My First Few Days In Amsterdam

DSC_0676Hello blog! I have finally made it to Amsterdam after months of anticipation and stressful applications. When I first entertained the idea of going on exchange, I always thought that as soon as I arrived in the foreign destination of my choosing I would be happy and it would be easy as pie. Now that I have been here for about five days, I have come to realize that this isn’t the case at all. I knew that I would miss some people, but I did not know that it would be to this extreme.

I did not know that I would get this homesick and actually want to buy a plane ticket almost as soon as I arrived to return to Canada. I did not know that things like getting a SIM card for my phone or buying a train ticket would make me so anxious. I did not know that I would feel this lonely, even after spending a whole night out with one of my room mates. But even after all of those things, I am learning to cope. I have to, or else my whole stay here will be absolutely miserable.DSC_0685

It has only been a few days but already I am feeling better. There are still ups and downs, but I am hoping that the downs will become very spread apart soon and that the ups will be even better. Already I have gone to central Amsterdam and found where all of my classes are. I wandered the streets and saw the canals. The architecture is amazing and definitely something you could spend all day looking at. I even accidentally wandered into the red light district, but quickly left. It felt weird to be walking there by myself and I also had my camera out (you’re not allowed to take photos there).DSC_0673

One of the things on my Amsterdam List was to ‘be bold, be adventurous.’ And I think I am managing that quite well so far. I am learning to say yes to more opportunities and not only hide in my room.

The other night I went out with one of my room mates to a gay bar called SOHO in Amsterdam. It was fun and my first experience clubbing. I find it rather amusing that my first experience clubbing was at a gay bar but what the heck. Good times!

I road on the back of a bicycle for the first time! This I think is something that might occur a lot in this country of bicycles.

I went to my first borrel, which is a Dutch event where you go drink and chat with people. Quite lovely for just a quiet evening out, and the perfect end to my first day in Amsterdam.

I went shopping with my room mate and we made dinner together and chatted over a glass of wine.

Everyone here has been so comforting and kind. I think I can learn to love this place, even with all the ups and downs.

Until next time x

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On Saying Goodbye

qWhen I first started dreaming of going on exchange years ago, I don’t think I once ever thought about saying goodbye to my family and friends. I was so focused on exchange itself, and the fun of it all, that it didn’t seem important at the time. However, now that time is slowly ebbing away and I am leaving in just over two weeks, I have become very emotional about the whole process of saying goodbye.

The longest I have ever been away from home was for one month when I traveled to South Korea when I was sixteen. Even then though I had Kimberly and Christine with me, so I wasn’t completely alone. Usually, I find that I don’t have trouble saying goodbye to my family. I’ve lived and been with them for twenty years now so its about time I leave the nest. I’m used to their company and can go without it for a little while, just to spread my wings a bit. Afterall, five months away isn’t that long, right?

Saying goodbye to my friends isn’t all that difficult either. Everyone’s so busy studying during the semester that I rarely see them anyways, and I am used to saying goodbye to friends after high school. I am also comforted by the fact that I will (hopefully) be making new friends in Amsterdam. Of course I don’t want this to sound as though I am trying to replace my old friends, but only trying to form new friendships.

The hardest goodbye will be to Sean. Already I have been dreading it for over a month. Whenever I think about it I get choked up and try to force the thought away. I know that we will be skyping and messaging constantly, and I will be busy exploring my new surroundings (as well as studying), but I know I will miss him a ton. Once I’m there how I view all of this will probably change, but as it has not happened yet it makes me extremely sad. So much so that sometimes I question why I decided to go on exchange.

I know I will not regret it, but to me, saying goodbye is the first step to being on my own. I’ve never done anything on my own. Never traveled by myself, let alone live on my own. It is a daunting thought and one that frightens me immensely. Which makes saying goodbye all that much harder. It is saying goodbye not only to the people I am used to, but the simple comforts and pleasures of home.

What it all comes down to is that goodbyes are hard, even more difficult than I imagined. But it is something we have to get used to as it is a part of life. This is the jumping off point where new adventures begin.

Thoughts From This Semester

thoughts from this semesterThis is a selection of random thoughts I had over the course of the past semester. Now that I have officially completed my last exam, I thought I would share some of them. Please excuse the rambleness of them!

01. Fighting procrastination is possible with a little effort and a lot of work. I am proud to say that I started a ten page essay three days before it was due, not the night before. Go me!

02. Putting in the effort to actually go and talk to your proffessors is worth it. I regret not doing it more this semester in hindsight.

03. Don’t look to other people for guidance on what a good grade is. Over the course of my first two years of University I constantly looked to my family for approval that I was doing good enough and it really put a lot of stress on me. So much so that this semester I would spend some nights so anxious about what grade I might recieve on an assignment that I would end up not being able to complete it at all. It is your education, get what you want out of it.

04. I have decided (over the course of many years mind you) that I really disaprove of how schools run. We focus too much on the grades aspect and not enough on the actual education and making people interested in what they’re learning. Most people are there just to get an A+. This makes me really sad.

05. I wish I had gone to more classes this semester. I didn’t miss a huge amount, but a few that I do regret not attending. Even if you feel like its going to be the worst day of your life, you’ll always feel at least a little bit better if you just get out of bed.

06. After doing poorly on an assigment don’t think “Oh well I’ll try harder next semester.” This never works! Start trying harder NOW.

And there you have it, a little summary of how my semester went. It was tough but definitely better than second year. And now I am just waiting in anticipation for my next semester in Amsterdam! Oh the excitement!

Until next time x

I Love Art

1One thing that I have slowly begun to notice when it comes to my blog, is that I never talk about art. Even though I am an art history major, and if all goes well, will be spending exorbant amounts of time in museums in the future, I don’t think I have ever once made a post relating to art history. This is something that I have been trying to come to terms with over the past couple of days….

And after much thinking, my answer as to why is: I don’t know.

Over time, this need has started to grow where I feel like I need to talk about art. All the time. Wherever to whoever. I’m not sure why, but I think it may be because I just recently decided that I love art. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved art. I don’t think I could have made it to third year if I didn’t. But recently, I just sort of said to myself, “hey, I really love art. I love how people can express their feelings and emotions with art. I love how art can broach controversial topics. I love how art is so creative. I simply love art.” However, these are all rather recent discoveries.

And then I asked myself another question…

Why did I choose art history as a major and career choice?

The answer to that once again is, I don’t know. I always tell people that I became interested in art history because my sister would come home from university and tell me all of the things she learned in class that day. One of the most memorable being Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. But then I started thinking, before I enrolled in art history, I knew absolutely nothing about art. Not enough to warrant my being so interested in art history to major in it. So now I am rather confused and just a little bit thankful. Thankful that I was curious enough about art to choose this path that I am currently very happy with.

After all of this thinking I decided that maybe I will start to share some thoughts on art here soon. :)

P.S. Please excuse these ramblings of an art history major. I just wrote a ten page essay this week on controversial art in Canada so now my brain is going haywire. Time to relax before final exams!

Until next time x

 

 

The Happy List | Vol. 3

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  1. Cooking something for the first time and it turns out great
  2. Watching something that inspires you to push harder to accomplish your lifes goals/dreams
  3. Using whipping cream instead of milk in tea
  4. Discovering that perfect song
  5. Coming home and dinner is already made
  6. Finishing a book after struggling with it for awhile
  7. Developing my own photos
  8. Driving in the rain
  9. When someone you didn’t expect inquires if you’re okay

Among all the chaos of projects and essays, I have been feeling very grateful and happy about some of the small things in my life that I don’t usually notice. Its a good feeling. :)

Please be sure to check out the original happy list blog!

Until next time x

Photo Diary | September

DSC_0095DSC_0245DSC_0338DSC_0526DSC_05391. School started this month so of course I had to take out the books and dust off my pens.

2. This semester I am taking a photography class and am super excited about it! This is just one photo from my first project that we did.

3. Went to Seans house for the weekend and pretty much just lazed around and swam in the pool. Now that the semester is winding up again I wish I could go back to that relaxing weekend.

4. Sean, my dad, and I went on another hike to Angel Springs. I left Sean in charge of my DSLR as I was using my film camera, so these photos are courtesy of him.

I can’t believe that it is already October! I always feel sad that by the time the months is over and I should be putting together a photo diary I barely have any photos to show. I hope that everyone had a wonderful month but if not, don’t worry, there is always this month :)

Until next time x

The Sunday Currently | Vol. 3

C U R R E N T L Y . . .
R E A D I N G blog posts, art history readings, psych text, the usual.
W R I T I N G art history papers. The work never ends!
L I S T E N I N G to a whole range of music. I am trying to collect more songs to put in my music library.
T H I N K I N G about how I want to be more creative. Whether thats doing more crafts, drawing, or taking more photographs we will just have to wait and see.
S M E L L I N G the fall air. It is so distinct compared to the other seasons, I love it!
W I S H I N G That I could know if I got into the University of Amsterdam or not right now.
H O P I N G that everything with my exchange works out. Its all in their hands now.
W E A R I N G  my PJs. Its a cozy day of studying.
L O V I N G League of Legends. My boyfriend got me hooked and now I can’t stop playing. My school work is definitely going to suffer because of this.
W A N T I N G to draw more. I’ve decided to draw something every day to sharpen my skills.
N E E D I N G to stop procrastinating. Per usual.
F E E L I N G worried about my art history presentation next week. Mostly because I haven’t started it. hehe :3
C L I C K I N G on all the pretty things in Threadless and Society 6. I want it all!

Join the blog link up :)