Good morning, I guess after two weeks here I feel I need to define the experience with words. Those are the first words in my diary two months ago and I still cannot find the appropriate words to describe what I am experiencing but I will do my best.

“One part of me says two weeks over, this part full of nostalgia and used to a place where everything belonged to me. The other part, however, wants to stop time because one day more here means one day less in something that once was a dream.”

After two months, I have made this place mine and time keeps passing, non-stop. My feelings match the darkness of the day, and how ironic that everything will be over when the darkness invades Finland, and probably my mind.

It is difficult to think that a group of people that I met only two months ago are now part of a family, a family that was looking for a warm home in this icy land and found it in each other.

Everything has not been great of course, don’t get me wrong, during these three months I have cried, shout and missed home more than ever; being alone was never easy. However every day I step out and put everything in my backpack because here in Jyväskyla you know when you are going out but never when you will be back.

I cannot stop even when I am 4000km away, but girl, sometimes your body needs a rest, I guess it is difficult when everything is so easy, when there is always a plan and nothing is further than 20 minutes by bike. Yet, we sometimes need time for ourselves, to think, to write, to breathe, and to sleep; oh, I am so thankful for Spanish naps, always willing to help.

I cannot express my feelings, always contradictory, and running in my chaotic mind full of uncertainties. I thought Finland would give me an incredible educational experience, full of resources and knowledge that I would not have gotten anywhere else. To my surprise, I did not have that but I had many other things.

Finland gave me lakes and snow, forests and berries; it gave me more than twenty different languages to say hello in and infinite cultures to discover; it gave me a nap room in the library and a ping pong table in the university; it gave me parties and salmiakki; it gave me a home in a vast quantity of countries and it gave me a bike and a city to discover. But most importantly it gave me something that cannot be captured with a camera and can’t ever be repeated; it has given me life-friendships, smiles, moments of joy and moments of stress, it has given me the warmest hugs I have ever received, and the most intense feelings I have ever felt.

I know that in January I will be back but nothing will ever be the same. Jyväskyla does not mean anything without the stories lived here; they give meaning to the city, to the experience; they are my routine. 

Jyväskyla means calling someone’s house to have tea at any time in the afternoon, or hearing that weird boy you once met ringing your bell at 2 am because he just woke up from a 12 hour nap, it is having people always up for a flat party. Jyväskylä means routines, it means bra-Wednesdays, or knowing there will be karaoke on Fridays, it means meeting that German guy in the gym at 7 and knowing that beer pong is always an option to finish the day. Life in Jyväskyla is knowing wherever you go you will always have someone to have lunch with, or meeting the same people at Liikunta every day after class. My story is defined by the people, the feelings, and the words said. Jyväskyla does not have a meaning if it is not full of the stories we have lived.

Anonymous writer