

Does anyone have any study abroad tips? I don’t usually get on Pinterest, but I have created a Switzerland board. Can’t wait to be back (I say as I type with a straight face and dead eyes)!

If you want to see what I got up to the last time I was in Europe, here is a blog post where I took excerpts from my journal. And here is a post about me comparing it to the two other big trips I took in the last three years.

Ken

An Announcement

Exclusive Interview with 2018 Me

iroh

So I wanted to do this through a video and post it on Youtube, but my whole family is at home right now and in close vicinity, so I’ll quietly post it on a platform that I actually tell people about. I have a few questions for my 2018 me, that I’ll put a reminder in my email to do another post answering these said questions. Continue reading “Exclusive Interview with 2018 Me”

Exclusive Interview with 2018 Me