A Day In Amsterdam

With exams finally being over this weekend was my first free weekend in about a month. At first I was planning on just doing nothing and chilling out to recover from exams but then I figured that’d be kinda boring. So I was thinking of what to do and then it came to me. I’ve been living in the Netherlands since last September now but I haven’t actually seen that much of the country except for the city I’m living in, which I really adore but I just wanted to see more. Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is about an hour and a half by train from here, so I decided to pack up a few things, go to the train station, buy a ticket and hop on the next train to Amsterdam.

I’m so glad I came up with this idea and that I went through with it. I just felt a little adventurous and I love traveling and checking out new places, so I just went for it. I usually don’t travel alone and I was a bit nervous that I’d catch the wrong train and end up God knows where but everything went fine and I had an amazing day exploring the city.

When I left it was actually quite chilly and cloudy outside but the second I arrived at Amsterdam Central Station the sun came out. So here are some pictures of this absolutely beautiful city.

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I think Amsterdam just became one of my favorite cities in Europe. It is such a beautiful place. They have the cutest little houses and there’s all these canals. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to do one of those canal tours but I sure am doing one next time. Amsterdam is such a lovely and charming city I can’t get over it.

I’ve been to Amsterdam before but only once when I was a bout three years old. We still have a picture of me running around in tiny little rubber boots chasing doves. This time I obviously didn’t run around chasing doves and luckily I didn’t need rubber boots because the weather was gorgeous. After walking around the harbour and looking over the canals I walked to the city centre and did a little bit of shopping. They have the coolest stores there. Thank God the University of Amsterdam doesn’t offer my study program because if I was living there I’d probably totally broke and instead of studying I’d be sitting near the water just watching the ships go by.

Okay, I think I’ve fallen a bit in love with Amsterdam and before I continue to bore you with my ramblings I’m just going to stop now. But yeah you’ve probably noticed by now that I’ve had an amazing day and I can’t wait to go back again.

Any of you ever been to Amsterdam?

Happy Sunday!

College: An Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

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It’s official! I survived my first semester of college. This is just so crazy. It’s like just yesterday I turned sixteen and went to my first high school dance and now I’m 2 months away from turning 19 and my second semester starts on monday. MONDAY! I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. It’s almost scary. So much has happened in just this last year. I changed from an unsure and insecure high school student into a pretty ambitious college student, who finally somewhat knows what she wants.

Last year around this time I was about to graduate and all I wanted was for time to slow down. I was terrified of the future because I had no idea what I wanted to do after school. All I ever wanted since I was eleven was doing an exchange year in the US. I can’t explain why but it was my goal in life so after my year was finished and I was back home I was so clueless. I’ve achieved what I wanted and I no longer had something to work for. I wasn’t exactly bad in school. I was just average because I didn’t have a reason to be really good. I didn’t know what I was doing it all for.

When I found out that I could do American Studies in the Netherlands and that I would have a lot of opportunities with that study later I really wanted to do it, so when I got accepted I was so incredibly happy. I have to admit I was a little scared of moving to a different country again and being the odd one out, but now I know that it was all worth it. I’ve passed all of my exams so far and I’m doing really good. Actually I’ve never been this motivated to study and be successful. It feels so good to be great at something. Besides make-up and fashion I’ve always had a passion for writing. I’m not good with talking about my thoughts and feelings but writing helps me to express those. I love how you can create a story and maybe touch someone’s heart with it. Writing gives you a voice, that might be heard. When people see me most of them just see me as this little blonde fashion doll, I guess, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t write a good academic essay on a historical story, now does it? Because guess what! I got an A on my last one! I know a lot of people never expected something like that of me and it’s such an amazing feeling to prove them wrong.

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Now that I’ve finished my first semester I know I definitely made the right decision. Moving to the Netherlands to do American Studies is the best thing that I could’ve possibly done and I’m so glad I took this opportunity. In order to get accepted into my University I had to pass a Dutch State exam and before last summer I didn’t speak a single word of Dutch. Over the summer I worked my butt of to learn as much Dutch as possible and pass the state exam. My Dutch is still nowhere near fluent but I passed the exam and I got accepted.

Looking back on the last few months I don’t think I’ve ever been this emotional. It’s definitely been a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. I’ve had my ups and downs. Sometimes when I passed an important exam or got a really good grade on an assignment I felt like I was on top of the world, like I owned it, and the next day I failed an exam or assignment or had trouble fitting in, because of the language barrier, and all I wanted to do was cry and hide in my bed for the rest of my life. I felt like such a failure but despite all that it’s also been one of the best few months of my life. I’ve come to realise how good I can be at something if I really work hard. I’ve at least found a direction for my future. A goal I’m working towards. I’ve met some great new people. I’m actually genuinely happy! I sometimes miss my friends at home and communicating with people in Dutch is still hard for me, but it’s getting better every day. I think I’ve grown up a lot in the last few months living on my own most of the time having to face all of the challenges studying abroad brought along with it pretty much on my own.

I’m so so so glad I gave this all a shot though being totally scared and I’m looking forward to my second semester. If the rest of my college experience will be just as eventful I know it’ll be an experience that will change me in a lot of good ways. I know a lot of good times are ahead of me just as hard times. I’ll have to work hard to keep my grades up,  because the failure rate for an exam is about 50% each time, which I think is quite a lot. But whatever.. I’ve done it before so I’ll be able to do it again.

Wow. This post’s gotten a lot longer and more personal than intended, so I hope I didn’t bore anyone. I guess what I’m trying to say is just, if you’re being offered a great opportunity in life take it! It might be terrifying  as hell at first, but if you don’t take it you might end up regretting it. I know I would’ve missed out on a lot if I hadn’t done this. It’s been a challenge and it will continue to be a challenge but I know I don’t want this emotional roller coaster ride to end yet.

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Have a great Sunday! XX