Waking up at 5:30 a.m. with the biggest dark circles, I realized what a huge mistake it was that I waited until 2 a.m. to start packing my bags to Gothenburg. It honestly hadn’t hit me that this was going to be the first official trip I was taking since being in Stockholm!
The topic of our core class week was altruism and I couldn’t help but think about that one episode in Friends when Phoebe and Joey were fighting over whether or not one could truly do a selfless deed for others. https://youtu.be/DowJfUmlzeI (here’s the link if you guys are interested!)
Our core course week began in the classrooms! However, Thursday morning, before the sun even rose, we embarked on our trip to Gothenburg on the SL train. The trip was 3 hours long, but thankfully the train was extremely comfortable (imagine if a train and a plane had a baby, that’s what it was like haha), and the view from the window was definitely a plus!
After arriving, we headed to our hostel to drop off our bags (I got top bunk btw) and headed out for the lunch at a French cafe called LIPP.
The great thing about restaurants in Sweden is that lunch always includes salad and soup and let me tell you guys the salad here is AMAZING. For a person, who only gets her vegetables from a McChicken, I honestly don’t know what they put in their salad that makes it sooooo delicious. We also ended up touring Gothenburg, but the best part of the tour was stopping by this quaint bakery, Husaren, where we got a hugeeee (size of my face kind of huge) Kanelbullar (cinnamon roll) and shared it among the 16 of us.
We also stopped by an extremely moving memorial for Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat, who truly exemplified the idea of altruism, in which he sacrificed his safety in order to protect Jewish from the Nazis.
Throughout the trip, we had the opportunity to learn about forum theatre in which we put on skits about systemic oppressions people may face in society regarding economic inequality, homelessness, gender inequality, etc. Forum theatre really allowed me to step in others shoes and emphasize with those around me. It helped me see that sometimes when our perspectives change, we can regain power to advocate and fight for ourselves, or even use our platform to fight for others.
Due to the fact that altruism was our main topic, we also were given the chance to test it for ourselves. Each group was given 150 kr and had to come up with an idea to use that money for an act of kindness. Some groups paid for others lunch meals, others stroke up a conversation and paid for the coffee of others, and some gave the money to a homeless person they came across. The beautiful thing about this activity was that one group’s act of kindness influenced the person who they bought coffee for to do the same for another. So, the truth is money can truly buy happiness (at a certain extent haha) ;), but especially when we spend it on others!
Although we spent a good portion of our trip doing wholesome things, we also had a lot of fun! The highlight of the trip for me was most definitely getting to go curling! Even though it doesn’t look intense, curling exerted a lotttt from me haha. From falling on the ice, to having to sweep in order to get the rock to keep sliding, I can totally see now why this is such a popular sport in Sweden.
Core course week was definitely an opportunity to learn about positive psychology in the real world and being able to apply it to our every day lives. I feel as though I honestly was able to take away a lot from the experiences from this trip and am extremely grateful for that. Thanks for reading! 🙂 See y’all next blog!