a busy week!

On Monday, I woke up feeling tired, as we hadn’t landed until late on Sunday night, when I first needed to look over assignments and readings for the week. Luckily, I only had four classes instead of five, which feels much shorter.

In two classes, we had time to ask questions about the final papers and projects, and then we were able to get started. My Positive Psych paper is due next Tuesday, and that’s the last assignment for the class. In Danish, we did lots of practice for our exam that was coming up. It’s over now! (Keep reading to see how I felt about it.)

After class, I went for a very short run (it was beautiful and sunny!) and then did some homework in my room. Then, I walked back to DIS for a celebratory end-of-semester dinner with my core class catered from the Glass Market! Bonus Smag (the salad place) meal for me. We all enjoyed hanging out together and catching up since we’d departed from Budapest.

Finally, I walked home while admiring the gorgeous sunset behind the Round Tower. I was fairly productive in getting work done and studying for Danish, and I coordinated my plans for Tuesday. Adina and I also made popcorn, which was a fun study snack.

I had a productive day on Tuesday with several fun breaks thrown into the hours I spent working on a final paper. I quickly went to the gym, and then I started my paper at home. I was able to get a good chunk of it done before meeting my friend Chandler (from core class) at Matcha Bar, finally! This time, I went to the right location in Magasin Mall. It is truly gluten-free heaven in there; I’ll definitely have to go again. Everything is vegan and gluten-free, which means I could stand at the bakery cases and look at all the pastries without questioning whether something was okay. I ended up ordering the brunch plate, which included two pastries. My favorite was the cinnamon bun. Chandler and I planned to do work that afternoon together, but before we did, we went on a walk. We walked through Nyhavn and across the bridge, where we found a cute area of street food booths and outside picnic tables. It was a bit chilly to hang out outside, but I definitely want to go back when it’s nice. We went inside this cool art exhibit that literally looks like nothing from the outside. When you duck under the entrance that’s three feet tall, you feel like you’re in outer space. The walls are so cool. That just goes to show you what you can find if you explore; if a friend hadn’t told me about the soccer ball-shaped dome, I never would have known to visit it.

Chandler and I headed to the Black Diamond library afterward to do some homework. Everyone taking Danish has a final this week, and it seems like most people have at least some papers due before break. I’m definitely glad I had that chunk of time in the library; I was nearly able to finish my first paper that afternoon.

I headed home to change for my evening with Goldie, as it was time to see Michelle Obama’s Becoming tour! It feels like we bought those tickets forever ago. We first had a quick dinner with Adina at the Glass Market. Then, we hopped on the metro (along with SO many other people going to the event). The tour was at the Royal Arena, which is actually near Vestamager where I had to go with my travel writing field study. Goldie and I got to catch up during the walk over and while we waited in line, which was really nice. Between traveling to different cities the past few weeks and both having visitors last week, I haven’t seen her much.

Michelle Obama is an incredible person. She is so inspirational. I think my favorite thing about her is that she’s “real,” meaning she isn’t a celebrity who treats herself like a celebrity. She knows that she’s a person just like any other person in the audience. I can’t wait to read her story this summer, although I was glad that there was enough background given at the talk to fully understand everything without having read it yet. Her main message is that it’s okay to know who you want to become and that it’s equally okay not to know what you’re doing or who you are becoming yet. Embracing life’s challenges is part of what makes success what it is, so rolling with punches is an important skill. The thing I took most to heart was when she talked about being a “box-checker” in college: she had a list of things she wanted to accomplish, and she knew how to go about getting them done. Sometimes, I think I fall into this category, too. More often than not, I have several lists on my phone, to-do lists for the coming hours, days, weeks, and years. It’s organized and great to have goals, but Michelle said that it’s okay to “smell the roses” while still checking boxes; you can skip to each box instead of walking in a straight line. I liked that, and I tried to put that into practice this week on Wednesday! (More on this later.) Another thing she talked about was three foundational truths she believes people should live by: love yourself, live with empathy, and treat others with kindness. The talk was moderated by Rachel Ray who asked Michelle the questions and basically had a conversation with her on stage. I feel so lucky to have had this incredible experience, which was even cooler in Copenhagen! One of Michelle’s questions was what she thinks of hygge and how she defines hygge within her home. Thanks for an inspirational evening. 🙂 I took the train home with Goldie (packed, once again), and did a little studying for Danish before bed.

On Wednesday, I had no field studies! Initially, I had wanted to get several papers done this week before my upcoming travels in Berlin and London. However, after realizing that I don’t quite have the necessary information to complete them yet, I settled in my mind that it would be okay to do them closer to the deadline when I return from my trips. Although I hate procrastinating at home, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself so much this week that I couldn’t enjoy the beautiful weather at all. I was able to check the necessary boxes while still getting to make the most of my time in Copenhagen.

So, Wednesday morning I did some necessary work at home in studying for my Danish final, and I finally picked up the package that Josh had sent about a month ago. It is quite a procedure to get packages here, and it took several trips to the post office and conversations with Kia, my RA, to figure it out. Then, I met Adina at Norreport after her field study, and we walked to Plant Power Food for lunch. We both got delicious open-faced sandwiches, and they were really pretty, too! Afterward, we still had room for dessert, so I finally got to try Nicecream, a vegan ice cream place that is a very trendy and popular dessert spot in the city. They have gluten-free ice cream cookie sandwiches there. Lots of good eating this week.

We took a bus to a suburb of Copenhagen with a cemetery filled with rows and rows of cherry blossom trees. It was a crowded area, as the cherry blossoms don’t last for more than a couple of weeks. This visit took longer than we expected because it was a lot of walking plus the time on the bus, but we had a really good time, and the flowers were so pretty. Then, we went back to the Norreport area and sat in Coffee Collective, a cute coffee shop around the corner from our apartment. We spent a few hours planning out our trip to London, and my friend Andrew from school was able to give us further suggestions. We are both getting so excited about our trip there.

When our phones and computers were out of battery, we headed home, stopping at Netto on the way to pick up food for dinner. We have also started keeping chocolate bars as a staple in our apartment, and this week we made popcorn a few times after dinner. A party! Adina and I then got to work at home, and I knew I’d need to spend the night studying for my Danish exam, as well as doing laundry.

Today is Thursday, and I am writing this as Rachel is on a plane to visit me! I am so excited for our week together. We’ll spend tonight in Copenhagen, tomorrow through Sunday morning in Berlin, and Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday actually doing stuff in Copenhagen before we leave for London, going our separate ways from there.

This morning, I had my last Positive Psychology class. We had a “lesson” about mindful eating, which was really interesting and fun. Kamilla brought breakfast, and she included gluten-free goodies as well as lots of fruit. We talked about the sensory experiences involved in eating food, and how we can savor food so much more if we take the time to enjoy it instead of mindlessly inhaling it. In a busy day, I am definitely guilty of eating on-the-go, but it really does make sense to sit and enjoy a meal.

We also talked about what we will take away from the course, and my personal favorite lesson is that we have more control over how inevitable or unavoidable situations impact us than I thought before taking this class. Additionally, happiness is always a choice. No matter what happens, it’s important to maintain this positive mindset.

Then, I headed to my Danish exam—part one. The listening section was a bit difficult, but the other sections were pretty okay. I’m so happy it’s over. And, we now have a break from the class before we begin preparing for the oral section of the final. The rest of the school day was relatively uneventful, and I had some time to relax this afternoon before some crazy days ahead.

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