Being Vulnerable







This week has been the most difficult for me while being abroad. I think being away from my central support systems has proved difficult, and on top of it all, as every twenty-year-old woman will eventually go through, it was my turn to face my first heartbreak. Timing-wise, this week has not been perfect because I feel my emotions so intensely, especially the negative ones, therefore focusing on myself was my main priority this week. I’m so grateful for my roommate, Rachel because she has made sure I’ve been doing alright throughout the stress and in doing so she has shown me what a compassionate and caring friend she truly is. Thanks to her and her penguin stuffed animal Skipper (yes, named after the penguin in ‘Madagascar’), I made it through the week.

I’m so lucky to live near a cafe where I have been studying lately. I’ve noticed that the iced coffees here are less sweet than those in Utah, so I’ve been experimenting with different orders and trying to find my signature drink to accompany me while I take notes. I’m very proud of myself because, despite my current emotional situation, I have taken up almost half of my notebook with study material for my ‘Nature v. Nurture’ course. I have learned to enjoy this course more now that I have gotten to know another exchange student with that I’ve become close with named Anita. She and I became friends one day because she forgot her laptop charger and I happened to bring mine to class. After class, we were put into the same study group and I walked her to my apartment because I had an umbrella and it was pouring outside. She and I have overcome a lot together from her bike lock breaking to our late afternoon study seshes in the NU building, I’m so happy to have met her.

Next week I have a presentation that I’m nervous about so Anita and I have been spending the week preparing for it. I’m excited but intimidated because the lecture halls I attend are very large and there are so many more students than I’m used to working with at home. I’m sure everything will be alright, however, I am nervous to showcase my findings in such a rigorous academic atmosphere. I think it is so important for me to be vulnerable despite my fears, because I want to learn from my experiences here in Amsterdam and especially at the VU, so I’m feeling especially motivated this week to grow and keep moving forward. Aside from school, I plan on taking a weekend adventure trip with Rachel which is another thing to look forward to. I think having events to look forward to helps me feel a lot better if you can’t tell haha 😁