Overall, this past week has been high quality: I went to my visiting host mom’s school with her (she’s a fifth-grade teacher), and I went with my cousin and her parents to the Danish Royal Ballet. Things have been really great, except for the fact that finals are starting to roll toward us like a truck. Yep, that’s right — you actually do have to study when you’re abroad.
It’s definitely challenging to feel motivated while I’m trying to live it up in another country, especially since the weather is starting to get nicer — the sky has been so blue lately! Even with a lot of work building up, I’m still trying to keep a balance between schoolwork and fun activities. Here are some tips on how to manage the increasing workload and the decreasing amount of time abroad.
For one thing, I haven’t planned many trips besides the upcoming Easter break for any weekends in April or May. While there are still other places I want to visit, I want to make sure I have enough time to explore other places in Denmark I haven’t been to yet. I haven’t run out of things to do around the city and my host mom has several more things planned for us, which is great for getting more immersed in the culture before I have to leave. Plus, this way I have time to get my work done and feel less stressed about it.
Second, when the weather is nice, I try to spend most of the day outside. I try to stay out and about during the afternoon until dinner or until it gets dark out before I do my homework. That way, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on the beautiful weather. Even when it’s a bit colder, I love to just walk around outside. Or, when I feel really overwhelmed by work, I take a walk to the beautiful Black Diamond library. It’s located right on the water and there’s a huge window that spans the entirety of one wall. It’s perfect because I can get my work done while still getting a nice view of the harbor and the sunny sky. Of course, when necessary, I’ll hole myself up in the DIS common rooms to do work, but I’ll always try to end the day with a movie or something fun to balance it out.
Third, it’s definitely important to actually try and enjoy classes. I lucked out and ended up in a really great core class (Child Development in Scandinavia), and I’ve become close with a lot of my classmates. This might sound super nerdy, but I actually really do look forward to my Monday class every week. Our teacher is hilarious, and we always have a good time together.
Hopefully I can continue to be productive while still enjoying the time I have left here. I’m also preparing for when I inevitably become extremely nostalgic during my last week or two — there will be definitely be some tears.