Chasing Dreams and Dodging Bullets: An Aspiring Journalist's Journey through Internship Interviews

A young woman reading a newspaper, with the sunrise over Oslo in the background.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, June 20, 2024, 07:28

The exuberant marble that is the world, sat on an azure velvet cushion, breathes in the sweet morning air, infused with a tantalizing scent from the unfolding Norwegian maple. It is as if Mother Nature herself is preparing a joyful stage for the day's magnificent play. I am on my usual morning commute, watching the landscape turn into a delicate 14-degree brush painting, the train cutting a swathe through sprawling pastures and gorgeous icy fjords, all while I have my fingers dancing on the laptop, as I post another piece on my blog.

Today, we delve into the thrilling adventure of interviews for internships, the exhilarating rollercoaster ride every journalism student, including myself, must embark on. A sip of my morning brew, the taste of bitterness perfectly balancing the sweetness of my thoughts, and the writing begins.

The interview process can often feel like a playwright's act, staging your best performance while staying true to your character. The meticulous preparation, pouring over every possible question, scripting the perfect answer, it all feels exquisitely similar to preparing for an exam you must ace. Yet, it also carries a unique dazzle, a lively joust where you pitch your passion, ambition, and ability.

As journalists, we master storytelling, weaving a tapestry of experiences, insights, and opinions into compelling narratives. This is an art worth wielding in the interview, narrating the story of our budding journalistic journey with fervor and fervency. The adept interplay of listening and speaking testifies to a journalist's quality, a dance of words and pauses, and it is in this dance that we shine our marvelous prowess.

The backdrop of this introspection was briefly disturbed when I glanced at today's news headlines. Despite the mild chill, a shudder ran down my spine. Shots were fired on the otherwise calm city streets, right at the Salvation Army's premises. Fortuitously, no one was harmed. Our peace-loving city was momentarily shaken, yet in such shattering fractions, the marvel of resilience becomes evident. The sharp contrast between the unsettling news and the calm journey only heightened the feelings of gratitude for the tranquility we often take for granted.

It's truly striking, my dear readers, how even in the face of uncertainty, the fabulous dance of life continues unabated. I sit here marveling at the great adventure that awaits me and thousands of aspiring journalists. And perhaps it is through those internship interviews that we refine the remarkable lens through which we perceive our world, discovering the wondrous narrative that is life.

The train whistles past stations, the vibrancy of Oslo inching closer, and blooming warmth fills the cabin, my heart, and each word that leaps from my fingertips onto this blog post. Marvelous, indeed. Till our next adventure, dear friends, keep chasing your dreams.

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Tickled by Brands: A Love Letter to My Favorites and How They Shape Our Lives

Kaia Thonul, Friday, July 19, 2024, 09:14

Hello, lovely readers!

If you give me the choice to pick a topic of my choice, I would certainly choose to speak about my favorite brands. Yes! Today, let’s delve into the world of logos, packaging, and coveted products that strum our heartstrings in a way we love!

If someone had asked me a year ago to talk about my favorite brands, the list would have been heavier on the fashion side - those gorgeous caramel brown boots, the silk dress that hugs just right. Today, nestled in my degustably ordinary yet swift moving Höland train, cocooned from the 15℃ outside, my preferences have evolved. Isn't itself an irony how our priorities towards brands shift when our daily lifestyles change, train journeys included?

Crisp copy from Dinesen flooring catalogues excites me; the subtle charm of Leuchtturm notebooks intoxicates me; the velvety embrace of Acne Studios sweaters calls me. The swoosh of the train in the early dawn somehow mirrors the quiet allure of these brands for me. The rustle of my news articles blends well with my newfound fascination.

Remember how we used to commit to brands like we commit to people? With the same unshaken trust and hope. I used to have such a whimsical relationship with brands - like a happy child spiralling in her mother's silky dupatta or a girl winking at her crush from behind her gigantic textbook. Almost tickled by these memories, aren't you?

Just this morning, I stumbled across a news snippet, a hilarious one actually, where, instead of summarizing the webpage content, the compiler provided a chunk of the HTML tag. Isn't that just the perfect example of wrapping without the gift? It laughed at the raw symphony of chaos and order, calling out to my inner journalist.

What binds me with these beloved brands isn't directly the product, but the stories they unfurl and the emotions they kindle. Much like the never-ending track of my daily commute, stretched out like a story in the making, every railscape has its rhythm, every brand its tale.

All the enticing colours, the untold stories behind each design, the relentless chase for perfection - isn’t it all so incredibly fascinating? The line between brand story and personal narrative blurs, like the landscape outside my window as the train gathers speed.

I hope this rings a bell in your hearts as well. So, which is the brand that tickles you, dear readers? Which logo nudges a memory or sparks a flame of happiness within you? Let's share our tales of brand love, but once again, let's get 'tickled' by the power of our favourite brands. Let’s celebrate the brands that have woven themselves into the fabric of our lives.

Cheers to more journeys, more stories, and more favorite brands!

Tags: brands personal narrative lifestyle

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Anchors Amidst Chaos: The Unassuming Strength of Essential College Stationery

Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, 08:22

Wallpaper patterns keep changing just like life. As I sit here riding the train in the gentle chill of a 16°C morning, the frosted breath gently touches the train window, leaving a cloud of sad softness behind. It's the aftermath of a cold wake-up call as I flicked through the pages of VG, reading the turbulent news about President Trump's near encounter, absorbing the chaos that lurks in every corner of this world. Yet among this chaos, I find solace in routine, in the nuances of everyday life. Thus, let us find comfort in the mundane, and today, delve into something as ordinary as essential stationary for college students.

In the ocean of knowledge that is a university, we are but humble sailors, and our weapon of choice to navigate these choppy waters? Stationary. Yes, it may sound trivial, it may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But in days when college life seems overwhelming, it's the ballpoint pen that sets my fears to paper. It's the highlighter that illuminates the path in the jungle of text-heavy books. The heartbreak I wear on my sleeve needs distractions, and I find solace in the embrace of binders and index cards.

First on the parchment of essentials is the classic note-taking counterpart - the pen. Whether it scribbles illegible shorthand in the middle of an intense lecture or my deepest secrets in the darkened solitude of night, it chases away the quietness with its reassuring scratch against paper. It transforms abstract thoughts into concrete words, words that outlive fleeting emotions or complex theories.

Next is the ever-vibrant highlighter, an essential warrior against information overload. It gives a ray of hope on those painfully long, black and white pages, tainting significant points or insights with fluorescent importance. In these dark times, the highlighter, with its neon cheer, forces me to focus on the colorful side of the learning spectrum.

And then we have notebooks. Unlike our digital screens, they stare with a blank expectancy, waiting for stories to be written and thoughts to be born. Whether they carry the burden of academic notes or serve as canvas to my abstract doodles, they give physical form to my train of thoughts that dance around without order.

Then there are the post-it notes, tiny squares of colors whispering into the wind, fluttering at the corner of books, reminding, remembering. Be it deadlines or important points, they serve as the constant remainder, of both academic and emotional priorities.

Lastly, we can't ignore the condiment that seasons the dish of knowledge - the practicality of binders and index cards. They organize, they categorize, they declutter. Much like my currently tangled sentiments, these tools bring order to the chaos, weaving a pattern of understanding in the fabric of information.

Now, I might sound too overpassionate for something as banal as stationery. But ask yourself, isn't that's what we need at times? To find importance in little things? In the mundane? As the world untangles itself from the shroud off the VG incident, I build my fortress of comfort here amid pens, paper, and post-it notes, facing college life with an arsenal that is as mundane as it is essential. Perhaps, and just perhaps, these stationary equipments are more than tools; maybe they are echoes of resilience and persistence, the anchors in this sea of learning — a gentle reminder that we too can make something beautiful, even in heartbreak.

Tags: stationery college essentials Study Tools

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Echoes of the World: A Journalism Student's Ride Through Global Politics and University Life

Kaia Thonul, Friday, July 12, 2024, 09:15

Today, as morning dawns with its meek 14°C embrace, I find myself drawn once again to the monotonous rhythm of train tracks as I embark on my daily pilgrimage to the hallowed halls of university life. My body is cocooned in the quilted familiarity of my winter coat as the Norwegian landscape, shrouded in soft winter light, unveils itself outside my window. The solitude in these fleeting pockets of morning tranquillity often renders a humbling backdrop to the erratic pulse of my college life.

But today, I feel the weight of knowledge as the chatter of fellow passengers fades into the backdrop while I distance myself, once more, in the continuously changing world of journalism. Today, my thoughts are shared by many across the globe, interlinked by the tendrils of social media – it was a gaffe today in the international political stage which makes its presence felt here, inside a seemingly unrelated train cart outside of Oslo.

A fleeting lapse, a name mistaken, a quickly rectified error, yet a testament to the immense undercurrents of international politics and interwoven connections of lives and countries. A diplomatic misstep may come off as a jest, a brief spark of humor that quickly dissipates like the ephemeral morning mist. And yet, it's a proof that before the grand stage of power, even those most adept can falter, human fallibility finding its way amidst the rigid protocol and rehearsed poise.

Reflecting on this, I can't help but draw parallels to my own journey. In the grand scheme, we are all navigating a world steeped in complexities, whether it be navigating the intricate world of diplomacy or the demanding rigor of university life. Missteps, minor errors, and embarrassing gaffes - we've all had our share. We brace and swiftly move forward, in hopes of learning, evolving, and preventing such errors from occurring in the future.

As a journalism student, a crucial part my learning revolves around dissecting these complex layers, understanding how one ripple could stir waters across continents. Digging deeper, past the superficial veneer of linguistic discrepancies, understanding the greater picture, the simmering tensions, the relentless media attention - this is what fuels my journey.

But as I trace these thoughts, a much broader reflection enfolds - university life is, after all, not merely a pursuit of academia. It is a life lesson in its rawest form, relentlessly ebbing and flowing, echoing the dynamic world outside the cosy confines of lecture halls and libraries. It is a study on human nature, our ability to err, recover, and persist with fortified resolve.

The rhythmic rumble of the train, like the persistent tick of a clock, reminds me of the relentless march of time. Even amidst grave errors and inevitable consequences, life moves forward - the world adjusts, adapts, and finds its balance. It's within these train rides that I find a semblance of balance too, amidst the daunting vastness of college life with its triumphs and mistakes, and within the unsettling momentous episodes of the world around me.

How ironic, it seems, that as the cold landscape outside warms up to the day, my thoughts find refuge in the warmth of vulnerability - the shared truth of our imperfections. After all, it is within these imperfections that the essence of my college journey quietly resides, intertwining with the bigger complexities of the world, ever reminding me, humble in my pursuit of truth - a student amidst the grand theater of life.

Tags: university life journalism international politics

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Finding Balance: A Journey Through Mental and Physical Health in the Picturesque Heart of Norway

Kaia Thonul, Friday, July 5, 2024, 09:21

Good morning, my brilliant minds!

As I ride the train through the heart of Norway, watching the warm morning mist gradually lift from the fields beyond, the sun shyly peering out and shimmering on the dew-kissed leaves, I feel an inherent urge to chat about something I'm growing increasingly passionate about - not politics - and not the latest set of elections that have swept the UK (though admittedly an exciting read over my cup of morning coffee!) Instead, I want to talk about something even closer to home - balancing mental and physical health.

With the chill of 10-degree weather creeping in through the sliver of my half-open window, there's nothing like a whip of cold air to wake up my senses and remind me of the importance of keeping both body and mind in optimal condition. I think we can all agree that it's a juggling act that is seldom discussed and often underestimated.

In our hectic lives, full of assignment deadlines, work commitments, and easy-to-access fast food, there's a tendency to neglect one aspect in favor of the other. You may choose sleep over a workout or trade a mental break for hours of studying to meet that looming deadline. The balance is often teetering, and it's a challenge to keep it steady.

But let's face it, maintaining a balanced physical and mental health shouldn't be as hard as deciphering the intricacies of political elections, right? Brilliant viewers, finding that balance is as crucial as having our morning coffee and it's absolutely achievable without scaling back our hustle.

After all, who's to say you can't enjoy a good book while on the treadmill, or meditate on the train while listening to the rhythmic clatter of the tracks underneath? It's about ingeniously integrating what you love with what keeps you healthy. Here's a not-so-secret secret: these seemingly trivial incorporations have the ability to transform your whole day, making it so much more vibrant and balanced!

Physical health keeps you energetic and vivacious, while mental health shines through your radiant smiles, sparkling eyes, and the positive aura you radiate out into the world. Both are firmly intertwined like the threads of a woolen scarf, providing a warming comfort when life hits the freezing point.

I hope that amidst the fascinating whirlwind of politics, school, work or anything else you're engrossed in, you remember to honor both your mind and body. Take a moment for yourself - go for a walk alongside a river, watch the sunrise, or simply sip a cup of cocoa while wrapped in a cozy blanket. After all, nurturing the harmony between mental and physical health is the secret ingredient to a well-rounded, joyful life.

Remember, my lovely readers, in the journey of life- self-love is not a guilty pleasure but a necessity. Picnics, play and peace of mind are not indulgences, they're essential. So, let's celebrate and cherish our minds and bodies equally, and ride the train of life with cheer, vitality, and a perfect balance!

Stay bright, stay beautiful, and before your next stop, take a moment to thank your amazing body and mind for another glorious day.

Sending you all warmth and positivity on this chilly morning over the snowy hills of Oslo. Love, joy, and balance to you all!

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From Train Rides to Trump Trials: A Reflection on the Power and Underappreciation of Female Friendships

A bonfire illuminates two women sharing a warm embrace in cold Norwegian outdoors.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, July 3, 2024, 09:15

As the train begins its usual journey from home to the heart of Oslo, I'm jolted from my sleepy lethargy by an announcement over the radio. The sentencing hearing in Donald Trump's hush-money case, an incessant chatter in the media land, practically incessant, has been postponed. The protagonist in the courtroom drama, his lawyer Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty in 2018 to payment of $130,000 in hush-money to a once famed porn actress, though our erstwhile POTUS denies involvement.

The train casts a shadow over the glossy surface of the fjord, whispering tales of deceit and evasion. Guilty or not, this brings me to the thought of the immeasurable significance we attach to our relationships, the lies we tell for their preservation, a tragic comedy in its own right. And maybe, it's time to encounter parallels in an unlikely arena – female friendships.

As the train hums its near silent lullaby, trudging along the railway tracks with a forlorn rhythm, the importance of history seems more profound. The history shared among women, how it shapes us, elevates us and at times, breaks us. With the temperature outside locked at a chilly 14 degrees Celsius, these friendships feel like a humble bonfire, an antidote to the cold.

As I embark on this meditation on female friendships, it’s the sheer resilience that strikes me first. A symbolic monument that stands tall amidst the chaos, it is a sanctuary for healing and growth, a testament to the strength of shared experiences. These bonds, while often brushed aside in the name of societal norms and traditional family structure, can possess the power of an elixir - healing wounds made by a patriarchal society.

There's a word in Norwegian, 'Samhold', which roughly translates into solidarity or team spirit. It's the epitome of what these friendships represent, the superglue that holds us together amidst the turmoil of life, relationships, and the constant trial-by-fire that is existence as a woman. Whether we’re battling the personal demons of injustice or celebrating joyous moments, it’s these connections that see us through, as a steadfast anchor in stormy seas.

Yet, why is it that like the news of the hush-money case, these friendships sometimes find their way to the back burner, often postponed – always in the periphery but never in the limelight?

Maybe it's the introspective melancholy of the quiet train ride, or the grey morning sky stretching out in endless expanses- a void waiting to be filled, but today, this feels like a question worth pondering.

As I look out of the smudged window, the landscape speeding by in a blur of dull green and pale blue, I can't help but acknowledge the profound influence these friendships have over our lives. How it shapes us, comforts us, enforces our growth amidst trials and celebrations. I yearn for a world where these invisible strings of camaraderie are understood, appreciated, and celebrated – not postponed or overlooked for more 'critical' issues. But that's a narrative for another day. For now, let me find solace in knowing that when the world gets too cold (intriguingly like the 14 degrees outside), I have these friendships - a warm, crackling bonfire in the frosty wilderness.

Today, I will cherish this vital cog in my life’s machinery – these friendships – more mindfully. And I implore you to do the same.

Tags: female friendships personal reflections societal norms

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Strawberries, Powerbanks, and Roommates: Finding the Perfect Fit for your Lifestyle

A strawberry basket on a table and a powerbank plugged in, hinting at the article's themes.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, June 28, 2024, 09:25

Good Morning, Friends!

Let's dive right into today's topic - 'Choosing the Right Roommate' - as I glide swiftly towards Oslo on this perfectly temperate 19° morning. Now, choosing a roommate is a bit like picking out fresh strawberries. They may all look perfect, but you have to really dive into the bunch to find the ones that are the best fit for you. It’s important to remember that someone who is a good friend might not necessarily be a good roommate. You need to find someone who is respectful, compatible with your lifestyle and, most importantly, pitches in their fair share when it comes to chores!

Do you remember that time you were trying to enjoy your favorite TV show, perhaps a riveting Norwegian drama, or even a live event like a presidential debate, only to have your peace shattered by your roommate scrambling around the house looking for a charger because their phone was about to die? That is the beauty of owning a powerbank— it is the ally the tech world never knew it needed. No more fighting over charger outlets or taking turns to juice up your devices. Just plug it in and voila! You can remain connected and be wherever you want to be in your house, undisturbed. They are both handy and a neat little piece of tech! I mean, who wouldn't want their own portable on-demand power supply, conveniently tucked away within their backpack, ready to save the day when your phone battery stage whispers "low power"?

But let's circle back to our U.S Presidential Debate. The charming chaos of two powerful men going head-to-head on live television – how quaint! The interruption jamboree, as comical as it was, reminds me of those roommate squabbles we all adore. After all, despite being quite irksome at times they always lead to clearer communication and better understanding from both sides. Who wouldn't want a roommate-experience without a bit of harmless drama, right?

Although, debating over breakfast cereal is not the same as discussing crucial political issues. One requires a dash of humor and the other, a strong demeanor. Going back to the article I read, even though 48% found the intermingling of heavy politics and incessant interruptions annoying, a good portion of voters thought one candidate handled the chaos better than the other. It all comes down to assertiveness! And there’s our link back to roommates – it’s all about standing your ground when it matters. Just like the presidential candidates, you’ll encounter various challenges, debates and discussions in your shared living space. Be assertive, communicate effectively and remember, just like powerbanks ensure a smooth technological journey, a good roommate can ensure a smooth living journey.

Chasing the perfect roommate may seem like a daunting task but remember, taking the time to find the best fit for your lifestyle will pay off in the end. Just like getting your hands on a powerbank, you'll wonder how you ever managed without one. But remember, rush neither the quest for strawberries, nor for roommates.

Alright, Oslo is in my sights. Time to unplug from the writing world and welcome the bustle of the city. See you tomorrow, folks!

Tags: choosing a roommate communication powerbank

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Reflections on a Train: Identifying with Endangered Salmon and the Struggles for Cultural Preservation

A close-up shot of a silver, wild salmon leaping against a cloudy waterfall, amidst leafy green wilderness.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, June 27, 2024, 07:06

As the cool, 16°C air outside turns the train windows to reflective surfaces, I find the usually comforting rhythm of the rails disheartening. The steady thrum of the train and the bleak landscapes passing by seem to echo the dispirited mood that has settled over me this morning. The reasons are manifold, but a somewhat unexpected culprit is a news article I just finished reading.

It's easy to get swept away by the tides of our own lives, our own problems, our own societies. But reading that article, about wild salmon and closed rivers in a town I've never visited, yanked me out of my self-absorbed stupor and made me view the world in a wider context.

Much like those salmon, aren't we all fighting against the currents of external threats, struggling to find our place in an ecosystem we increasingly don't recognize? It may sound a stretch, but bear with me. We are both victims and perpetrators, facing our own extinction or, at the very least, the extinction of our unique identities, whether they be ethnic, cultural, or personal.

Let's talk about ethnic identity and culture. These are the rivers that shape our lives. They mould who we are, how we think, how we perceive others. Yet, in the same way that salmon lice and farmed fish threaten the existence of the wild salmon, our identities are under threat as well. The fluid, mercurial entity we have always taken for granted is, in fact, fragile in the face of relentless threats of homogenization, cultural appropriation, and the unrelenting march towards a globalised society where our cultures and ethnic identities get watered down in the rushing river of mainstream narratives. We are in a desperate fight to survive, much like those endangered salmon.

This does not mean that we are helpless or should resort to isolation. Just as the local authorities in Vefsn are striving to strike a balance between ecological responsibility and local economic interests, we too must tread the line between preservation and adaptation in our own socio-cultural contexts. This ever-changing, often paradoxical, landscape requires constant negotiation.

As we shape and reshape our identities, find new ways to grapple with external influences, we should not forget the strength and resilience that our distinctive ethnic identities and cultures lend us. We must learn to survive — and thrive — persisting against the tide, like a wild salmon in a river.

In my dispirited state, these lines of thought carry a special resonance. A gloomy landscape mirrors my melancholy, the steady drumming of the train is the faint heartbeat echoing the persistent fight against threats to our identities. The mundane journey seems to become a microcosm of the larger world, with all its struggles and trials.

Somehow, it's soothing to know that we are not alone. It’s oddly comforting to realise that, whether it’s a young journalism student on her daily commute to university or an endangered fish species in a remote river, our struggles, our survival instincts, our need for identity, are universal.

It's time to get off the train now. Oslo awaits, with all its opportunities and challenges. In the grand scheme of things, reading about the dire situation of wild salmon in Vefsn is a stark reminder — a reminder that wherever we may be, we are part of the world, we matter, our struggles matter, and they reflect the collective struggle of humankind.

And so, as the train slows, creaking towards another destination, I wrap myself a bit tighter in my coat, bracing myself against the frigid morning air. Much like the plight of the salmon breeds resilience, our fights, our struggles, our sadness makes us stronger and more resilient, in our own human way.

Tags: Identity culture Survival

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Morning Musings From Oslo: The Luminous Impact of Spotlight Figures

A serene Oslo morning street view, w/ an open laptop overlaid, icons of renowned figures in the corner.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 09:39

Good morning, dear readers! As I settle into my beloved train commute, enveloped by the gentle hum of the rushing world outside my window, I'm filled with elation. The day is as fresh as the dew-kissed summer mornings we are experiencing in Oslo these days - a pleasant 17 degrees and the world seems aglow with golden sunshine. I am so excited to share some thoughts with you, coffee in one hand and my trusty powerbank at the ready, ensuring that my writing flow goes uninterrupted. Yes, dear friends, in an ode to the digital world, let's appreciate these little technological marvels that enable us to keep going despite the constraints of battery life.

This morning's thoughts turn to figures who've left indelible impressions in our lives, those glittering stars in the firmament of public life - the celebrities we can't help but admire. There are those artists, whose fiercely independent spirit and transformative work continually reshapes the landscape of creativity and culture, challenging us to see the world in new hues.

And then, we have those who use their platform for humanitarian efforts actively, tirelessly working to better our world. Their dedication to make a profound impact, taking up complex issues and leading by example, is truly awe-inspiring.

Today, my admiration also goes to the thought leaders in the field of journalism. On a trail towards unearthing truth against all odds, their dedication reminds us of the importance of an unrestricted press. These trailblazers are not just limited to those who pen down stories, but also those who enable our access to the unexplored. The men and women who gamble with their personal peace for the sake of public awareness and leverage the power of the digital world to unearth secrets that the world deserves to know.

Just today, I came across an intriguing article. The tale of a certain auspicious figure, controversial yet undeniably bold in his mission. The man, making headlines once again, for his audacious efforts. His tireless pursuit of truth and relentless stand against power structures provide a fierce discourse on the nature of journalism and its boundaries. The man embodies the spirit of dogged determination despite the looming threats of a severe sentence.

So here's to these celebrities, the luminary figures whose stories inspire and challenge. May we continue to learn from their persistence and tenacity, and appreciate the hard truth: that sometimes it's the controversial and challenging pathways that lead to substantial change. As we journey through today, may we keep our spirits high and our powerbanks charged. Here's hoping for an enlightening day ahead in the beautiful city of Oslo.

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Chasing Maturity: A Train Journey Through the Landscape of Growing Up

A young man overlooking a snowy Norwegian landscape, dawn light reflecting on a powerbank in his hand.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, June 24, 2024, 09:21

As I sit here on this cold, dreary Norwegian morning, the train humming beneath me, I find myself sinking into thoughts of growing up. The temperature outside is a chilling 13 degrees. Sure, it's not freezing, but its bite has a way of permeating through you, seeping into the marrow of your bones, an echo of winter's bite. From my small, foggy window, the world goes by in greyscale - ribbons of iron and stone cutting through the raw, open landscape.

Growing up, in essence, is an ambition aspirated by every young soul before it even understands its full implications. We hastily strive to reach a point of self-governing independence, of wisdom, of understanding. We yearn to leave behind the naïve simplicity of youth and grasp the complexities of maturity. Almost as though in a trade-off, we relinquish the soft pillow of innocence for the sturdier mattress of awareness.

Take, for instance, the swivel of affairs in far-off Dagestan. After reading a somber news article on NRK during my early morning browsing, I was served a daunting reality check. It spoke of vile attacks on innocent lives, a stark portrayal of the world beyond my tiny, meticulously curated existence. As a journalism student, it's disturbing and emotional to read such articles. Lives lost...lives changed forever. It is a moment of profound sorrow, yet it serves as a powerful reminder of the breadth of human struggle.

The infractions of such acts stir whirlwind emotions, yet their existence is integral to our understanding and evolution into resilient beings. This part of growing up, the acceptance of harsh reality, is unpleasant, yet it lends the greatest life lessons. The essence of our bloom from children into adults is not only marked by physical growth but also by the deepening creases of understanding, imprinted by the pressing iron of reality.

Growing up also means adapting to life's shifting gears. An aid to my adaptation process, and notable mention in these transient reflections, is my ever-faithful powerbank. This reliable companion has been a silent supporter during those long train rides to Oslo, ensuring my phone, my music, my solace, never shuts off. More than just a simple device, it’s a metaphor for resilience, a token of constancy in a world always on the move, just as we are while growing up.

Growing up, then, is like this train journey – a transition, an evolution, and sometimes, a tug of war between the past and the future. All the while, we move on, leaving behind a trace of what we were, but carrying with us the core of who we are. Even in the face of harsh winds of reality, our wheels do not stop. They merely adjust to the different rails that life lays in front of us, leading us into the uncharted territories of adulthood.

But today, the melancholy is too poignant to ignore. As I sit here on my train towards the bustling city of Oslo, it is unavoidably apparent that the passage from childhood to adulthood can often feel like less of a graduation, and more of a mourning. A mourning for the loss of innocence and the gain of awareness - a bittersweet trade indeed.

As mournful as this train ride may be, my mind now is filled with the gratitude of growth. For though it comes with harsh winds, it also brings resilience, understanding, and wisdom. And as I gaze out the window to that weather-beaten landscape racing by, I realize this train ride, like my journey towards adulthood, is a beautiful one. And it's all worth it.

Tags: growing up self-reflection adulthood

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Staying Positive Amidst Chaos: A Journey through the Overcast Hues of Oslo and Life's Challenges

A gloomy Oslo skyline, woman reading newspaper, visibly pensive, with a resilient sapling in foreground.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, June 21, 2024, 08:06

As the train hums beneath me, gliding relentlessly toward the heart of Oslo, my fingers pause above the keys of my laptop. Outside, the world is smeared with watery gray hues, a fitting reflection of the 13°C temperature. The relentless drizzle against the train window mimics my current state of mind – morose, melancholy. As always, the day starts with a review of global happenings, this time throwing light on the perilous circumstances brewing several thousands of miles away.

Reading an article about Russia and South Korea in a Norwegian newspaper prompts a heavy sigh. It puts into perspective how quickly situations escalate and conflicts begin, rendering our lives into a tumble of complexities. Yet there they are, the tricky situations that beg a thousand questions penetrating the fog of melancholy that seems to descend with the morning mist.

However, every circumstance, irrespective of its intensity, awards an opportunity to rise above. It's an arduous task to maintain positivity when the world you see outside your window, both literal and figurative, lacks color. But isn't it exactly during these very shades of gray that the most vivid colors of human spirit shine?

Staying positive in grim situations is less about erecting a façade of constant happiness, and more about holding a steadfast belief in the power of resilience and evolution. It's reorientating your understanding from seeing darkness as destructive to acknowledging it as a canvas for creation. This isn't about dismissing grief or pain. They're raw and real, rendering the world into an impressionistic painting of sorrow. But, allowing this painful reality to coexist with the prospects of hope, that's the challenge.

Remembering to breathe is essential. The world will continue its unwavering pace, and we can choose to be swept in its torrent or anchor ourselves momentarily, breathe deep, and take it one step at a time. Breaking down the problem, understanding its components, it empowers us. It doesn't make the problem less potent, but it does make us stronger, the situation less overwhelming.

Next, seek aid in empathy. Isolation is a byproduct of crisis. Reach out. Share stories. Welcome shared experiences. Even if people can't mend your situation, just knowing that someone understands, that someone cares, can go a long way in restoring positivity and strength.

Lastly, remember your resilience. Difficult times are stark reminders of past hurdles that have been cleared and battles that have been won. Harnessing memories of prior resilience can act as a salve during present hardship.

Life, with all its twists and turns, is a mirror reflecting back at us our capacity to evolve, adapt, and persevere. And as I close my laptop, the frigid winds outside carrying the faint taste of sea salt and spruce, I'm reminded that even amidst the most brooding landscapes, positivity can, and does, survive. The faucet of bad news might continue running, wars might continue to rage on, but we, as individuals, can still find ways to stay positive amidst the chaos. Because without hope, what is there to fight for? Now, as the Oslo skyline springs into view, it's back to the university. Back to the place where I can at least try to make a difference, in my own little way.

Tags: positivity resilience global conflicts

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