Since the last post, not as many things as one would think have happened. The main, most important thing I suppose is that this post is not currently being typed away in it's usual habitat, but instead the noise of someone typing away can be heard, if someone wanted to be nosy, on a bed in a room somewhere in the northern region of Sweden.
I am here to study for a semester- the process was pretty much straight forward. When I first joined uni I was told by a lecturer about this Exchange Student Programme for second year students, and since then I became kind of obsessed with the whole idea. I told people about it and said I was going to do it. Well, I believe I told people so that I would have to do it. Finally, when the time came, I signed up, waited to hear back and now here I am.
I got here in late January and will remain here until June. It's completely white with snow, and usually pretty cold. Perhaps I should add that I am very happy here, people are pleasant, respectful and generally I feel at peace. I add the last bit because the snow, the cold and even the general grey skies cannot dampen my spirits, which is in stark contrast to the terrible time I let myself suffer during the last semester. The phrase 'haters gonna hate,' I think is quite appropriate to use here, however, it does not even begin to express even a droplet of sadness and fear I felt and was made to feel to the degree that I genuinely don't want to go back to my home uni.
I spent a lot of time last semester wondering why I was being treated the way I was. Obvious statuses on Facebook about me, ignoring me in class, sitting away from me, moaning every time I mentioned anything to do with Sweden, arguing again any views I presented in seminars, laughing at me, etc and generally making me feel crap. It may have been because I took up the opportunity presented to us, no one else bothered but then turned sour towards me. Or that I befriended the new girl- man, this really sounds like a bad chick flick, what's worse is that this type of behaviour took place at a uni. By this stage in higher education, one hopes that ones fellow peers would be grown up, alas, this has not been the case.
Moving back to the present, however, the situation is completely different. Not once have I feared to go into a lecture here unlike last semester when I pretty much stopped going to one of the modules. Here, I want to go into uni and see people I haven't since the last lecture.
I think that it will take me some time to regain my strength, but I plan on going back stronger. After all, this is my education and I don't want anyone to ruin it for me, but most of all I don't want my weakness to ruin it for me. Most importantly, this time around I will go to my tutor as last semester I was pretty embarrassed about it. I was afraid that my tutor would think I was being childish.
This whole situation has raised some questions such as how many other people who are currently in uni also remain quiet about being bullied by their peers. I wonder how many students who don't' fit in' for whatever reason end up feeling isolated as a direct result of being bullied. Their potential peers may perceive the friendship with the victim as a social suicide. In my opinion, in school if the child is the victim of bullying, usually that child has no or very few friends. This, in turn, makes me wonder whether there are any similarities in adult life. Had the earlier mentioned new girl hadn't been there for me, I would have been completely alone, I truly believe that I would have dropped out. I observed that most of the people had joined the bullies' social group, but not necessarily joining in with the lame facebook statuses or making sarky comments. I must also mention here that more than 90% of my peers are female.
Despite all the crap, I feel like I have achieved a huge goal. There are always the big goals and then there are the small ones. As mentions earlier, I believe that I told my friends and family about Sweden so that then I would have to do it. This was definitely a big goal and I am glad that I had people behind me pulling me up when I was being pushed down by others, especially those who kept hold of my arm every time I let those idiots get to me.
It hasn't been easy, the journey here has only just begun. I don't know what the future has install for me, I, however intend on having the best time of my life. I am beginning to feel less fearful of 'bad' things happening to me or around me. As this whole situation has shown me, I am more capable than I give myself credit, and despite the crap, I am still achieving my goals!
Until next time,