This post is gonna be fun for me to write, I hope for you to read, as well.
So I got the YFU newsletter today and it had so many questions inside, that I find really good and thought-provoking. It’s all connected to my exchange year somehow, so if I communicate with you during this time, I think you’re gonna find a lot about yourself and how I see you in my eyes, in these lines.
Does my host family know what I expect and wanted to learn from this experience? Why did I come to Finland? Do I know what they expected when they decided to host an exchange student?
Honestly, I have no idea if they know what I expect from this year. But my expectations aren’t big in a way that they can do something about it. I don’t want each weekend to be special and I don’t want them to organize special trips just for me. I want to live the normal Finnish life. Sure, it’s nice to go somewhere with them every once in a while and have a good time, but that’s not what I expect ALL THE TIME. I’m being asked the Finland question more than “How are you” or “What’s up”, so you can probably guess that I’m pretty sick of answering every single time. I like Finland. Always have, always will. Sturm und Drang were the trigger, if I have to be honest, but this is so much bigger than them. And I don’t know what my family wants from me as an exchange student. I know that they didn’t want to host a student, but then they saw MY profile and changed their minds. My family is special. I don’t think they expect anything special from me…maybe help out with my siblings’ language skills, but they are already doing more than great. I doubt that they wanted a student especially from Bulgaria, so that they know my/our customs. I think it just worked and I’m glad it did, cause I’m having a blast with them. No one has expectations for the others, so it’s easy to talk to each other and just be ourselves.
How do I feel about being in Finland? What are the most positive things ? Do I have friends? What have I done to find them?
Finland is a….very nice place. I don’t know how I feel about being here, because I’m not thinking about it that often. If I really have to do it, I’d say I’m feeling great. Of course, I have my bad days and I stress out a lot, sometimes I feel more alone than I should and I’m terrified of things not working out, but in general, I am having a good time. The most positive things are my friends and my family. I don’t know which of these I like more, so I’ll just call it a tie. My siblings are just wonderful. I feel so comfortable around them, as if we’ve lived together forever. I miss them, when they are gone and I feel the need to talk to them constantly and tease them all the time. Iiris is the one I would go to if I want to talk about teenage problems such as clothes, boys, makeup and I feel good going out with her, she’s both my friend and my sister. I care for her a lot! Pietari is the one I would tease mindlessly regardless if he enjoys it or not. He says “stoooooop”, but I can just see the smile on his face, when I’m poking him or messing up his hair. I love it! Joonatan is my soul troll. We are constantly dissing each other off with clever jokes, but it’s so friendly and fun, I laugh a lot with him. And he just comes into my room and tries to get me mad…by hitting random buttons and talking to my friends. He fails, of course. Him and Pietsu together are the deadliest combination, they just leave me breathless with their actions. They’re so fun! And if I would have biological brothers, they would be just like them. My brothers ❤ Aleksanteri is also a brother of mine. Even though he’s only a year older than me, I feel him both as a big brother and a mate my age. He’s awesome. And he can give me so much advice on sports and stuff. Not to mention that he’s a party person, so that makes things much more easier for me, when it comes to Maarit and Hannu letting me go to parties. Laura and Saara, even though they don’t live with us and I see them so rarely, I adore their personalities, they’re just like rays of sunshine, so smiley and happy…I don’t know, I like them. As for Maarit and Hannu, they have both authority and friendliness. They are always so open about what they think and it’s so nice to talk to them in general. Chilled or angry, I wouldn’t have it any other way. My big, big, big family is perfect.
And friends…I could go on forever about them. At the very present moment, I’m the closest with Joel, Astrid, Noora, Rasse and Henkka to some extent. It changes, I think…In two weeks the people might be completely different, cause I have many friends and I care for all of them. They have made me miserable so many fucking times, without even knowing it, BUT they have also put a big smile on my face that doesn’t seem to wear off for weeks. I feel stupid for liking them so much, cause there are times, when they don’t deserve my attention at all. But they really are lovely! 🙂 My whole school experience is basically…them. I’m also a bit cautious, though. Because fist of all, friendship for me means a lot and I know for a fact that there are some people, who don’t feel the same way. Which is fine, of course, but I have to think for myself first. I don’t want to be hurt by them, like it happened with Ivana and Rumen. I am giving my heart out, but I’m kind of still holding it with one hand if that even makes sense. It will be too late at one point, but for now, I can live with myself like that. And I know that out of all those amazing people I’ve met here, I’ll REALLY stay friends with only 3 or 4 of them over the course of a few years. I just don’t know which ones yet. (but of course, I have my preferences). It doesn’t depend only on me, you know…so yeah, the friends topic is a really sensitive thing to talk about as I’m not stupid and I see what’s going on. My connection with my family will remain forever as for those guys from school…I’m not so sure yet. I want it to. But I don’t know…
What have I done with my friends? I’ve gone out with them, partied with them, gone to school with them, talked to them a lot…perusasiat.
What have I done in order to adjust to this lifestyle?
Well…I don’t know. I started learning Finnish? Tried to make friends? Spent time with my family and got to know them better? There’s not really much one can do to adjust, other than just be patient. My fear from riding on the bus is already gone, as well as shopping from supermarkets. All you have to do is practice. And take things from the good side. Try not to notice the bad stuff, keep going forward, don’t just say “I give up!”, get yourself something to do (for me it’s my album scrap book), go out more. In my case, I took more courses, so I could be in school more. I have school everyday except for Friday from 8 to 4 and I like it that way. It keeps me occupied and it’s harder to over think things in general.
Are you comfortable talking about anything? Is it ok to talk about feelings?
Well, not really. I know I should, at least with my friends or family, but I keep it to myself. People say that they want to hear more from me, but I think they’re just polite and no one really cares how I’m doing. Besides, I talk so much that they forget to ask most of the time, which is good. Cause “I’m fine” is a lie I wouldn’t say too often. It’s not like there’s something to be worried about, but if there’s something on my mind and someone asks me “how are you”, telling everything wouldn’t exactly be my first choice. No one wants to hear boring shit. I have feelings, I just don’t talk about them that much…except for my blog, cause obviously if you scroll a few posts down, you’ll find yourself in an episode of “the Bold and the Beautiful”, it’s like a mental facility in here.
What have I learnt about Finnish culture and myself?
Finnish culture kicks ass. Even salmiakki. There’s nothing about Finland that I don’t like, haven’t you seen that already, Christ! Finns are weird and the culture is even weirder. But it rocks. I like it. The Christmas food and the Independence day, the Midsummer…..<3 Me gusta, k? I have learnt almost nothing about myself, which is sad, but still true. I have only confirmed some of my thoughts on my ever so beautiful personality…some good and some bad sides. I attach too easily, I don’t care about important people, I’m too loud and I’m easily amused. I talk too much and I’m a happy person in general. There you go. 🙂
How has your year been so far and what do you want to change during what’s left of your time here?
My year hasn’t been what I thought it would be. But that’s normal. I knew about a lot of the things that happened to me, but let’s just say I expected to think more like a tool, instead of like an actual person. I expected to be an ambassador of my own country and that my exchange program would exploit that in any way possible, but I didn’t mind it. I thought I was gonna be with YFU people all the time. But it’s so much different. I found out that this family is MINE and not YFU’s. My friends don’t even know what YFU is, which I think is a good thing. I have been independent and I’ve had loads of fun. There are still things, which I would like to change, but it still feels like I’m adjusting to everything. And I don’t think that feeling will go away by the time I’m supposed to go home, but now I have my basis, I just need to work on them. I already have friends and a permanent family. My goal is to spend as much time with them as possible and just….have fun, not think so much about what’s gonna happen if I do this or that. I still have 6 and a half months left and I want to show people who I am. Maybe I should be more open and actually say meaningful things, when I speak. I don’t want to change, but I want the people here to love me for who I am and I don’t think that they know exactly what I’m like. So I should show them and they should make their decision. Then of course, I want to have even more fun. I want to experiment and try more new things, I want to get involved in relationships that I KNOW for sure that they will last. Because I want to have a reason to come back. I love it here.
Ugh, I don’t have time for the rest of the questions, sorry! Some other time?