This is it! My last blog post, the end of my journey. I am right now sitting on my air mattress, awaiting my departure back to Ekenäs. A day full of emotions and gratitude. Oh my gosh what a thrill I´ve had. I´m going back to Ekenäs as an entirely new person with memories that last forever. Not a day will go by without me thinking about the wonderful friendships I´ve made and the memories we´ve made together.
During these exchanges I´ve learned about what it takes to live by myself and all responsibilities that come with it. I´ve for instance learned how to take care of myself, cook my own meals everyday, handle my downs and lows, and above all; appreciate every single thing in life. Of course I´ve in addition to all these things also improved my language skills, but when it comes down to it, that hasn´t actually been my priority. Experiencing and learning have both worked out coherently together, which has been awesome. I´ve had the thrill of my life and at the same time improved both my Finnish and my English skills. Couldn´t have been better!
It´s weird that everything is coming to an end. When I left for New Zealand my life changed completely. I was really happy with my life in Finland at the time, and I was forced to start a new life from scratch. When I really started to feel like I fit in 100%, I was ripped out of that life to go back to Finland, expecting my old life to be waiting for me. I was going back to Ekenäs overjoyed. Soon I realized though that my old life was long gone and everything really crashed around me. My exchange in Hämeenlinna was on the doorstep, and I was on the brink of a mental breakdown. I came here with mixed feelings, not really knowing what to expect. On my first days here I met a couple of wonderful exchange students. Little did I know that they would change my view on life completely. Our acquaintances became friendships and soon we had a little squad of our own. The group grew and more wonderful people started making my everyday life so much better. They´ve really inspired me and shaped me to be the person that I am today. I don´t think I´ve ever grown this much mentally as I have these last couple of months. And today I am going back home, ready for my next adventure. There is no going back to my old life, and that is absolutetly not what I want. I am looking forward to starting a new life again in Ekenäs with my beautiful old friends back in the picture.
My friends are graduating on Saturday, while I still have one year left of school. It´s going to be a great day, and I am really happy for all of them. Of course it´s going to be weird to go back to school after summer, but I´m sure it´s going to be fine, given that I have awesome friends there. It has definitely been worth it, and I would recommend this to everyone. I now have friends for life all around the globe and I have no regrets. There have been ups and downs, but everything paid off in the end. Thank you everyone for making this journey amazing!
"Exchange isn´t a year in a life, it´s a life in a year"