Dear Maria from the past,
If only you knew you are about to embark on one of the greatest adventures of your lifetime. I know you are incredibly scared right now and more nervous than you have ever been in your life but hear me out and just relax. These next 6 months are going to exhaust you emotionally and physically to points you haven’t experienced before but they are also going to be filled with so much enjoyment and happy memories that you are going to wish each second would last just a little bit longer.
One of the things you should know and be prepared for is not everything is going to be rainbows and sunshine. There will be really hard times during your exchange when all you want to do is go back home. Many challenges will be faced that you aren’t familiar with and they are going to stress you out and make you lose hope, but once you overcome them, and you will, you will only come out a more confident and stronger person. That being said, try your best to keep a more positive attitude especially at the beginning. Also, try not to focus so much on the little things, you will regret missing out on opportunities and memories because of it.
Create a list of all the places you want to see in Sweden and all of the things you want to do. Sometimes life gets in the way and these things get pushed aside, but you are only in Sweden once so don’t let yourself miss out on these adventures. You’d be surprised by what cool and beautiful places Sweden has to offer. Don’t be so lazy either. I know you are going to hate biking so much, but those 15 min to go somewhere new are going to be worth it. Don’t spend so much time sleeping, if you sleep the whole day, you miss out on a day’s worth of going somewhere or spending time with amazing people you won’t have the chance to see again.
Also, make sure you call home more often. Your friends and family miss you, and you will miss them too, and I know you want to enjoy as much as you can with the new people you’ve met, but your parents especially sacrificed a lot for you to come and deserve more than just a call every two weeks.
Make sure you enjoy yourself and know that when it is all over you are going to miss it so much, but you will be so glad it happened.