Dear Stockholm…

A little backstory before I dive in:

I’ve spent the past eight summers in the Ossipee Mountains of New Hampshire at Camp Merrowvista. When I was a camper there, I backpacked sections of the Appalachian Trail, biked around Nova Scotia, canoed through thunderstorms, touched the tippy top of the climbing tower, and made some of the greatest friends I’ve ever had. As a counselor, my goal was to make the campers love Merrowvista as much as I had (and still do). Every summer I went there, I told myself, “This will be my last summer,” but I kept coming back. And every summer, I told myself, “This will be the summer that’s finally worse than last summer,” but I was wrong every time. Why am I sharing this? Because I didn’t think Stockholm stood a chance.

Camp counselor Grace (last summer)

I can’t get happier than this, right? I bet you know where this is going…

Fast-forward to now (I apologize for the sappiness) …

My past three weeks have surpassed my expectations. I was certain I would be thinking about Merrowvista and wondering, “What ­if” the entire time, but nope. On the first day, my roommate and I instantly became good friends. A day or two later, I felt perfectly comfortable in my dorm. Although I liked all my classmates to begin with, the Study Tour in my Affective Neuroscience class further solidified these friendships. Now, we have a Snapchat group where we send embarrassing pictures of each other (it’s very wholesome). I’m also in the process of getting all my classmates hooked on friendship bracelet-making.

My friend completed all 3 of these in just 2 days!
Okay, clearly not all my friends enjoy it…

In my first blog post, I mentioned my passion for going on scenic runs. So far, I’ve gone on several runs along the water and through various parks. It makes me so happy to be among other runners and bikers the whole way. Next session, I’m looking forward to exploring other islands and possibly joining a local running group.

Happy runner Grace (post-run elevator selfie)

Yes, I will be continuing to blog for Session 3! I will be taking Lifespan Psychology and traveling to Zurich for my Study Tour. Stay tuned for updates on new friends, new runs, new subway art, and other sources of joy (knock on wood).

To wrap up this Stockholm love letter, I’ll conclude with this: during the archipelago boat tour I went on last weekend, I looked at my friend and said, “I think I’m in love with Sweden.”

…So yes, I can also be happy here.

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