63 days ago, I walked through JFK security with my cheetah pillow and nearly collapsed from anticipation and fear. 8 weeks and 6 days have passed since I came to Copenhagen like a kindergartener on the first day of school. I simply could not imagine what was in store for me.
56 days are all I have left before this experience is behind me. Only 56 more times to wake up, go to the gym, and spend the day interacting with the people and city that I have come to adore.
I have spent this “midpoint week” reflecting on the affect that studying abroad in Copenhagen has had on me, and what I still need to do in order to make this experience worthwhile.
The first point I’ve come upon is this: it’s interesting how little I actually need in order to be happy. All this time, I didn’t realize how self-sufficient I could be, and how little of my American comfort is necessity. For example, since coffee is $5 a cup here, I have stopped drinking it. At home, I had a two-cup-a-day minimum. But after the cravings subsided a little, it wasn’t that hard. The same goes for shopping. Be proud, I have not bought ONE thing I did not need abroad. While I love being fashionable and making outfits and such, I won’t be able to transport more stuff home if I were to get some. Besides, I’m pretty much the poorest I’ve ever been since I don’t even speak enough Danish to wait tables. Basically, I’m living a life of less. And I’m good at it.
The permanence of this lifestyle is yet to be seen.
My second mini-lesson came from the small vacation I took with Mia to meet up with Marissa and Dee. It was Fall Break at Villanova, and they flew transatlantic to see us! Most friends just Skype over the ocean, but mine fly. Honestly, when we first saw each other it was like nothing had changed. The passage of time was irrelevant. We fit with each other like puzzles, interacting in the same perfect harmony as we always have. Feeling the love from them was reassuring for me. Instead of being homesick now that I am without them again, I feel even happier that I am abroad. I know that if our reunion felt so natural, I have nothing to worry about for the rest of the people I love. This realization has left me feeling free to totally invest myself in Copenhagen–I didn’t know it, but I think that was the “something” I was missing about this experience. Now, I have the confidence to fully step away from the people I love, knowing that they will be there when I return. I can finally let go of home and spend my remaining 56 days as a truly independent European (wannabe). Missing everyone has been such a factor in this experience for so many people, myself included.
Overall, the past two months have taught me so much about myself and my role in the world.