As my days left in Denmark can now be counted on one hand, it’s probably a good time for a reflection post on the amazing four months I have spent here.
I have had an absolute blast living in Copenhagen the past four months. The ability to open myself up to new people, points of view, and cultures has changed my life. I can definitely say that my mindset and overall well-being have changed since the beginning of the semester. I can attribute a lot of the changes in well-being to my core course positive psychology, but also to the overall open-mindedness of the people here. My mindset has become much more positive and I look forward to the future rather than fear the outcomes. Being in this situation where not everything is set in stone and having to improvise in a crisis has also boosted my confidence in my ability to overcome an obstacle. Sure, there have been times this semester when I have craved the simplicity and normality of back home, but I am so very grateful that I have had the chance to push myself outside of the box I keep myself in at Wofford. Dealing with crises and managing stressful situations has not always been my strong suit but I feel like if the past four months have taught me anything, it’s that there is no challenge I cannot overcome if I apply what I know and open myself up to new opportunities.
My sense of independence has also increased and I feel like I’ve actually grown into a functioning adult. By living in an apartment setting I have had a taste of what it will be like to live on my own after I graduate from Wofford. I am so grateful for this experience because these kinds of skills and life experience cannot be obtained on campus back home. Something else I have cherished while here that probably sounds cliche is public transportation. I come from a small home town, and Wofford is tiny so I have never really had to rely on public transportation taking me where I need to go. I see myself one day living in a big city and this experience I have gained will undoubtedly serve me well in the future. Other skills I have gained include the ability to cook. I have never been able to cook anything other than breakfast foods (aka pouring cereal into a bowl) and I’ve never really had the chance to apply myself other than helping out in the kitchen at home. Living in a residential apartment in one of the most expensive cities in the world taught me that groceries and home cooked meals are your bank account’s best friend while balling on an abroad budget. I’m sure this sounds kind of ridiculous to most people, but learning to cook has been one of the most valuable lessons I can take home from Copenhagen. I actually enjoy making my own meals now and I can forever attribute this to being a skill I picked up while studying abroad. I’m excited to be able to share this once I get home.
I think what I am most going to miss about Copenhagen is the rich history and beautiful scenery. I love the fact that I can ride my bike five minutes to Tivoli one of the world’s oldest amusement parks or to Nyhavn to see where Hans Christian Andersen once lived while writing his famous fairytales. There are so many beautiful palaces and architectural features all around the city that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. I am still in awe of all of the history that lies in this city. I love being able to see visible reminders of history through landmarks, statues, and buildings. There aren’t many opportunities for me to experience things like this back home. At least not many options close by. I think I will also miss the busyness of a larger city than I have ever been used to. One of the things I have learned about myself by spending four months in Denmark is that I can definitely see myself living in a big city one day. There’s something about all those lights at night, and the hustle and bustle of a million people going about their day.
I have had one of the most amazing experiences of my life in Copenhagen and I will forever cherish my time here. It is bittersweet to be leaving so soon, because I am ready to be home to see my family and friends but a part of me will always long to get back to the city where I really grew up and learned many valuable things about myself in the process.