How well do you know yourself?

“Tell me more about yourself?” The most asked interview question of all time! In fact, it is the first question you learn how to properly answer when preparing for interviews. Actually, today at KTH during lunch, there was a session at the Academic Resource Centre on how to prepare for interviews. A good resource I must say, as most people are getting ready for interviews for either the master thesis or internships.

Deviating much you might say, right? Back to the topic for the day, in my two and a half decades on earth, I am beginning to realise that this question is always subconsciously asked by friends, colleagues and family. Virtually everyone we have conversations with would draw their opinions of who they think we are – filling up their answers of the unsaid question, “tell me more about yourself?”

 

Sometimes,  don’t you think the real question should be, ” how well do you know yourself?”  For me, I learn and discover new things about myself every other month! Let me give an example:  In Nigeria, it is a common practice for most students to study until the wee hours of the morning; in fact, it had its own phrase – “doing overnight”. However, in my five years studying mechanical engineering, even when the going got tough, I could not bring myself to do overnight. My friends knew I could never lose my sleep time for anything, and when I mean, anything, it was anything! It was not like I never tried. I could not even stay awake to binge-watch. Errrm, it might be good to mention that late at night meant after midnight. It was almost as if there was a hidden “shutdown” button in my system. Once, it is midnight, everything shuts down till the next morning”.  Deadline or no deadline, I was zero productive and when I tried to push my limits, the opportunity cost was simply shaving off my productivity level, the next day by 80%. Don’t get me wrong, I always acheived all my set tasks. My case was more impressive than I dared to admit then, I understood I had 18 hours instead of 24  and had to maximize it.

Fast forward to my first year at KTH, the impossible became possible. I was not even trying to stay awake. I just found myself functioning round the clock and my 18 hours became 24 hours without being visible that I was functioning on less sleep. Recently, I broke my record by being awake for  28 hours and sleeping for 4 hours after this; the amazing thing is, there was no way to prove that I had little sleep when I was at work the next day.  To make it more interesting, I had absolutely no reason to have been awake that long – no deadlines, no exams (in fact, I love to be well rested before any exam)  just an easy going day. Am I shocked at myself? Absolutely!

 You’re a living being. Allow yourself evolve and enjoy every bit of it                                  

I paraphrased some quote I created to be able to enjoy the seemingly new things I discover about myself. Sometimes, it’s not like you’re trying to change or gain new habits, it just happens. However, as human beings, we also have the free will to curtail these things when they spring up at the beginning. You might ask me, “So why did you not try to keep your old habit?” Maybe because I love this new one better- the freedom to choose how I want to spend my 24 hours as opposed to being constrained to an 18-hour lifestyle.

I would like to end with saying that it is easier to discover new things about yourself when certain things change in your life. For example, moving to a new school environment, changing jobs, starting an internship, the list is endless. So, what is that thing that you would love to try? It might be signing up for an event and ensuring that you participate actively. Whatever it is, give yourself an opportunity to discover more of the potential stored up within you 🙂

Bye,

Oluchi.

 

Sustainable development in Sweden

Hey guys! Hope you had a great weekend cause I surely had; as a matter of fact, I had the chance to go to the movies with one of my closest friends here in Stockholm. We watched “The girl in the spider’s web”, fourth novel in the Millennium Series written by David Lagercrantz following the trilogy of Swedish writer Stieg Larsson. I really enjoyed this movie! Totally recommend it! But well, that isn’t today’s topic, but the image below is.

As some of you may know, when it comes to sustainable development we need to stop thinking merely on environmental issues. Yes, environment is the basis for everything else, but sustainability has 3 directives that lead development within our planetary boundaries. These 3 directives are, environment, economy, and society. Thus, we should thrive efficiently in all 3 aspects and stop thinking that following one directive or two will lead us to the best outcome (coff fossil fuels-based economies :S coff coff). Now, why this image? Well, if you decide to visit or move to Sweden, you’ll find yourself immerse in a country that is pushing forward all aspects referred on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals agenda. In the case of the image above, Stockholm is screaming at you goal #10 on INEQUALITY (there are 17 goals in case you didn’t open the link hehe).

The Inclusive Development Performance and Interpersonal Trust (yes, the chart you just passed), according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), is “designed as an alternative to GDP, that reflects more closely the criteria by which people evaluate their countries’ economic progress”. Have you spotted Sweden? 😀 … This index is based on 3 main performance indicators:

  • Growth and development
  • Inclusion
  • Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability

They sound like the 3 directives of sustainable development, don’t they? *thinks in Spanish* either way, I do like this index way more than the GDP! But this doesn’t end here, KTH has its own Sustainable Development Objectives 2016-2020 agenda and has its own area for Gender Equality! Yes, there’s still a lot of work to do there! Want to know more about what this university is doing within this department? watch the following video!

What do you think your country is doing for sustainable development and more precisely, equality in all rolls! Share your experiences and don’t forget that sustainability is more than just environmental-related issues, it is the interconnection of environment, economy and society! 😀

A Rooftop experience at KTH

KTH campus throws surprises at me almost every day! Today, I discovered this rooftop study area for the first time and I cannot be without writing a post about it!

So, I was looking for a nice place to study at the U building on campus. I really like the U building, its close to the garage, close to the gym, close to the Coffice shop, also closer to PMH than E building for example. It is simply the perfect location on campus according to me, also its new!

Usually, I hang around in the 5th floor break-out area of the building but today to my luck I didn’t find a place, so I kept climbing floors in search of a spot and there I found the rooftop study area! Why did I not see this so far?! I mean why?!

I can totally have study date up here, looks romantic isn’t it? Haha 😉

It’s a bit too cold in here for the winter though. I can feel the cold right now while am typing this post. I wish I had known about this place during the summer! Gosh, how did I miss this?!

See ya!

~Sindhu

It’s Diwali- I miss home!

Abroad, higher studies, great job, fancy salaries, sounds very awesome and indeed is awesome but all of that comes with some sacrifices we make, quite consciously. And, I get reminded of these especially during festival times.

Few thousand miles away from home on Diwali is probably the most difficult thing to endure. It’s painful. Right from the morning, I had been texting my Indian friends in Sweden wishing them “Happy Diwali” and somehow the text ends up in tears with each sobbing about how much we miss home.

While there are many Indian communities here who gather and celebrate the festival together, it’s never the same. I feel like I am trying hard to convince myself that this is close to the real thing while it is clearly not. But definitely, this is the best we can do to feel home away from home.

It is not the sweets, not the crackers or the lights that I miss here, it’s love and my family…

It’s the love of my mom kissing me early in the morning secretly, while am asleep.,.. while I act like am still sleeping just to get more kisses from her. It’s in the hugs of my father who would make me sit on his lap to feed me my breakfast. It is the fights with my sister, arguing who wore the best Diwali dress. It’s the love of my grandma who would shower me with hugs and kisses and force feed the Diwali sweets while I scream “calories!”. It’s in the love of my brother’s gifts, my family’s special meals, and tons of other things that are filled with love and emotions. It is these, I miss here. These, that can never be replaced.

so, I am sitting here with lots of tears, thinking about the other ways I could have written this post- “The awesome Stockholm Diwali”, “Diwali dinner with friends”, ” Home away from home”, but instead I chose to write this- my sob story, well, let’s just say the other side of my fun Stockholm Diwali.

Here I am, trying to reflect if this is all worth the pain, and it feels like this is something that is part of growing up. Something that I need to learn as well because my family is not gonna be there with me all the time, it’s just me and this is also a reason why I came abroad. This whole experience makes one stronger, or at least that’s the final goal.

On one side, am trying hard to believe that this is not my winter depression attacking me already and it’s just me missing home; on the other side, winter depression could probably be why I feel sad. Or, what do you think? It’s nice with some comments going on 🙂

Happy Diwali!

~Sindhu

All Saint’s Day

Did you know that yesterday was a public holiday in Sweden?

One of the major reasons for going abroad for higher education is to understand and experience the different cultures and traditions. So, when I had the opportunity to live some moments the Swedish way, I dived into it along with my friends. Yesterday, we drove to skogskyrkogården, The Woodland Cemetery to experience All Saint’s day also called as Alla Helgons Dag.

The All Saint’s day is a less religious but more a tradition of remembering saints who don’t have a day of their own. The day after that is the all souls day for remembering the dead. The first Saturday of November is the all saints day in Sweden. People usually visit cemeteries and light candles or lanterns, and also place flowers and wreaths on the graves of their loved ones. Some simply stay home and cook a big meal with their families. Actually, this day also kinda marks the beginning of winter in Sweden.

Image result for skogskyrkogården

Picture from BJÖRNBILD

I must also mention a bit about skogskyrkogården, this was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This cemetery actually came about following an international competition in 1915 for the design of a new cemetery. Spread over 108.08 ha, this cemetery has many chapels inside and is filled with trees, it is a representation of peace and serenity that embodies the characteristics of a cemetery.

Image result for alla helgons dag skogskyrkogården

picture from Anneliestankar

The experience of seeing so many lanterns in pitch darkness, and yet the dark leading the way sent chills down my spine. It was a rare moment when you realize the co-existence of light and the dark in the same place where so many dead lie beneath the ground as the living are walking around. It’s a weird feeling, bit profound in its sense. The place felt warm in the cold November night, such a beautiful tradition indeed.

There were a ton of people. I have never experienced such a traffic in my time here in Sweden so far, cars lined up in the road leading to the cemetery. The entire place was filled with people, lighting lanterns and remembering their loved ones. The night quickly slipped into silence and tranquility.

We took a very brief walk in the cemetery, one of our friend didn’t wanna spend his Saturday night that way, totally understandable. It was a bit spooky to me as well, probably because we didn’t have any personal connection with the place and couldn’t receive the vibration well. So, we left the cemetery and instead ended our day by playing billiards at the local bar. It was a really good Saturday night I would say.

I definitely wanna go to skogskyrkogården again during the daytime. It’s a beautiful place but we couldn’t see much in the dark. I will keep you posted when I go again and with better pictures of course.

See you!

~Sindhu

THS ARMADA LUNCH LECTURES

It’s that time of the year when we start looking for Master Thesis and Internship opportunities.  Before the big career fair hosted by THS Armada, there are many events lined up to help meet with some of these companies in smaller groups and one of these is LUNCH LECTURES!!!

WHY LUNCH LECTURES?

For me, lunch lectures are literally having the best of both worlds. I do not have to substitute lectures for a good networking event neither do I have to think of buying lunch (haha!). Then, to make it better, I can learn more about these companies, talk to their representatives and obtain good contacts 😉

You see how cool lunch lectures are? People always ask me questions concerning job opportunities in Sweden and KTH. Based on my experiences, this is one of the ways to easily network with companies you are interested in or even get to know more about certain companies in your area.

HOW DO WE GET TO KNOW ABOUT THESE LUNCH LECTURES?

There’s this joke amongst my friends and I when trying to find any information and I mean, literally, any information, “Google is your friend”.  For these lunch lectures, I do exactly the same thing – I periodically google, “KTH LUNCH LECTURES” and now that Armada is very close, I have included “THS ARMADA LUNCH LECTURE“. With these, you easily find the websites and all other information at your fingertips.

For THS hosted lunch lectures, register IMMEDIATELY you see an event you’re interested in. They always get fully booked early. Also, one extra tip is that sometimes, some students sign up and do not show up for thee events. Therefore, if it is a company you’re really interested in and it says, “fully booked”. You can set a reminder on your calendar and show up! You might just be the lucky student who gets to replace someone else 😉

As we all search for internships or Master Thesis or just knowledge on what really happens in the various industries we are interested in? I would say, goodluck! and hopefully, see you in one of these lunch lectures:)

Bye!

Oluchi