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2020 – what a ride it has been

2020 – a year probably no one of us saw turning out like that when it began in January. Back then, all I was thinking about was the Spring 2020 International Reception, that welcomed all new students from January 14th on. We had two weeks full of events, fun and new experiences!

Also, student life back then was completely different than it is today. We met each other every day on campus, went to lectures, studied together and had lunch and fika. This is how it went until mid-March if I remember correctly, until the end of period 3. In the beginning of March I went on a trip to Gothenburg – first headlines made the news by then about the corona virus in other countries. From period four on, the motto was: online lectures! I’m still impressed, how fast it was possible to transfer all the courses at KTH to the online environment. While my friends from Germany had to stay home for weeks without knowing how their studies will continue, everything at KTH went it’s normal way – just that it was online. I had a great course during this period – the project module of “Managing Digital Transformation” where we worked on a project together with one of Sweden’s largest media companies. Even though it was digital, I learned a lot during this time!

Gothenburg in March 2020

In June, summer break started. My first summer break, where I was really able to just do nothing and relax. In my bachelor’s it was normal that we had to study and write exams during the summer break. But not this year! And as the corona numbers were quite low, I was also able to travel around the country and get to know more about Sweden. My favorite trip was to Malmö as we made several stops along the way and saw so many places, including Sweden’s most southern point! Midsummer was another highlight of this year for me. It was my first time experiencing the celebrations and it was amazing! Our group of international students stayed up almost the whole night to see the sun never fully going down.

Left & right: Malmö; middle: Smygehuk (Sweden’s most southern point)

In August, everything had already drastically changed in all of our daily lives. I was again part of the International Reception that started on the 1st of August and we had so many question marks in our heads, how to provide the new students a corona-friendly start into their studies at KTH. We were so lucky that it was summer and therefore warm so that most of the activities took place outside. And then, in the end of August, my second year at KTH started. It went so fast, it was unbelievable! I had courses with a high demand so that the days and weeks just rushed by. And all of a sudden, it was already December, thoughts were made about when and how to go home over the holidays and 2020 is coming to an end.

I know, that for many other people it might not have been a good year, many people are struggling with the current situation of uncertainties and worries. But I also think it’s important to appreciate the good things of this year as well, as we do it with all other years. For me, it was a good year: I made lots of friends, I was able to see new places and I learned a lot during my time at university. For 2021 I don’t have many new year’s resolutions. I hope, to get more time to improve my Swedish. And I hope that there will soon be improvements with the corona-pandemic. But apart from that, I just hope for everyone’s health and that we all don’t forget to appreciate the small things in life!

Enjoy the last days of this year!
// Maria