It was basketball homecoming Saturday! It was fun but it was nothing compared to football homecoming. There was no King/Queen and no homecoming activities. The only homecoming thing really was the senior nights for basketball and cheerleading and that was fun! I love hearing how other people have to say, their best memories, what they wanna do later in life and stuff. It's fun! We won the game too! And it's not often we win a game haha. So that was niiice. Every senior had a sign too with a big picture of their head haha, so funny. The last home game was Tuesday tho and I went to that too. A little bit sad that basketball season is over, but it is what it is.

Sunday I came with Vivie to a wrestling meet in Indy! I've never really been to such a big wrestling meet before so it was kinda fun but it was so long! Like we left Greentown like 9 in the morning and came home close to 11.30... so it was a really long day! But I had good company so it was fine :).

Friday I went bowling with Morgan, Katrina & Josh! Aaaand we went to Starbucks too ;).

Some pictures from the homecoming game!

I don't really like this picture but I feel like I need to publish it anyways haha...

All the seniors!

Senior boards! I actually think they're really neat :).

Me with Vanessa's sign haha.

Wrestling meet!

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I'm sorry that I am so bad at updating this blog, I'm doing my best! Quite a lot has happened since my last post, or at least it feels like it haha. We made different dips/sauces in nutrition and wellness and we decided to make queso haha. Didn't turn out too good, but it was okay. We had some struggles haha (see pictures below).

Nick also had his birthday party! Vivie, Macaiah, Toscha, Vanessa & I were going bowling after the party, (this was quite a while ago) or at least we wanted too. We went there but when we got to the bowling place, they said it was 1,5 - 2 h wait! :( So after sitting in Vivie's car for way too long we decided to go to Chucke Cheese haha! Chucke cheese is like a "casino" for kids. Not like card games and stuff but you know, different arcade games. And you get tickets if you win and then you can change the tickets for other stuff. Even though it is made for younger kids than us, it was fun!

Our struggles... We burnt our cheese so I had to stand awkwardly by the window with our pan for forever haha. And then, Vanessa accidentally put a paper towel on fire haha. Our queso wasn't the best but it was a fun day :,D.

A picture of Bella & Vivie from Nick's party!

Chucke cheese! Vanessa & I combined our tickets so we could get these fancy glasses.

If you didn't know (you should know), Super Bowl was too! I invited quite a few friends over to watch it. It was Patriots vs Eagles and originally I was hoping Eagles would win, but then I realized almost everyone wanted them to win. So then I changed to Patriots haha. It was only 4 out of 15 people at my place that wanted them to win haha. Bella helped me decorate, we just bought some ballons but we bought the wrong colors haha. For some reason, don't ask me why, we thought Eagles had dark blue and white as their colors. Turned out to be green and not blue. So we just had the Patriots colors! (Blue, white, red). Welllwell, it could happen to everyone right? (Or maybe not haha). Anyway Super Bowl was really fun, even though some people were only there for the halftime show haha and Patriots lost :(.

It was Valentine's Day two days ago! In school you could send roses if you wanted to for someone special, and I think that's really sweet. I actually didn't think that really existed haha, I thought it was only in the movies. I spent the day with Katrina and Vanessa, a so called Galentine's Day.


This week is Homecoming week! Because we have two homecoming at my school, one for football and one for basketball. I love homecoming. It is so American! The school is decorated and it has been dress-up days all week. Monday was supposed to Pyjama-day which most people were really excited for, including me, but they changed it :(. Instead it was super hero day. They also changed teacher-day to favorite college-day. Also a change they could have skipped if you ask me. Anyway, tomorrow is the homecoming game! :) Hopefully we win but we might not haha. There's also no homecoming King/Queen for basketball homecoming (at least I think so, I'm pretty sure). After the game there's a dance, but I don't think I will go, not very many people will.

Oh, and I assume you have heard about the school shooting in Florida. It's so sad. It can happen anywhere anytime and it is a bit scary. It's not that I'm worried/scared to go to school but we like to never have school shootings in Sweden, it's not common at all. And here.. it's been 18 school shootings in not even two months... it's awful. So please take a moment and think about the people who had to experience that, the people who had to leave our world, and their families.

Some really bad pictures from Super Bowl haha, but it's what I got.

Also some really bad pictures haha, but some of the decorations for homecoming!

Wednesday was Jock & Nerd day. Freshmen/sophomore were supposed to be nerds and juniors/seniors were supposed to be jocks. It was the only day I dressed up haha.

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Today I did something I haven't done in foreveeeer. Vivie and I fikade! I love fika. I don't know how to explain what it is haha, I guess it's kinda like coffee break but you don't have to have coffee. I used to do it like every week and now it's like the first time in 6 months?? It was niiiice. And who doesn't love Starbucks??

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Last Sunday was Bella's birthday! Some friends and I surprised her saturday evening and had a girl's night! It was really fun! Unfortunately I only took one picture...

Face masks!

Last Friday a group of friends and I went bowling too :) It was Molly's birthday Saturday so we celebrated that. I bought Swedish fish for her haha. Btw as you can see we're not very good at bowling...

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Today was kind of our first real school day since Christmas break. Since the break we have had a two hours delay everyday and Friday even got canceled. But today...back on track. No delay and no cancellation :(. Hopefully a delay tomorrow but it probably won't happen haha. I just gotta go back to normal.

Vanessa & I auditioned for the musical today! We are going to be in the chorus (everyone that wants to be in the musical are going to be in the musical) so that's fun! It's so American haha. Like sometimes Americans don't understand how American they are haha. It's funny. Goodnight

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I just got home from Rio's going away party. She is leaving tomorrow. Probably the last time I saw her in a looooong time :(. I don't really know what else to write. Goodnight

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I've been here for almost 5 months now (half my time here!) and of course I have noticed some major differences between the US and Sweden. The biggest differences that I've noticed are;
- School
- Attitude / How you act
- Food

Then of course there are so much more but smaller things such as other laws, traffic, drivers licence age, stores, politics, bathrooms, language, cars, money and sports. I can keep on going but the list is long!

I'm thinking that I will do a few posts about the differences and compare Sweden and the US. I'm not sure how it is going to turn out because I will try to explain how Sweden is and how the US is but mainly I will focus on describing the US and not Sweden. So if you are American I guess it can be a little hard to understand the comparisons sometimes since you don't know how it is in Sweden and I won't explain exactly everything haha. I will do my best!

Anyway, I was thinking starting with writing about school! The school is so different. Honestly I think it is easier to find differences than similarities. As you probably already realized, the whole school system is totally different. Here, they start with kindergarten when they are 5 (which is kinda like "6-års gruppen" in Sweden but we start when we are six), then there is elementary school and middle school up to grade 8. Then you start high school that is grade 9-12. In Sweden we have "grundskola" grade 1-9 and then we start our high school "gymnasium" that is 3 years long, grade 10-12. So I guess you can say elementary & middle school is "grundskola" and high school is "gymnasium", even though 9 grade is in "grundskola" in Sweden but in High school in the US. I hope you understand!

And every swede out there, high school is not like the movies. Well not as much as you think at least haha. Sometimes it feels like I'm living in a movie but sometimes I'm like "is this even high school?". But most of the time I actually feel it's like the movies!

Almost everyone here drives to school, since they get their licence when they're 16 and not 18 like in Sweden. If you don't drive you either get a ride or take the school bus. And yes the school buses look like in the movies, yellooow. In Sweden I would say like maybe 60 % take their bike or walk to school. The others takes the bus, and only some drive to school if they have their licence and a very few get a ride. But if you take the bus you are not taking the school bus! We don't have school buses. If you take the bus you use the public traffic and if you live more than 3-4 miles away from school you get a "bus card" for free so you don't have to pay for the bus. If you live closer than 3-4 miles you have to pay.

When you graduate here you are 18, while in Sweden most of us are 19 when we graduate, depending on when we are born at the year. Our graduation is also completely different. Here in the US it is very formal and in Sweden... we can say it's not a formal day. We run out from the school, have our hats, and then we ride through the city on the back of a truck with louuud music.. And then when we are done doing that our friends & family has gathered and has a big sign with a picture of "baby you" and your name so you can find them. I put some pictures under here to describe it haha.


Borrowed a picture from my sisters graduation haha.

Here, you are a senior if you are born 99/00, junior 00/01, sophomore 01/02, freshmen 02/03 and just keep on going... In Sweden every senior (this year) is born 99, juniors 00, sophomores 01, and freshmen 02. So they split it up different here. If I wasn't an exchange student I would be a junior this year since I am born late at the year, but they put every exchange student in the senior class. High school here is mandatory as well, which it isn't in Sweden, even though almost everyone choose to go high school. In Sweden we choose like a "specific" high school that has a focus on certain subjects but here you choose your own classes.

Like I said, you choose your own classes here. I think it feels pretty weird tbh haha. I mean, to me, it feels like you can pretty much "chill" through high school. Like look at my classes, ceramics, life sports, study hall... You do have to take math classes, English and science classes (I think) though, but not as much as in Sweden even though it depends on what high school you choose. Here you have the same schedule every day, you have every class every day and every period (lektion) is 52 minutes long. I am used to having a individual schedule in school that's different every day. My classes in Sweden are usually 1-2 hours long but sometimes even longer. With other words, in Sweden we usually have 4-5 classes every day and not 7 like here. One thing I find very strange too is that I can have classes with any grade (in high school). I can have classes with people that's younger, the same age or older than me. This is because you choose your own classes and depending on what year you choose the class, you end up with different people. In Sweden, the high school has already decided (ish) what classes you are gonna take and you always have the class with people your age. In Sweden we mostly just have one class that have the same classes. There are some differences in schedule from person to person but mainly we have all the classes with the same people. So not like here in the US when you have different people in every class.

In Sweden we don't start the same time every morning, usually we start 8.10 but if you are lucky you can start much later such as 9.30, 10.30 or later. Everyday we have a different schedule so our schooldays can end from 1 pm (even though that doesn't happen very often) to 2-4 pm which is more likely. If a teacher isn't there we usually don't have that class we just get a long "break". Here, we start 8.05 and end at 3.09 every day, and if a teacher isn't here we always get a substitute teacher.

This was my schedule sophomore year. I think you can figure out most classes but to help you a little; samhällskunskap = civics, svenska = Swedish, idrott och hälsa = life sports, PE.

My American school schedule!

I can't forget about the bell! This is like the movies haha. The bell rings 15, 10, and 5 minutes before school starts. Then it rings when school starts too of course haha. It also rings when every class end so getting out of class sooner than you're supposed to is hard. You have 5 minutes between every class, it's not very much time but it's enough. Everyone's classes ends at the same time so it gets a little bit crazy in the hallways when the bell rings haha. The bell, with other words, makes it very obvious if you're late. And since I am a time optimist this is not a good thing haha. In Sweden we don't have a bell, the teachers basically decides when the class ends and when it starts even though we have a certain time at our schedule. And everyone's classes doesn't end at the same time either since everyone has individual schedules.

Lunch here is different as well. We have 30 minutes lunch every day, and here as you probably already know lunch is not free. It costs 3 dollars/lunch here but a lot of people bring lunch too. I don't bring my own lunch because I'm too lazy haha. In the cafeteria you have a few options, usually two or three. They always serve pizza but you only get one slice so that's not very much. I would say the "school food" here is much more unhealthy than in Sweden. You can have chocolate milk every day if you want to here haha. In Sweden I am used to taking my own food in the cafeteria, you choose if you want to eat and what you want to eat. Here, you just get the food that's handed out. You can't get more food if you want to and if you don't want to have something that's served they give it to you anyways. A couple of times a week they have a salad bar and I take that when that's served. There are so much fruit & vegetables and stuff so that's nice! In Sweden we always have a salad bar. We also have one meat option and one vegetarian option in Sweden. They never have that here. You get what's served so if you are a vegetarian, you have to bring your own food because the school does not have a vegetarian option every day. This I find quite bad and strange actually, but I can't do much about it.
So, when people bring lunch what do they bring? Usually a sandwich or leftovers or something like that. But always snacks as well. They eat all the time here. Everyone has snacks with them to school; cookies, chips, granola bars.. A lot of people has like "portion size" chips bags and have that to their lunch. In Sweden our lunch break is longer as well. 30 minutes would be consider as a short lunch since we usually have like 40-50 minutes lunch every day. Here in the US you also have either A or B lunch (what time you have lunch) depending on what class you have 5 period.

We also call the teachers Mr, Ms, or Mrs here which we don't do in Sweden. In Sweden we call them by their first name or just "you". Here, I would say you are more respectful to the teacher and you're un respectful if you don't call them by their last name. In Sweden I guess the teacher is more like a "friend". And btw everyone here in the US uses backpacks to school, almost no one uses them in Sweden. We have like big purses or "computer bags" haha.

The grade system is completely different here as well. I will not explain the whole Swedish system because that will take forever haha, but roughly we can say we have A-F (no B+ or something like that, just letters haha), F is failed and if you get A-E you passed the class. A is the highest grade you can get. Here A+ is the highest grade you can get and F is failed. D- is like "on your way to fail the class" and the grade E doesn't exist. I think an American C is like a Swedish E. You get points and credits here and tbh I'm not sure how this works exactly but the more points and credit you get, the higher grade you get. You have a percentage here and the percentage turns into a grade. I think you have to have like 60 % to pass the class. I have a lot more homework here than I do in Sweden but I would say the classes here are easier haha. The tests here are mainly multiple choice and true or false while in Sweden that would never happen, almost every question has open answers. Here you have more small tests while in Sweden we have have bigger tests. In Sweden we usually write a test in 1-2 hours. Here all you need is usually 30 minutes or less. We almost never have assignments here but we have as I said more homework. I would say Sweden has more big assignments and tests while the US has a lot more homework and smaller tests and assignments.

Even though everyone at my school says they have "no school spirit at all", I think they have quite a lot since I come from a school with less than 0% school spirit. In sweden school spirit doesn't really exist. We basically just go to school to learn and nothing else. Every activity or sport is outside of school. Here, it's like the opposite. There are lots of activities and sports such as drama club, swimming, musical, softball, cross country, basketball, cheerleading, tennis, wrestling... And there's American football of course! They also have prom, homecoming, and dress up days/weeks! We don't have that in Sweden. We have one prom at the end of your senior year, but that's it. And "prom proposal" or something like that doesn't exist either. I love school sports and that if the school has a game many people come and watch and all that stuff. Homecoming is still one of my best memories since I got here. So I think it's sad that we don't have more school spirit in Sweden. You get to know people from school better through school activities. But at the same time, I like how it is in Sweden too with all the activities and sports outside of school. You meet people outside of school and I like that. There's good and bad things with both!

There's also dress code here, which I am not a big fan of. You can't have too short shorts or skirts, not show your shoulders or anything else that counts as inappropriate if you're a girl. The guys have dress codes but no one really knows what they're so the dress codes are mainly for the girls. I find this very "old school" even though I understand that you can't have super inappropriate clothes in school. But let's not forget, no one really cares about the dress code. I would say maybe 2-3 teachers care about the dress code, so I barely notice that it's there. But it is, and I don't like it. In Sweden we can basically wear whatever we want as long as we wear clothes haha.

Here in the US you also need to have "passes" for everything. Pass if you go to the bathroom, pass if you go to the doctor, pass if you have to go to the principal, everything! We don't do passes in Sweden, we are just saying where we are going haha.

Every morning before classes starts, there are announcements in the speakers. It is like "news" for the school, such as if a practice has been cancelled, if it is a dress up or activity coming up or something else. After the announcements we say the pledge of allegiance. Everyone stands up, with the hand on their heart and turned to the flag. I don't do it tho because it feels weird haha. Anyway, this (the pledge of allegiance) would never ever ever happen in Sweden. People would like freak out. It's hard to explain why but I guess it is just our culture. I like the pledge of allegiance, I think it's nice haha. Everyone (in Sweden) would also react or freak out if there was a Swedish flag in every classroom like there is here. (But with an American flag of course haha). Something I noticed is that they have religious stuff in the classrooms as well. People wouldn't accept this in Sweden either. Honestly, I don't really like it either, but at the same time I don't mind it. Don't get me wrong! I have nothing against religion or religious people or something like that, I actually find it beautiful when someone has a belief, but I do think it is strange that religion is "mixed' with school. Do you understand what I'm saying? It's hard to explain. I just think school should be school and religion should be religion.

School is completely free in Sweden as well. University/college too. Here, high school is free but for college you have to pay a looot of money if you don't get a scholarship or are like supergood at some sport. I also learned to appreciate "studiebidraget" haha. "Studiebidrag" is money, like 130 dollars, Swedish high school students get every month. When people hear about it they think it's a little weird I guess but think it sounds nice. And in Sweden everybody complain that we get too little money!

I can't come up with anymore differences now! I probably have forgotten something but whatever haha. So how's my school? I live in a small town, which means I go to a small school. I go to Eastern High School, home of the fighting comets! We have like 500 students ish I think and it is middle school and high school. My school doesn't have very many sports according to me, but there's still quite many. Our school teams are the "comets" and I like my school! Basically everyone knows everyone haha. I am glad I came to a small school and not a big one actually too. I think a small school is better for an exchange student since I think it is easier to find friends and you don't get "forgotten" as I can picture happen in bigger schools.

So which school do I prefer? The Swedish or the American school? I would say I like the Swedish school more. It feels more serious and it feels like you get more out of it. (Sorry every American out there). I like the American school as well with all the school spirit and sports and activities and I would say school is more fun here in America. But I still prefer the Swedish school. Maybe it is because I'm used to it. But like I said, it feels like I get more out of it. I hope this post didn't get tooo confusing and that if you are either English or Swedish speaking I hope you thought it was interesting! If you have any questions just write a comment, I will happily answer!

In the next "Sweden vs USA" post I will write about how a Swede and an American acts. See yaaaa

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Happy New Year! It's 2018 - doesn't that feel weird? For me it does haha. Time has gone by soooo fast. I've almost been here for half my time?? Crazyyy. I celebrated New Year's Eve with a lot of friends, it was fun! We watched the ball drop at Times Square (at the tv haha) and not like I usually celebrate New Year's Eve, with a lot of fireworks. But since I love fireworks I didn't want a New Year's Eve without them, so I bought what I could find. Sparklers! So at least we had them haha. We started 2018 with going to a movie, Wonder, the day after New Year's Eve. Actually a very good movie that I recommend :).

I didn't get like any pictures from the party haha, but at least I got a picture of our sparklers!

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I just came home from Texas. My host family and I went to Texas to visit a friend but I'll tell more about that later! I'm starting with Christmas :). For Christmas we went to Carmel to celebrate with my host moms daughter and her husband, and my "host grandma" haha. It was fun! We ate great dinner at Christmas Eve and opened our gifts after the dinner. I wrote some rhymes at the gifts I gave away, or "poems" as my host parents called it. It's a tradition for me to write rhymes at Christmas gifts! So why not bring it here?

We didn't do anything special at Christmas Day we just ate breakfast, so we didn't celebrated Christmas at Christmas Day as many American families do. Anyway, when we came home we started packing for Texas! And in the middle of the night, 3 o'clock in the morning, we left Greentown and began our road trip to Houston. It was a 17 h drive. We drove through a lot of states but I missed pretty much since I fell asleep... But I our way home from Texas I didn't sleep as much haha! We went to Houston (or actually Webster that's like really close to Houston) to visit my host mom's friend Mary! We met Mary's daughter and her family as well. We didn't do very much the first day in Texas but we went to HEB, a grocery store that's only in Texas and no other state. HEB stands for "Herold E.Butts" (the founder of the company), but in Texas they like to say it stands for "Here Everything's Better" haha. The first day we went to Mary's daughter too and had dinner with her family, played some games, took some photos in our ugly Christmas sweater, and just had a good time :).

On our second day in Texas we went to a road trip again! Mary was with us too :D. Since none of us been to Louisiana we decided to drive along the coast there. It was pretty! We had to take the ferry and we saw some dolphins so that's fun! But it was cooooold. For some reason, the weather in Texas wasn't like it use to be this time a year. It was much colder. But it was nice anyways! Still, everything above 30 degrees (Fahrenheit) is warm now haha. Her in Indiana it's under 0!

We also went to see Beyoncé's old house. For you who don't know, Beyoncé is from Houston. And she owned a house there when she was still a member of Destiny's Child. We knew what neighborhood she used to live in but we didn't know her specific address. But we drove around in the neighborhood and we saw a house with those big gates, and the house much more fancy than the other houses. So our guess is that there was where she once used to live. So I find that pretty cool haha. Our last day we went to downtown Houston. You could see the hurricane damage and it was pretty sad :(. But it was pretty anyways!

And can we take a moment and realize it is 2018 in less than 12 h? Crazyyy. I hope your 2017 has been great, because mine sure has. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The dogs got some Christmas sweaters as well! Aren't they cute?

When we celebrated Christmas we tried Virtual Reality. In this picture Presta is going on a rollercoaster. And I love that she tries to cover her eyes haha.

They had this foot massage thing and I loved it <3

Of course we need to take a selfie with everyone when in Texas!

Christmas sweater!

Road trip!

This was probably Beyoncé's old house!

Houston!

​You see those bridges? They were under water when the hurricane hit Houston....

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It's Christmas tomorrow! In Sweden we celebrate today actually :). Anyway, I had my drama performance! It went okay :D. And it was fun!

It hasn't happened too much since my last blogpost actually haha. I went to a wrestling meet, celebrated Macaiah's birthday and decorated sugar cookies with Rio. At the birthday party we went to Taku (a Japanese restaurant) and to a movie after, it was nice! Oh, and Andrea had a Christmas party and that was fun too. We exchanged Christmas gifts and I ended up with hand sanitizers! :D Yesterday we had a family Christmas and that was fun and nice as well. After the family Christmas Morgan had a birthday/Christmas party at Pizza Hut and we went bowling too. I didn't win tho :( I'm not very good at bowling haha. MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIENDS!

Some pictures from drama club!

I talked to my sister haha. We're silly.

Wrestling meet &a birthday party!

Me and Rio made a gigantic snowman sugar cookie! The other cookies I decorated didn't turn out too good tho haha..

Christmas party at Andrea's!

Family christmas!

Kaylee danced a little at Morgan's party haha!

Bowling!

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