An abundance of first times

No, not the first times you are thinking of! Yeah, I just assumed what you would be thinking of while reading that title (which I agonized over choosing), but I’m talking about a whole set of first times that would be insignificant to most. I believe in treasuring each and every moment, feeling and landscape, and that is why my list of first times is endless.

As someone who came by almost two weeks after the official start of the semester, I must admit it was pretty hectic putting everything into order, getting a grasp of the situation, late-registering for the courses, buying furniture and dealing with a cold weather. Well, most would laugh at 0°C being considered cold weather but hey, you can’t blame a Moroccan for experiencing a temperature shock away from the 15°C they left back home!

Slowly afterwards, I finally came to enjoy Finland through Joensuu, its winter, landscapes, people, the laid-back yet motivating and efficient educational system and all the events that go in between. I took my time admiring every nook and cranny, including aspects as trivial as separate roads for bicycles and satisfyingly coordinated traffic lights. I also got to enjoy long safe walks in the snow even at late times at night and in deserted places such as lakes.

As such, coming to Finland I experienced my first time traveling outside the country, getting on a plane, having my own room, freezing from cold, making foreign friends, doing activities in the snow, taking both my hands off the handle while sprinting on my bike through the streets, using English for so long, clubbing, enjoying peaceful night bus rides and much, much more.

For more to come! (hopefully seeing Northern Lights this late in the season by some kind of miracle)

Abir Hassani