On the very first day of orientation, I walked up the steps toward the Danish Academy of Music, coming to a halt. Taking an anxious-and-excited breath, I scanned my horizon – there stood a rogue wave of about 1200 DIS students standing in and around the building.
Looking upon it at a glance, I could have simply succumbed to a whirlwind of nerves, turning back while the train was still in the station. But no, the journey had been far, and I came to study in Copenhagen for reasons I couldn’t possibly turn my back on.
To embrace that feeling of the unknown, to walk into the deep water and come out with new ideas, changed perspectives, and growth – that was the challenge. So I hugged the feeling close – let it heat up inside of me and reveal itself. It flourished and pushed me toward the wave with the wind at my back.
And now in reflection, it was each time I fully embraced that feeling when golden memories were made, and discoveries of friendship rang true.
In the first week of DIS, I explored with fellow students the amazing areas of Tivoli and The Little Mermaid, beautiful canals in unexpected places, and met people from all over the globe. Some came from Serbia, some Hawaii, and another from the exact high school I attended in little Missouri!
Each and every relationship I have come across thus far in Copenhagen has brought a new idea or perspective to the table, or has reminded me of the reason why I came here in the first place. I came to be challenged, to face difficulty, to learn how to keep my mind open and to try new things.
If I had forgotten that, I may have missed out on so many opportunities! Walking by Rosenborg Castle, we saw city guards perform a routine with their rifles, we strolled through lusciously green cemeteries with beautiful memorabilia, and were stunted by vibrant buildings lining the river of bikes across every patch of green.
Later on, some of us even got an inside scoop on the University of Copenhagen! A certain homestay mom who worked from within gave us a small tour of a hidden library deep inside…
There have been a few times since entering Denmark that this swelling, overwhelming feeling has floated to the surface. In many orientational activities, a new city and homestay, and a life that is so so different from before, it’s bound to happen. To embrace it and use its energy to propel me and explore the city with open arms, that’s the challenge. But that was also when I discovered the beauty of befriending fear.
And to end I just want to give a shout out to my host family’s amazing Labradoodle, named Doodle. Let her name bounce into the heavens, for while she is not allowed to be on the footstool, she has found an alternative!