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School

There have been some more and less subtle hints that I haven’t written in a while.
I’m of course terribly flattered that People would actually ask me to write something (I generally feel I’m just bothering everybody with insisting on writing stuff.)

My time in Munich is coming to an end, I’m leaving in a Little over two weeks, and that suddenly feels like a very very short time.

I can’t believe the Summer is almost over (my last summer break ever!).

Unfortunately, a lot of the time since I wrote has been devoted to being sick (flu in the summer is NOT fun.) but there has also been some excursions to famous Munich objects, a lot of time spent in the Englischer Garten, quite a few beers drunken, and some German grammar lessons. There has also been a surprising number of Engagements in my friend circle, which makes me feel kinda old and leftout.

I have some other Posts I’d like to write (one about German peculiarities, for example) that I hope to have up before I leave.

While I tend to be an Optimist regarding most things when it Comes to other People, I am a Doom-predictor when it Comes to myself.

Every Little sign that People might dislike me, that things will not go well, that the WORLD IS ENDING… Now, of course there are plenty of psychologically fascinating explanations for this behavior, but suffice to say that I KNOW I am a worrier and an overthinker, and I am unlikely to Change.

 

That doesn’t mean I  can’t laugh about it.

My Office here in Germany is fairly small, around 12 People, and I work in a small Team with 3 men and 1 woman. All the other People are women.

For obvious reasons, I spend most time with my Team, including having lunch with them. Which I did today as well.
Just as I finished lunch, I noticed that all the other women in the Office were Standing by the door ready to go somewhere.

Off they went, and my immediate assumption was that they were going out to lunch. Together. And no one had asked me.

 

Cue teary eyes and bitter thoughts. I stewed for a Little while, then decided “Screw them!”.
Just as I came to that realization, People started dropping back in.

Two People went to the kitchen to eat a salad they had bought.
One had bought a new shampoo and showed it off.
Another one had gone to the pharamcy.

And so on und so weiter.

Leaving me Feeling plenty of righteous Indignation all for nothing.

 

Ah well.

 

(pardon the hideous writing, writing this from the German Office Keyboard.)

“How was your second day?” asked my best friend when I messaged with her tonight.

“Good,” I said. “But I felt so useless because there are so many things that I can’t do yet because of the language issue. I want to prove that I’m a good addition to the company, and I just feel like i sit and stare now.”

And she had to remind me that it was only my second day, and that people weren’t expecting me to know everything yet.

In fact, they’ve given me no indication that they think I’m doing a bad job. In fact, they’ve been apologizing because they can’t always find me stuff to do.

It’s one of the big drawbacks to having the kind of personality I do (and probably do being a woman used to competitive environments), this constant need to prove that you’re worthy, that you’re not a hassle or wasting anyone’s time. The need to constantly perform.

I’m not saying it’s bad to do a good job. But it’s the part about reasonable expectations that’s the tricky bit.

I have successfully survived my first day at work. There has been A LOT of German (my head is spinning) but mostly, it’s been good. The boss is on vacation (;)) so people were… quite relaxed today, which was good for me.

There are about 13 people (including 2 other interns) and 2 dogs at the office, and everyone was extremely informal (which surprised me, seeing it is a German office) and friendly.
A couple of people invited me to stay and watch the Germany-Portugal game, and even though I would have prefer to go home and bury myself under some pillows, I stayed (of course!) and had a nice time and some beers.

All and all, i think I will survive the summer!

 

An extremely unpoetic post but that’s all I have the brainpower for at the moment!

Most of you know I’m not the most sociable of people when I’m busy. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the company, it’s just that I require a lot of alone time, and that I often get funks where I don’t feel like doing much of all (as you’ve experienced when I don’t answer texts for weeks on end!).

However, as it always is when a big change is approaching, I’ve been seeing a lot of the people I haven’t had time to see during term time. And as it always is, I now don’t want to leave, because I have been having such a lovely time, and am so fond of all my friends. It’s strange, that I can feel I’m so lonely and friendless (brain ghosts) during term time, and then realize how many fantastic people I have in my life already. And as soon as I realize that, I have to leave.

And I am nervous about being away. I wish I could turn my brain off, and not worry about whether I will have anyone to spend time with this summer or not, whether I manage the work, whether I remember any German or not, and any number of thoughts that invade the brain at times like these. At the same time, I know it’s normal, and that most people feel this way (and if they don’t, they’re uncommonly composed and self-assured!), but that doesn’t help when one is in the middle of freaking out.

I’ve said my last goodbye, and pack my bags and now I’m ready. I hope.

Since I’m leaving tomorrow (!) and will (hopefully (!!)) have a great time and many adventures, I’ll use this blog to keep everyone at home updated. We all know I’m terrible at answering emails, so this will hopefully convince everyone at home and in the US that I am alive and well. (which I hope I will be!) And so that my family in the US will understand, I’ll write in English.

I’m leaving tomorrow for Munich, Germany, to work there until the end of August at an HR firm, as part of a mandatory internship for my master’s degree. After that, I come home for 1-2 weeks to do a reexam before I go to Vienna, Austria, to do an exchange semester. I come home from there at Christmas, and then I have one semester left before I’m done with my masters.

To days to come, then!

 

I’m currently in Riga working on a two-week consulting project in course on creating international firms.

Here’s what I’ve observed so far:

– There are surprisingly many dads with prams walking around.

– Dogs, however, are scarce.

– Food (everything) is incredibly for a Swede and we’ve been eating out almost every night.

– The scars of the Soviet occupation seem to have faded very little in the 20+ years since the independence.

– People in service jobs tend to be extremely service-minded.

– Most companies have absolutely no idea what they’re doing.

– The Ukraine situation worries the Lats.

– Buildings are a mix of incredibly worn houses and remarkable historical buildings.

– We are a curiosity at our office and people constantly poke their heads in to say hi.

– Skirts are much longer here than in Sweden and my Swedish-length ones have been slightly conspicuous.

– Programmers are and look the same in any country.

Deadline and final presentation is on Friday, so back to work.

 

 

I go back to school in 16 days (if I pass my accounting exam, knock on wood.)

Or rather, I start school in 16 days. I’m done with my bachelor’s degree and am starting my master’s. I do intend to write a longer post later, to sum up my first four years at SSE, but I do need to study some more before that.

It feels strange to start though (and to go back.) It’s been a very tough couple of years and sometimes I wonder what I’ve learned, really. Did I accomplish everything I though I would when I started college?
(Nope.)

At the same time, it’s exciting. The thought of new challenges. Travels. New people. It’s also a comfort to know not everything will be new, there are people I know, I know the buildings, where to eat lunch, all those things that take up energy if you don’t know them.

The program I will attend is a completely new one. We don’t know how it’s going to be. While SSE is lovely in many ways, administration isn’t always great and we’ve yet to see if they’ve managed to do well for once. I hope so, because we’re so excited to start.

I had a talk with my friend Sara today, a fellow student at SSE, and we talked a bit about being teenagers.

I’m sure all of you remember it. And i’m sure most of you aren’t eager to repeat the experience.

I don’t remember life as being terribly hard when I was 12-18, but I know there were so many things that upset me, so many hours spent discussing trivial things that don’t matter know. Even when I was slightly older and living in the US, almost all of our time was spent with drama. Who’s friends with who, I’ve got a crush on him, he doesn’t like me…

And I can objectively say, my life is much harder today. I work much more, I have so much more complicated things to think about… My future, my family, my friends… And yet, life is so much easier now, at 23 than it was at 17.

Things like going on holiday somewhere new was daunting at 17. At 23, I’m nervous but I know I can handle pretty much anything that may happen. I’m so much better equipped to handle whatever life throws at me.

No matter that SSE is so much harder than high school, that it matters much more and that it’s so intense compared to everything else. I can handle it all in a different way. Even though an outsider would say there’s so much more against me today, it doesn’t feel that way.

I guess that’sn why they tell you life gets better when you grow up. And why I, no matter how much “easier” being 17 was, never want to have to do it again.

I’m back from London and have had a beautiful time (it’s impossible to not have a good time in such a city! ) but I wanna make a quick post about something else first.

The Stockholm School of Economics, or rather the student association, SASSE, is entering a special time of the year. Not the holiday season, but the election season.

Every year, we elect the new association board, the student council and some other positions, after a month or so of campaigns. Since the student association has so much power, both over education and entertainment, this is an essential process and a lot of fun.

It’s not all fun, though, at least not in my opinion. A tradition we have is the hecklings, where candidates are questioned on stage about their candidacy, personality and so on. While it’s a good way to get an impression of a person, it’s very biased towards charismatic people who are funny on stage, which doesn’t necessarily mean one is better suited for a position.

I also have an issue with the public humiliation aspect of it. Hecklers’ duty are to be funny and illuminating, but there are definitively instances where it has gone too far. And suddenly, it’s not funny anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I love hecklings, perhaps a bit hypocritical of me, but sometimes I leave them with a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.