My Exchange Year

Does it feel like I have almost been here eight months? No. Does it feel like I was in Finland yesterday? No and yes.

When I get home in June it will be weird, so weird. This year already feels like a dream. I miss soccer season a lot and everything just happened so quick when I first got here. Finland just feels like something that's so far away but still so close. When I talk with my friends or family I never think about that they're actually that far away, but that tells something. It means that I feel like home. And this place, town, is my home. I bet lot of you (exchange students) have heard this sentence ''exchange is leaving your home twice''. Oh yeah, it's going to be rough. I really wish I could buy flight tickets to everyone and they could visit Finland. I am already planning when I wanna come back and visit PA again.

I haven't written here too often about my 'hard times'. I KNOW. It helps some people to write down their anger or depressing feelings. That's not me, I'm too lazy to even grab my computer. The first thing that I do is I talk to someone, maybe eat my feelings ooor try to do something else to forget it (sleep).  I have had bad days and, there has been little problems but we've figured them out. Trust me every family has their own problems, that's life. I have great 'american' parents here and they are really experienced, I trust them because they know how to handle these situations. That's why I am glad to say that my host mom will be a representative next year and I know she'll be the best one!
I have had a great year so far. I am usually pretty positive person, and I don't have time or don't wanna use it to negative thoughts. I do worry about stupid things but when I get over them, I'm good. There will be times when you'll be sad and life is miserable, so why would you be negative when everything is actually okay? And that's the key, I am always trying to find positive from everything. I remember that my friend Roosa asked me this, when we were like in 3rd grade
''Ella why do you always have to be so positive?''
And the funny part is that I have met the most enthusiastic people here (surprise). You couldn't even compare me to them, haha.

It's amazing how quickly your friendships develop here. I got to know some people better in December and we are so close now. Can you imagine, just in about 4 months I've gotten friends who are so incredibly important to me!? I also have friends that I got to know after I came here and I love how we're still really good friends. They have never left me <3 I have never had that situation and it makes me so so happy.  The start is harder though, but don't worry. It takes time to build friendships and some of your friends you might meet later during your stay, like I did. Don't expect anything, just work for it! Even if you're cool foreign it doesn't mean people will be interested in you later and want to hang out with you. It takes time to find the right people, but it's definitely worth it!
I was reading my old blog posts and I was thinking that what I wanted from this year. I wanted to be a  part of american family/experience their everyday life. CHECK. Learn the language and speak fluent english. CHECK (it'll be better eventually, I promise...) I wanted to experience all the American holidays. CHECK (still easter though!) Try a new sport. CHECK (softball :D) To be a part of American high school. CHECK
I appreciate this experience so much (kiitti mamma ja isi) and couldn't thank you enough. I'll be 18 in about two weeks and I should be an adult? Well, at least when I go to Finland, not sure if I'm ready though...  I am telling you, I'll be the same Ella who left from home almost 8 months ago, but also the new Ella who has changed in many good ways. Ella, who learned to appreciate where she comes from, my Finnish family, friends, nature, school system and many other things. I will enjoy things definitely in different way.

I am trying to live my life here as much as I can because I love it, and I'll miss it a lot. Especially going for wings on monday, choral, my crazy family, mine and Nathan's car rides, and eating with the best lunch table ever!!

Have a nice week everyone :)


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