Closing Thoughts

Over the last month (longer now) of being home, I’ve reflected upon my semester throughout my conversations with friends and family members, most of which have not sufficiently allowed me to process the semester beyond a brief overview of the highlights. As a way of concluding this blog and engaging in some reflection, I’ve brought myself to a coffee shop to sit down and craft a final, long-overdue post. 

Living in Copenhagen, studying at DIS, and traveling to unfamiliar places has broadened my perspective in ways I could not have understood five months ago. Amidst all of the busyness and fun I found myself experiencing the emotional growth which accompanies making new friends, spending time with old friends in different contexts, and adjusting to a slower pace of life, including a more relaxed approach to school.  Classes were opportunities for quality time with friends and for learning without the constraints of academic burnout and immense amounts of work. I became excited to be in the classroom again, wherever that took me: through the city of Copenhagen and across Denmark, and to Estonia and Finland, all the while engaging with new perspectives and developing a deeper understanding of European culture and my other subjects of focus.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to travel during the semester, especially to those places where I would not be likely to go otherwise, like Prague or Tallinn, and for my trips alone. It’s been surreal to walk down the cobblestone streets of European cities, some of which are hundreds of years older than anywhere else I’ve been, and to spend time in beautiful nature, from the Italian alps to Finnish Lapland. Wherever I traveled, though, I always looked forward to returning to Copenhagen.  I may be biased, but I found Copenhagen to be the most uniquely pleasant city I spent time in this semester: one with beautiful parks which came alive in the spring, streets and canals lined with the pastel-colored facades of shops and restaurants, and the flakiest, butteriest, most joyful pastries I’ve ever eaten.

Beyond enjoying the city itself, I am extremely grateful that I chose to study at DIS this spring. My professors were all thoughtful, intelligent, and passionate about their chosen subjects, and the emphasis on experiential learning made this my most educational semester yet. I am particularly thankful that DIS supported this blog by allowing me to be a part of the Student Media Team. Without writing this blog and without my Creative Nonfiction Writing class, which I enrolled in the day before leaving for Copenhagen, I would not have been able to experience such growth or to find such enjoyment in writing. Between writing here about my travels, school, and adventures around Copenhagen and my fun writing class assignments which prompted me to explore different genres and styles, I have come to love writing more than I could have imagined. I have only had academic writing assignments for the past few years, so it was great to broaden my horizons and have some choice in my subject material. Writing still challenges me, and I think it always will, but I am excited to continue to practice and to develop my own voice. As a result of this semester, I’ve become increasingly interested in pursuing a career in writing.

I appreciate everyone who has kept up with me and all my adventures through reading this blog. It made my day (and sometimes even my week!) when someone would leave a comment or send me a message that they enjoyed my post. So, thank you for reading! Whenever I wanted to make excuses to delay writing I would think of these nice comments and feel encouraged to work on my post. 

I guess this is goodbye for Copenhanging with Julia! I’ll be forever thankful for this semester and for the way I’ve chronicled so many great memories in these posts. Who knows what will happen? At the very least, I know I could always enjoy keeping a blog, so I’ll just have to find my next thing to write about. 

1 comment

  1. Dear Julia,
    This was an amazing post! I have a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat as I read this. I am so grateful that you were able to be free of all of the constraints of your earlier semesters and be able to be open, vulnerable, creative, and inquisitive once again. You have always been a lover of learning and discovering new things. I’m so glad that you have been able to get that back. I am so very proud of you and how you took risks this semester as well in your learn as well as traveling. Maybe not so happy about your walk on the highway;(.
    Keep that fire and passion for learning going and follow your passions. I love you so much and can’t wait to see where your path goes on this crazy life journey.
    So proud to be your mom!
    Love,
    Mom

    Like

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