How are you this fine day? So I told myself that this year I was going to work on actually updating my blog regularly... What I am hoping to accomplish is posting an update weekly or bi-weekly. But for those of you who know me, in other words, this means I'll post an update maybe once or twice a month. Hey, what can I say? I'm a busy girl! At least it beats my one update every two months that I'm currently doing.
Today marks the third day without our oldie. For those of you who may not understand what I mean by the term oldie... Throughout our Exchange, we meet many people, some who have arrived Before us and others who arrive half-way through. Generally students who come from New Zealand or Australia, start their Exchange in January and continue onto the following January. Wheras, the remainder of the countries usually come in August and stay until the following July. This is because of the different school systems/ year layouts for the countries.
For those of us who arrived in August, we have what we call "Oldies", who are the bigger Brothers/sisters of the Group. This means that using the wisdom they learned throughout their first 6 months in the country, they give the rest of us advice and show us the best way to handle situations or help us learn the language. Our oldie was named Lachlan... He was a student from Australia and I must admit, one of the biggest inspirations I have met thus far. He was extremely talented and taught many things about what it's like to be on Exchange/ a Swede. He was almost completely fluent in the language and continued to prove his love by making sure everyone felt welcomed, comfortable, and accepted.
On January 9th, Lachlan unfortunately flew back home with only time for a few Quick hugs. It wasn't until after he left that me and many of the other Exchange students realized the Cold, hard truth. We will never be with him the way we have been, again.
I guess what I'm trying to say is... Exchange can be the most Amazing and Beautiful year of your Life, but it can also be the worst and hardest year as well. All of us ranging from 16-18yrs of age, most who have relied on their parents for every want and need they have ever desired, who have never set foot in Another country... They have taken all their courage and just jumped right into the Deep end. Understanding the risks and differences between going to another country and also the benfits and Beauty of seeing another Culture. Despite all, they have taken on this opportunity and have turned it into something that they will never forget. They come to the new country, all alone, not knowing what to expect, possibly not even knowing the language. And they leave as a grown, changed, matured, independant Young adult. An Exchange year brings the best.. and worst out of people. It shows them their weaknesses... and their strengths... Some leave with a wider range of Life goals and achievements than they could have ever imagined. Some leave with a better understanding and desire for life's challenges and others soon decide to become World travellers.
But above all, everyone leaves with new relationships from all over the World. Friends that they have never met before the year and now, can't imagine their life without them. I've met so many already that have impacted my experience and my view on things in such an Amazing, positive way. It's just like leaving the nest all over again... It takes all the courage you have to come here. And it takes just as much courage to go home.
Exchange can be the best, most Amazing, fun, and rewarding year of your life.
But it can also be the worst and hardest.
I miss you already, Lachlan.
I miss you already, Lachlan