January: Moved to Finland. The sun used to rise at 9:00 and set at 16:00. Snow everywhere. Slipped on ice twice. Yikes. Went for a party early, and decided it would never happen again – I’d stick to being fashionably late henceforth. Discovered to my delight, that school cafeteria food was more awesome and cheaper than in France. Signed up for a course called Information Systems Research on Games. I cannot explain how/why, but that course was very draining (which is why I have mentioned it here), perhaps because I found out a bit too late, that I had no interest in it.
My friend and classmate lost her father, I still remember that day like it was yesterday. Sigh.
February: Went away for a weekend to a cottage on an island. Went hiking on that island (and saw huge paw prints that made me think “there are polar bears around, for sure”). Discovered that I really really like Finnish people when they’re drunk. Sent a surprise parcel to my folks in Nigeria. I had to break the ‘surprise’ when the package didn’t arrive (and still hasn’t). Had my first exam of the year, aced it *fist pump*. Started learning to code. Made friends I still speak to today. (I realize what that last sentence sounds like, but yeah…)
March: Went on a ship trip to Stockholm, along with 1500 other students. Developed a flu the day before I was supposed to go, and then instead of attending my French class, I decided to go get chicken wings instead.
Had a drinking experiment the day I got back from Stockholm. Yes, it was an experiment, a la Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory. The results of that experiment? Well…I didn’t go (totally) bonkers.
We had some sort of midterm holiday, during which I attempted to learn to play Call of Duty. Met Mims.
Ingested loads of chlorine while learning to swim one day, such that my body reacted badly for the next couple of days. Sigh. Attended someone’s song/video debut at a bar. I had imagined I would not like the song, but I did. Started exercising to get my body ready for summer.
April: Skiing trip. Ha, this one was interesting, as I had never skied before this trip. Couple of falls later, well, I can definitely ski proficiently as long as I’m not required to go up any slope. Please no. The sledding bit afterwards was much more fun.
Went on a class trip/cruise to Åland, by ship. Gorged on the buffet menu. Went for a jazz night with a(n) ‘Orleans in the 1930s’ theme. Interesting.
May: Had my last exam, and then…my birthday! Invited people to my house, then went elsewhere afterwards. Went to church for the first (and only) time in Finland. Attended Vappu. Meh. Attended Mims’ brother in law’s birthday dinner in Helsinki. Started attending Finnish barbecues and game nights 😀
June: Ha. The sun was no longer setting at all at this point, very very nice. Helped a friend move. Attended Mims’ wedding party in Helsinki. Fun fun fun. Attended a conference later too. Well…lots of things to giggle about in that conference.
Prepared to move to Netherlands.
Attended a Juhannus (midsummer) carnival-type thing on an island, took loads of silly pictures.
Went to Tallinn, Estonia, also by ship. I’ll never forget the tavern I had brunch in. Lol.
July: Went to the beach, was a tad underwhelming because the beaches I’m used to seeing beaches have clean sand and water. This one had dirty looking sand and seaweed. I tossed about in it for a bit though. I was to discover, about 3 months later, that people actually eat seaweed. Interesting.
Went on a boat ride in my friend’s sister’s boat, and I got to steer it. It’s interesting how 55km/hr on water feels like 100km/hr. Tried (and failed) to paddle a canoe, it was so hard.
August: Moved to the Netherlands (and actually let out a sigh as I typed that. I still miss Finland). I had really hoped that this semester would prove me wrong and be loads of fun. But schooling in the Netherlands as I have come to find out, is quite hard if you are used to less tasking systems. In my opinion, the educational standards aren’t necessarily higher than, say, Finland, the workload is just a lot more. But then what do I know about standards of education? Netherlands was sha hard for me. Ugh.
Bought a bicycle and learned to ride it, thanks to my flatmate. Oh, yeah I like my flatmates, they’re awesome in more ways than one.
September: Joined a student association as a committee member. Started drowning in school work.
Attended a cycling dinner. The cycling bit was not fun as I was still learning, but the dinner itself was quite nice.
October: Visited Amsterdam. Not a very pleasant trip, mostly because of my travel companions and horrible food.
Travelled to the UK and finally saw the boyfriend after one year. Whoop!
Cut my hair and proceeded to live in/under a beanie for a bit 😀
(Remember, remember, the 5th of Movember) November: Sorry, I couldn’t resist typing that preceding nonsense.
Went to Brussels for a career fair, and took a tour later. School work was threatening to crush me by this time 😦
December: Attended a Christmas activity/party thing organized by my association, got funny presents. Lol. Went with my friend for an ultrasound (first one I’ve ever been to), dibs on being the godmother of that child. (Or not, seeing as I haven’t the slightest clue what a godparent should do.) Mims’ mommy passed. RIP 😦
Replaced my crappy phone, finally. Took a road trip to Berlin with my friends, slept in awesome places, ate relatively nice food, drank gluhwein. Travelled to the UK, spent my days watching TV and applying for jobs, etc.
Here’s hoping I can come back to write a couple of profound lines before the year finally runs out, but in the event that I don’t, well…2013 has been more than a tad challenging, but I’m grateful for a whole lot of things: my family, health, life, love, friendship, privileges, nice people, new recipes, safe travels, cider, Spotify, Codecademy, proper heating, I’ll just stop now.
Cheers to 2014. Please be a lot better than 2013. Please.