I don’t know where the week and a half have gone since the last time I wrote, but here I find myself at the end of one of my less favourite parts of my year...school.
I remember sitting in my classroom back in September and looking at my day planner and counting how many school weeks I had left. Seven weeks until fall break, I told myself, and then only ten until Christmas, you can make it until Christmas! And now here I am… I did what at times I thought I wouldn’t be able to… I survived a year at a Danish gymnasium. Okay, maybe survived is a little dramatic, but it was a lot harder than I had thought. And maybe I didn’t make any lifelong best friends, but sitting here looking back on the past ten months and everything that has happened, I realize that I did meet a lot of really nice people, and I got to walk a mile in their shoes and see what it is like to be a teenager in Denmark.
It’s really easy to sit here and feel sorry for myself and think, ‘Oh poor me, it was so hard, no one wanted to be my friend, it was such a waste of time!’ But what would that accomplish? As much as I love to whine, I know it would only make me feel bad.
So I am making the decision to look back and think about the GOOD things that have happened school wise this year.
All of the school parties of course:
Introfest and Gala were my favourite parties. Introfest was my first glimpse of how crazy Danish teenagers are. I warmed up with some girls in my class, and her mom drove us to the school and were sitting in the back seat drinking, and her mom didn’t care at all. And then of course how the school sold alcohol. It was so crazy, and totally not a night I’ll soon forget. And Gala was a great chance to bond with my class, we all ate dinner together and did class awards and it was a really nice chance to get to know everyone. The other parties were all great too, but those two really stood out.
Field trips: I didn’t go on a lot of field trips, but the ones I did go on were so great. In Canada to go on a field trip you need your parents to sign like nine hundred forms, but in Denmark, you need nothing. Teenagers here are completely treated like adults, and pretty much the teachers just told us where to meet and when, and that was it. I love having independence, and having the teachers trust us that much.
Independence: It took me a while to get used to it, but I have learnt to love the amount of independence we are given in the Danish school system. If you aren’t in class, no one calls home. It’s your job to be in school, not your teachers or parents’ job to make sure you get there. And there aren’t morning announcements or anything; it’s up to you to know what is going on and to be on top of things. In the Danish gymnasium you are basically treated as an adult, and I love that.
STUDY TOUR! In the 2nd year of gymnasium you get to go on a trip with your class to somewhere in Europe, Asia or North America. My class went to Istanbul, and like I’ve said before, it was amazing! I love how Danes are so close to the rest of the Europe, and how easily they can travel. I don’t think they know how lucky they are, but I’m so glad that I was able to participate on the trip and see a different part of Europe.
Overall though, looking back on everything, even though it didn’t go perfect, I’m really content, and I feel like that’s a good place to be. No regrets, no resentments, no whines. I learnt a lot about Denmark, Danes and of course myself. I got to see a lot of amazing things and meet a lot of really cool people, and at the end of the day I’ve had an amazing experience, and I really can’t complain.
My last day of school went really well. I baked Nestle chocolate chip cookies for my class, and brought them a whole bunch of Canada goodies and got them to all sign my flag, and I feel like it was a really nice ending to the year.
(Some of the kids in my class writing on my flag)
(Me and some of the girls in my class)
(My class! 1.w!)
And now that chapter of my exchange is over, and I’m moving onto the part of the year that I have been looking forward to the most: EUROTOUR!!! We leave tomorrow and our first stop is Berlin, and then Prague and then I think Venice. After that I’m not totally sure where we head onto next, but I know it will be amazing!!
I hope everyone is doing well, and I will update with a big post when I get home!
Lots of Love,
(In case anyone cares what my room looks like. I was packing for eurotour, and figured I would start getting stuff ready for home. This is barely half of my stuff. Packing for home is going to be impossible.)