Except for the experience of moving to a foreign country and study in another culture and language, I have met a huge amount of new people. I have got extra families, new friends from all over the world, traveled in Georgia, visited South Carolina, Alabama and Florida. The only place I really have "for myself" here in America is my college dorm room, where I sleep about four days a week. My weekends are spent with my host families, my friends' host families, other families, GRSP friends, sometimes in a tent or on the couch in a friends college dorm.
I have gone through what we among international students call the "honeymoon phase" and "frustration phase". At first, I walked on clouds. Everything new was overwhelming and amazing, I was everywhere and did everything. Since then, life has continued to be fun and exciting, and I also passed through the "frustration phase". Everything I have experienced has started new paths of thoughts. I have seen positive and negative things about both America and Sweden and questioned others and my own values. I have good friends around me to bandy thoughts with, and sometimes their experiences can be different from mine. That struck me especially when I and other GRSP friends from Scandinavia talked about how weird we think America's gun laws are. Then, another friend from Zimbabwe said that he doesn´t see it that way. He wished they had it more like that in his home country. That was an interesting point of view for me, considering the current situation in Zimbabwe.
I got an eye-opener.
What a journey I get to experience!
I have now stopped up for a few days and reflected over those four months in America, and also over this year. I have really changed everything in my life. I left the three things that filled up most of my past three years: high school, my friends and family, and soccer. I have made a huge internal journey, and I have done it on my own. Of course, I have had great support from my family, and friends back home. I have also met new friends here that have, in a very short time, become close friends.
So far it seems like I have skipped phase two, the homesickness.
Of course, I do miss my people from back home. But It is not a sad feeling, I just make me glad when I think of what beautiful and lovely people I have to get back to, and everything I will do next year. I believe I will appreciate the snow, mom´s hugs, and good coffee way more when I get back. But despite me missing them, do I not long to get back. I really feel that I am in the right place right now, exploring the world and myself. I do not long to the day I fly back because I have so many fun things to do in America before that. But I look forward to going home when this year is finished. It will be so much fun to bring my new experiences back and head toward new challenges and adventures.
I could not be more thankful for this. Thank you, Rotary, and thanks to everyone who has supported me, here and back home. I miss you guys!