When you last heard from me, I was getting ready to start my law school orientation. I was happy and carefree, although a bit exhausted. Now, after a week of orientation, I am back into school mode and dealing with the anxieties that accompany it. I didn’t think that I would be worried about starting school again, but today I stress-ate an entire bag of potato chips in preparation for class tomorrow. Some things never change I guess.
Remember all that growth I was talking about in previous posts? Like how I’m more outgoing and optimistic? Lies. Wait, that’s a little harsh. My personal progress has yet to become an absolute truth. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day and Katie certainly has not become a less awkward, more well-rounded person after a few weeks in Europe (but she’s working on it).
I did naively think that everything was going to great all the time. It really had been, right up until orientation started. Then I realized that certain situations still give me great anxiety, and parts of this past week certainly reminded me of this.
For one thing, orientation started with a SIX HOUR seminar on EU law and institutions which started at 8 in the morning. In America, that would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Indeed, it was a struggle to get through. My attention span and mood were not improved with the gloomy, drizzly weather. Normally I love a dreary day, but in this context it just made me uncomfortable.
For another, the entire concept of orientation just made me uncomfortable. I don’t do well in large groups of people that I’ve never met and I was thrust into a situation filled with over two hundred of them. It wasn’t the most terrible thing but, as an introvert, being around so many new people and having to be “on” for so long was mentally and physically exhausting. I ended up developing a migraine halfway through the week and had to skip one of the many optional social activities because I was so overwhelmed.
I apologize that this first half of my post was kind of a downer. Of course I had fun and am enjoying my time here in Copenhagen. I just think that it’s important to present all sides of a situation. All too often, people only present the best version of themselves online which can be harmful when others start comparing themselves to the seemingly “perfect” lives being presented in social media. I want to share all of my experiences, both good and bad, to be transparent and let you know that I’m a real person with real emotions and struggles. Basically, it’s okay to feel things because we’re all humans and nothing can be perfect.
Now for some fun stuff. I actually really did love the last day of orientation. The University of Copenhagen held its annual matriculation ceremony and I was thrilled to be able to attend. The University has been holding this ceremony since the 1400s! It was really something to participate in a tradition that is way older than the United States itself. Also, it’s tradition for the deans of the faculties to serve the new students cake. And there were free hotdogs. After sending her pictures (of just the sausage and the cake because priorities) my mom asked me, “Do you pick your law schools based on free food?” Honestly, maybe.
That evening, there was a social event at the Faculty of Law for the incoming students. It was a nice dinner featuring way too much food. I ended up having a fabulous time. I really liked the people I ended up sitting with. And the food was so good I ate way too many potatoes. I also ended up sitting with the friends who were content to leave the party at 10pm so I didn’t even have to awkwardly sneak home on my own (not that I wasn’t having fun but I was feeling unwell). So my orientation week did end on a positive note!
I spent my last weekend of freedom doing mostly low-key activities. The weather was unseasonably warm and gorgeous so I met up with some friends for a biking adventure. We started by going to the ice cream shop that’s right next to my dorm. It’s apparently one of the best in the city and now that I’ve experienced it I’m worried for my waistline. I have to pass by it to go to the grocery store which might be dangerous, depending on my willpower.
Sufficiently fueled by ice cream, we set out on our bike ride. We first stopped by the harbor at Islands Brygge because my friends hadn’t yet seen it. This was just a pit stop. Our final destination was the beach. Yes, Copenhagen does have a beach and it’s pretty great. I managed to navigate us there successfully. I think that I’m finally confident and comfortable with my bike. Unfortunately, while it had been sunny all day, the clouds rolled in almost immediately once we actually arrived at the beach. Still, we had a nice day chilling (literally) in the sand and sticking our toes into the sea.
All that’s left for me is to start my classes which, after all, is the reason why I’m here. I’m kind of excited and cautiously optimistic because my two courses, Artificial Intelligence and Legal Disruption and Corporate Social Responsibility, sound interesting. Hopefully they will live up to my expectations. My semester is really about to begin and I am so ready for everything that lies ahead!