mutedtempest: (Default)
I know it's been forever, aside from the copypasted posts from my other blogs. I honestly have no idea why I have so many. I guess that like everything else I have a terrible time making decisions, and I sort of like being able to post certain things in certain places. I've missed IJ though, and I feel comfortable here, so I'd like to get back into at least a semi-regular updating pattern.

A lot has been happening recently, most of which revolves around my application and acceptance to Uppsala University, and the approval of my residence permit. In less than 5 days I'll be leaving Moline, hopefully for good, but for at least two years while I study for a master's degree. To say I'm happy would be the understatement of the century. I still can't believe I've gotten so lucky, and I keep waiting to wake up from the dream and realize it's not real. But that hasn't happened yet, so I'm doing my best to accept that maybe I do deserve something that I've really wanted. I'm going to try to make the best of it and not take any of it for granted.

To be perfectly honest I never believed it would happen. I'd sent applications to schools in Norway and The Netherlands too, since I was so positive Uppsala wouldn't accept me. Even if they did, with the new tuition fees for non-EU students I thought there'd be no way I could ever afford it, even with student loans. To my complete and utter shock I was not only accepted but approved for some extra student loan funds which will be plenty to live comfortably on.

I thought the lucky streak would end and that my student residence permit would be denied, since I applied for one before and wasn't accepted. Those courses were all online, though, and the American student loan system changed while I was there the first time. I was still super anxious waiting to hear something for three months, though, and expected them to say no. For some reason, they didn't, and last week I got an email saying that I was approved.

I keep waiting for it to sink in. I've been buying things and making plans, but it still doesn't feel real to me. I just...how do I deserve this? Sweden has always felt like home to me. I'm still avoidant and will always have issues, but I'm just not as anxious so often when I'm in Sweden. And I have friends there, real ones, three of whom are only a short bus ride away from Uppsala and the others an overnight ride.

I feel like this is a second chance for me. I think, just maybe, I can at least make an attempt to become the person I want to be. I'll be able to apply for a personnummer, and will have better health care than I've ever had in America. That alone makes me feel like I've won the lottery. I'll also be at a large university, and will try my hardest to socialize as much as I can. I'm going to join a choir, something I haven't been part of for years now and miss terribly.

In short, the universe is really being nice to me right now, and I'm just sort of floating around in a daze. I really cannot wait.
mutedtempest: (Default)
since I’m really disorganized in my head right now. I’m very happy to be going, don’t get me wrong, but I was so sure it wasn’t going to happen that I was sort of knocked on my ass when things finally came together.Now I feel like I’m scrabbling to get everything together at the last minute, although in reality I have very little left that I need to do before I go.

I finally told my family that I’m going. Most of them took it very well, but my Nans (my mother’s mother) is having a hard time with it. I made her cry, and I feel horrible for that. When I’m in the States I live in the upper apartment of my great grandmother’s duplex, since it’d be sitting empty otherwise. I also try to keep an eye on her, but it’s difficult because even at 99 she’s stubborn as a mule and refuses to let me help her with anything. Still, I try to check on her a few times a day and help with whatever she’ll let me do, and I know it’s going to be really rough on my Nans to know that she’s here mostly alone. (My…I guess he’d be a second cousin? something of that sort anyway) lives in the basement apartment, but he’s a bit…different, and while a nice guy I’m not sure he’d know what to do if something should happen to her. So I feel really bad for taking that peace of mind away, but as my Nans said, I can’t put my life on hold for that. I suppose that’s true, but I still feel guilty.

I went to the library and got all the paperwork I should need printed off, including my plane ticket. I have that all packed in my file folder, and I have a compression bag of clothes already packed. I need to try to roll it down a bit more, but aside from doing laundry before I go and packing a few little things from that, I’m ready clothes-wise. I also packed up most of my diabetic supplies, and went today to get the remaining refills on my insulin to take with me. Really, the only things I have left to pack are the insulin itself and my carry on bag with laptop, phone and some little things.

I also need to clean the apartment, mainly the food. I’ve been shopping light for awhile so as not to have much to get rid of, and my family will be taking some of the frozen and dry things. Then I’ll have to vacuum, scrub everything down, dust and mop the kitchen floor. I’ll be leaving the apartment pretty much intact since it’ll be empty anyway, but I’d like to get it as clean as I possibly can.

See? I knew this post would be rambly. I think the stress of having an actual departure date and knowing that this is really happening are putting me a little on edge. I’m sure things will be just fine, but the anticipation/anxiety from these final days in America is freaking me out a little anyway.
mutedtempest: (Default)
I’m still sort of in shock at being granted the residence permit. I’m not sure when it’s going to sink in, but it hasn’t yet! I’ve gotten everything I could ever possibly need for the trip over, though, even travel-sized bottles of shampoo and bodywash from the drugstore. I’m planning to carry everything on rather than checking, since I’ll have to change planes in Chicago. I’ve made this same flight before several times and never had an issue with luggage being lost, but it’d be my luck that this time I will, so I’d rather not risk it.

I’ll be arriving on the 24th, which is two days after the recommended arrival date and right in the middle of orientation week. From what I’ve read, the orientation activities mainly involve parties for new students at the nations, which are something unique to the cities of Lund, Uppsala and Helsinki and are something of a cross between a frat/sorority, a social club and a pub/cafe, usually with choirs, bands and other clubs and organizations. I’ll try to describe them more on a later post when I’ve had a bit more experience with them, but since I’m somewhat averse to parties of the sort that seem to go on there I’d much rather not go. There are also some meetings for international students, but the week seems centered more around tours of the city and nation parties than anything else, and quite frankly I just don’t feel it necessary.

I also haven’t found any accommodation yet, so one of my friends in Stockholm was kind enough to invite me to go to her country house until classes begin on the 29th. I’m going to go and try to relax a little before classes start. I know I’ll need to choose a nation and acclimate myself to Uppsala itself, but I’d really rather save the money I’d have to spend at a hotel to be there for orientation. I’ll need to be there for my first course meeting of course, but I think the other things should be easy enough to figure out after that, especially since I won’t have an address until September 1st if I’m offered an apartment for the short term.
mutedtempest: (Default)
I still can’t really believe it, and I’m sitting here expecting it to be revoked at any second, but I was given approval for a student residence permit yesterday. Once I knew, I booked a flight as soon as I could. Orientation week begins the 22nd and I was hoping to be in Sweden a bit before that so that I could recover from the jetlag, which affects me and the diabetes quite a bit. I was also going to spend some time with my friends in Stockholm before school stuff started. Flight prices were over a thousand dollars for any date prior to August 23rd, though, so I decided to book something a bit cheaper. I ended up paying $789 for a one-way ticket to Arlanda from Moline, with a stopover in Chicago. I could have booked something cheaper and had more stops, but I figured I’d make things as easy on myself as possible. The plane leaves at 1:40pm Chicago time, and after the stopover and flight, it’s scheduled to land at 7:45am in Stockholm.

I’m still in a sort of daze about it. I tend to feel like I don’t deserve anything good, and when I actually manage to get good things, it’s hard to accept. I emailed my program’s contact person with my arrival date and asked if there’s anything I need to do regarding registration or anything like that before the first class meeting (Monday the 29th). Haven’t heard back yet, but I feel better having asked.

I still have no idea where I’ll be living. I applied for one of the short-term apartments through the student union, and I’m sure it’ll be fine, but occupancy on those isn’t until September 1st. So I’ll have about a week or so to figure out. I can afford to stay in a hotel or a hostel, but I really don’t want to since they’re so expensive in Sweden. I’m not sure, maybe I’ll ask the Stockholmers if they’d mind me crashing there for a bit.

I still have some things to get settled before I leave, namely telling my grandparents I’ll be going. They’re steadfastly against the idea because they had to pay for my flight home the last time I was in Sweden, and I know they don’t want to have to face that possibility again. I should also get another travel adapter and some luggage tags, and some other little things. For the next few days I think I’m just going to sit here and thank any gods there might be for giving me this opportunity. I have a feeling this is going to be a lifechanger.
mutedtempest: (Default)
I'm getting pretty antsy about leaving for Uppsala. It's not so much the trip in itself, since I've basically done it before. Not that exact city, of course, but I've taken several trips that were very similar, have lived abroad, all that jazz. Of course this time will be different since I'll be attending a foreign university, but still. Once the initial anxiety of "oh God I'm in a new place and have no idea what I'm supposed to DO!" wears off, I'll adjust pretty quickly. Always have before, at least, so I have that going for me. I also have several dear friends not far away, and that's very comforting since it's a fairly new development in my life.

No, most of the nervousness I haven't been able to shake lately is due to the whole residence permit situation. Anyone who knows me or has followed my blogs in the past few years knows how disappointed I was in being unable to get a residence permit approved for Lund in 2009. I was told that the Migration Board didn't accept conditional loans. Now, of course, that was an online masters program, and the loan program for American students studying abroad has changed a lot since then. I've been assured that the student loans are accepted now, and there's not much more I can do about it but wait and hope.

I still have more than a month until classes actually begin, and I received an email from the Permit Unit on July 15th stating that they were looking at my case. So, it shouldn't take too long, all told. Could, of course, but I'm hoping they can get an answer to me sometime in the beginning/middle of August.

I just feel like I'm sort of locked in place. If the permit gets approved, I'll be spending at least the next two years of my life in Sweden. That makes me really happy, but I sort of need to prepare for a big move like that. I have airline tickets to buy, housing to get sorted out, shopping to do (for luggage, a good laptop, a global phone, etc.), and a lot of mental preparation since I'll be attending a large university with a lot of people to interact with on a regular basis. I'm pretty confident that I can do it, and think I need to in order to grow as a person, but it's still gonna take some getting used to in my head.

If the permit isn't approved, well...I'm going to appeal that decision. I did with Lund, too, but it didn't work. Still, the loans are offered by the school, if a student isn't allowed to GO to school with them they shouldn't be offered, and since the school has assured me they're accepted, I will appeal. But I also don't want to start preparing to go before I know for sure. I think the experience with Lund left a bad taste in my mouth about the entire process, and I'm not going to buy a new laptop, phone and luggage, or a plane ticket, without being 100% sure.

Waiting is hard. I lack patience. lol

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