Different from most of the other SpoSMaPro students I have been around Jyväskylä for a while; graduating from The SEPPRO program this past summer. I am starting my third year at Univesity of Jyväskylä and I am going forth and back whether I should be here or not. Anyways, I finally made my decision to complete the program and I have arranged to be most of the time around Jyväskylä and focus on my studies until the end of the spring semester.
At the beginning I saw this as old patterns that I do not want to go through again, especially the Master’s thesis is a bummer after just struggling though the first one. Getting to Jyväskylä quite late in the middle of September gave me some interesting conditions with the group dynamics in this program. The group has found one another and I was the mysterious stranger who didn’t show up on time ;-). Furthermore, I wasn’t really sure if I should proceed with my studies or to go back to my work setting. Although everyone in the group is super nice and is motivated to get the group together, it is of course different from my start in Jyväskylä during my first year. I feel that this time, more students have their own obligations. This might be due to the fact that in this program are more Finnish students than in my former program. Furthermore, I have already some social connections that I am involved in and that keeps me occupied. I am not sure if that this is the right way to go, but I enjoy the Finnish friends that have been around for longer and I like that although the friends from the former program are gone I get to see familiar friendly faces.
Additionally, I feel like I, personally, adapt more and more to the Finnish settings and characteristics and I respect those especially when I travel other places. You do not find so much honesty, humbleness, politeness, curiosity, and peacefulness in most setting around the world. Also, I like the seasons and I am looking forward to the “real” winter. Sometimes I hear people saying that it would be so cold and awful in Finland, but I can respond that I much rather have cold weather and adventurous experiences than slush and rain with temperatures around freezing!
Finally, I feel like that now new chances open up. I feel like getting involved in a community. I am able to have small jobs, from instructing to helping others. Moreover, I am glad to give something back to the community of what I keep receiving from the supportive community. Overall, yes, I feel like I have seen this place and somehow done it, but the longer I stay in this place the close it gets to me as well. I am at a point that I have no idea what directions my future leads me, but I am happy to see once again that I was able to adapt and live a happy life. And I am still not sure if I made the right decision just looking at my career, but from a social point of view it is. There are still much more things to discover in Finland and I glad to have this opportunity of studying in the flexible environment.
Anyways, this was probably one of the more philosophical posts that I have written, but maybe someone will find themselves in a similar situation. I want to give one specific advice to people coming new to Finland and staying for a while. I somehow gave up learning Finnish after my first semester partly because I was a lot around other internationals, but now I deeply regret it. At the moment, after being here for more or less two years, I feel a little bit embarrassed of not knowing more. Just now I stared studying individually again and I feel like if I had learned just a little bit more the past years, I could at least understand most Finnish conversations. In this matter, do it better ;-).