Very Social me or how i made
friends in uppsala
Hello! My name is Azima and I am a graduate of Uppsala University. Now, I am back in Baku, where I have already started working in my specialty. Do I miss my student days? I miss them so badly, but, unfortunately, the time is very cruel and it’s somehow impossible to be a student all your life.
In this article, I would like to tell you about how lucky I was to study in an amazing student city where every corner was saturated with a dynamic life that was very complex and exciting at the same time.
Probably, the biggest and most enjoyable feature of student cities is that you don’t have to make a lot of effort to make friends who come from another country or city and want to get as much cultural experience as possible or just simply make friends like you. So, if you plan to study in such cities, be prepared for the possibility of random people jumping out of nowhere throughout the day.
People who know me personally are aware that I am a cultural worm. Besides getting a good academic background, my main motivation was to broaden my horizons by meeting new cultures, countries, and customs. And I think I did great. Most of all, my first accommodation helped me with this. I lived in a student dorm where I shared a kitchen with 11 people. You can only guess how hard it was for me after living with my family in a comfortable and clean apartment. But to achieve any defined goals, we always had to sacrifice something. My victim was a clean kitchen. I won’t lie, sometimes I just survived. But did I regret my risky decision to live there? Never. I was incredibly lucky with my neighbors, with whom we became very close friends, and even after everyone’s leaving, we still often communicate or if we’re lucky, we meet somewhere in other countries. During our stay in this corridor, we tripled dinners together where everyone represented their culture, celebrated different holidays and birthdays, and watched movies, football and Eurovision together (By the way, if you are out of the loop, Eurovision for Sweden is a separate and huge topic for discussion).
My first dorm also had very specific and interesting features. In addition to being the oldest and largest student accommodation in Uppsala, a very interesting tradition was also observed there. Every evening at 10:00 pm, you could hear the scream of “Flogsta”, when Uppsala University students living in the Flogsta area stopped all their business and shouted in unison from their windows, balconies, and rooftops. This is a tradition dating back to the 1970s, although details of how or why it originated are unknown. Details of the Flogsta scream are on Wikipedia, which states that it began as a way to blow off steam during exams, or perhaps to honor the memory of a student who committed suicide. However, the article does not cite any sources, and additional information is scarce. Yet, it is good to know about the tradition: if you suddenly find yourself on a night walk in Uppsala, strange screams from the neighboring area will not scare you.
Also, I can’t help but mention how much the student nations, which simply deserve a separate book, helped keep me from falling into a lonely depression in dark and cold Sweden. Various interesting events, formal dinners in the Swedish way, or simply student gatherings helped to keep up with life and fill in all the missing emptiness.
For me, it was also very important to communicate with the same students from Azerbaijan. Agree, sometimes communication in your native language with someone in real life is simply necessary. It also helped us to feel not alienated from their native values. With the guys who came to study in Sweden with me in the same year, we already became friends before moving. For this, we must say thanks to the pandemic, which created a lot of previously unknown challenges and forced us to solve them as a team. This was just the beginning. After the end of the first semester, I came across the application form of SSANA for the new term and decided to actively participate in the board and be useful to others. It helped me to socialize more and get to know other Azerbaijanis.
From my own experience, I can say that never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Yes, it will be challenging, but the emotions and experience gained will remain with you forever and will only be useful.