I still can't believe this place. I still don't understand how this - any of this - is real. I'm still grappling with the fact that with one plane trip - literally, from August 28th to August 29th - life can change so drastically. Groningen is amazing. The people I live with are amazing. Everything is amazing
and I am constantly in awe (and I know, I know, give it a few weeks and see what I'm saying then, but right now I'm living in this crazy happy bubble and everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.)
In the two weeks since I've been in Groningen, I've met people from all over the world. I'm making plans to visit places I've only ever known as names on a map - if that. One of my friends, Hanna, is from Finland, and has graciously mentioned invites to her home near Christmas time. Apparently they can hunt moose there by the light of the Northern lights! There are jokes going around about Oktoberfest in Munich, which I am so, so
down for. It's crazy.
And that's probably the most extravagant experience for me: I am surrounded by people - and it's awesome
. Over the last two weeks, I've been talking to people, connecting with them, initiating and carrying on conversations - and it's been fun! I never knew just being with people could be this enjoyable; is this what normal people feel like all the time? Even though school is already in full swing (I read three chapters of my Industrial-Organizational Psychology textbook this weekend and I have an oral presentation due on Thursday), I'm able to sit with people and just chill, relax, without stressing about projects or deadlines. I'm actively seeking social contact, which is so novel
for me that I'm having a hard time believing it myself. This is so different from anything I'm used to; I smile at people in the mornings, say hi to them, even just sit quietly as they talk around me, all of us just doing our own thing - it feels like acceptance, community, and it's such a completely addictive feeling. How have I never experienced this before? It's so liberating, and I never imagined it could be like this.