I have tagged 7 blog posts with college-life:

Stationery Essentials: The Must-Haves for Every College Student's Toolkit

A desktop topped with colourful pens, highlighters, stylish notebooks, and a sturdy binder.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, April 11, 2024, 09:03

Good Morning from a rolling train car, bathed in the soft hues of dawn, somewhere between home and Oslo. Outside, a cool 6°C morning unfolds, its serenity unbroken. I'm blessed to find my mind clear and my spirit satisfied, just the perfect mood to pen down today's blog post. As I leaf through the morning's news, a particular article grabs my attention - a wind turbine incident, in a place close to my heart, Nord-Odal. While it didn't cause any injuries, it sure sparked an undercurrent of thoughts about the structures we build around us, their resilience, and their fault lines.

However, these thoughts will be explored another time, for today I turn my attention toward the must-haves of a college student's life---the essential stationery items. As my fellow students are aware, the allure of fresh stationery is irresistible. Perhaps it's the promise of a clean slate, a new beginning, or perhaps it's just the simple pleasure of owning well-made tools that help you create, learn, and brainstorm.

At the heart of every student's stationery kit lies the notebook. Whether you prefer the no-frills budget variant, an artistically ambitious one, or a classy leather-bound diary, find one that suits your style, and makes you fall in love with note-taking. Keeping your thoughts organized or brainstorming essay ideas becomes so much more enticing when put to paper.

A close second in the hierarchy comes pens. The humble pen, often underrated, can be the silent force driving your successful academic journey. Invest in some good quality ones that won't smudge, leak, or run dry when you least expect them to. Having a few different colors on hand can aid in color-coding your notes, making it easier to recall information.

Thirdly, highlighters. As a student, nothing screams essential louder than a set of highlighters. From color-coding study materials to systematically highlighting key points, these luminescent pens play a crucial role in any study session.

Lastly, don’t overlook the importance of a sturdy folder or binder. We all face a rush of handouts, essays and assignments through university life. A solid organizational system to keep these under control can save a lot of headaches in the long run. Believe me, leafing through piles of disorganized papers while preparing for an exam is a scenario you want to avoid.

Pausing momentarily, I lift my gaze from my laptop screen and glance out of the train window - the world is a blur of frost-covered fields, interspersed with rock and water. It’s calming, this predictable rhythm of movement and progress. Curiously, the satisfaction of equipping oneself with the right tools, such as stationary, shares the same sentiment. It reinforces the notion that, in this constantly shifting academic landscape, some things remain reassuringly constant.

As my train ride jostles me back into reality, I close my notes on this note: While stationery seems rather trivial when we think about the grand spectrum of university life, it is these small details that most often make the journey smoother. Capping my warm mug of tea, I sign off for now, looking forward to another day of academia, another day of stories, another day of living.

Tags: college essentials stationery study tips college life Stationery Essentials Study Habits

Continue reading

Jot, Scribble, Succeed: Essential Stationery for the Discerning College Student

A young woman bundled up against the snow, holding pens and notebooks against a backdrop of Oslo University.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, January 26, 2024, 09:18

Hello, lovely readers!

I glance outside and spot snowflakes softly kissing the ground as the Norwegian landscape passes by. It's a chilly -3 degrees Celsius this morning, quite the perfect setting for curling up with a warm drink and reflecting on my thoughts. As I make my way to university in bustling Oslo from my humble home tucked amid the tranquility outside the city, I thought I'd share some insights that I've gleaned over time, in the hopes that they would be of help, especially to my fellow students.

There's an understated magic in old-school stationary, wouldn't you say? Those tangible keepsakes preserving our thoughts, our dreams, our aspirations. Yes, we live in a digital era where laptops and tablets are pretty much ubiquitous. Yet, there is something intrinsically comforting about the good old pen and paper. This brings me to the topic of how essential stationary is for us, college students.

As a journalism major, I’ve found that a selection of notebooks is crucial. A larger, spiral-bound pad is perfect for lecture notes, while a pocket-sized version is best suited for jotting down spontaneous thoughts or those Eureka moments that seem to appear out of the ether when you're not hunched over your desk actively searching for them. Dotted notebooks, in particular, have been a personal favorite. They maintain neatness while allowing freedom to sketch quick diagrams or charts, proving essential, for example, during my media law lectures.

A range of pens, from ballpoints for rapid note-taking, to gel pens for more considered prose, can make the process of writing as much about pleasure as practicality. And of course, highlighters of varying colors help emphasize important points, rendering revision a less daunting task.

I also firmly believe in the value of sticky notes and flags for book marking and quick scribbles, as well as index cards for keeping track of research sources. Moreover, a sturdy, aesthetic organizer or pencil case is a worthwhile investment. It secures your tools in place, and there's a certain sense of satisfaction in being able to lay your hands on what you need without wasting precious study time foraging through your backpack.

Finally, let's not forget the grace of a planner or a calendar. In the whirlwind that is college life, with classes, assignments, club meetings, and social events, a dedicated space to log your tasks and deadlines can provide a tremendous sense of control reducing stress levels significantly.

As a side note, while writing this blog post, I stumbled across a news article that echoed how miscommunication can lead to potentially grave consequences. The narrative led me to reflect on the importance of clarity and precision, whether in conveying important information or, for that matter, in our daily academic pursuits.

The train pulls into the station, bringing me back to reality from my cocoon of thoughts. It's time for me to prepare for another day of journalistic exploration. Here's hoping this little share of mine resonates with some of you. Remember, the right tools can set the tone for success.

Stay warm, stay organised, and keep exploring, everyone!

Tags: stationary college life journalism

Continue reading

Chasing Stories in the Frost: A Norwegian Journey through College and Journalism

A woman on a frosty Norwegian train looking thoughtfully at a journalism textbook, snowy mountains in the background.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, November 16, 2023, 08:34

Hello delightful readers!

I am typing today's message accompanied by the rhythmic hum of the train and a glowing sunrise that paints the frosty Norwegian landscape in beautiful hues. It is -5°C outside, yet Mother Nature has always had a way to wrap even the coldest day in the warmth of its beauty.

Reflecting on college life, especially while studying for a degree in journalism, fills me with an overwhelming amount of joy. It's every bit as colorful as I had expected - bustling with energy, friendly faces and the incessant thirst for knowledge. Despite the daily grinds, there is still something positively enchanting about this environment that makes it all worth it.

Today, I read an article in the news that resonated deeply. It's about several Norwegian citizens trapped in Gaza due to an Israeli blockade who may possibly be able to exit tomorrow. The predicament they face makes me grateful for the freedom and safety I enjoy, being able to commute to my university and return home each day. It's these small details often overlooked that my journalism studies have taught me to appreciate.

This news also speaks to the heart of journalism as it celebrates the cooperation between governments and beautifully echoes some of the key values instilled in us by our lecturers at the college - communication, understanding, and working towards a common goal, despite differences in perspectives.

While consuming my daily dose of news completes my train journeys, attentively observing those around me paints a colorful picture. Each person is a living tapestry of stories and experiences, probably with their own reflections on college life, professional life, or even life itself.

Commute time has turned into sort of a 'pause' button in the hurried pace of life, a reflection pit-stop. A cup of hot coffee, the news article and my academic reflections suddenly melt the frostiness of the external temperature and leave me toasty on the inside.

Despite the looming deadlines and mid-terms, it's hard to lose touch with the joy that college life brings. There's a distinct charm in the friendships made in lecture halls, the wisdom gathered from teachers, the first-hand experience of good governance while analyzing news, and the privilege to access education.

So, toast along with me to these early morning university trips, brimming with promise, joy, and gratefulness, even amidst a freezing Norwegian morning, because they are, without a doubt, the snapshots that will make up the collage of our college life.

Remember, we may all be students of different subjects, but aren't we lifelong students of life? That is one universal lesson, instilled in us, that college life beautifully mirrors. And it makes waking up in these chilly mornings an adventure I wholeheartedly look forward to.

Stay warm and remain curious!

Until my next train-bound murmurs.

Stay tuned.

Tags: college life journalism reflective journeys

Continue reading

Train Rides and Textbooks: A Glimpse into the Rhythms of College Life

A young student on a train, engrossed in her phone, with books and a powerbank beside her.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, November 13, 2023, 15:20

Sitting here, staring idly out of the train's window at the murky gray landscape, the leafless trees stoically bearing the biting chill of 2°C weather, I am vigorously tapping away at my phone, shaping the thoughts that materialize into today's blog post. Muffled conversations and the rhythmic clatter of the rail tracks create a soothing soundscape, the perfect backdrop to my musings about college life.

College, more than being a mere step in the academic ladder, appears as a symbol - a stage upon which we mould our identities and sharpen our intellects. Each day unfurls a medley of new experiences, colourful and vibrant, interspersed with the monotony of lectures, seminars and ridiculously tight deadlines.

The effervescent buzz hum in lecture halls, the hushed whispers in library corners and the comfortable silence buried within pages of texts make up the rhythm of college life. It's an excellent dance of ambition and knowledge, dreams and reality, cultivating resilience in the face of the ever-so-familiar dread of failure.

While gloom might sometimes cast its long shadow amid the nerve-wracking anxiety of examinations or perhaps during those solitary moments of reflection, it's always met with a steadfast perseverance. Speaking of which, the news today about Prime Minister Erna Solberg's decision to seek another term, staying unflinchingly single-minded in the face of criticism, is a testament to that very dogged determination.

There's a beautiful sense of liberation that accompanies a stint at the university - marked by a shedding of one's inhibitions and embarking on a journey of self-discovery. And it's not just about the individual; it's equally about the community. The diversity that kaleidoscopes across the university campus is overwhelming, granting us the invaluable gift of perspective.

The train ride back home emerges into a quiet oasis amidst all the noise, offering a moment to soak in the day's learnings about journalism, world events, and life itself. My phone, just as it starts giving warning signs of a dimming battery, is promptly saved by a trusted companion since the dawn of college - my powerbank. It may seem insignificant, but for a blogging enthusiast and perpetual student like me, it proves to be a silent saviour. It's solar powered, the renewable source of energy offering a glint of hope in the looming climate crisis and teaching us an important lesson of resilience and innovation.

Brightening up my train rides with its continuous supply of charge, it is a reflection of the resilience that college life demands, a reminder that we can always recharge, refuel and reflect before leaping into another day of learning and discovery.

For all its highs and lows, college life is a beautiful contradiction - exhausting and exhilarating, demanding and rewarding, melancholic and joyful, all at once. It's a journey that deserves to be savoured, with the hope that every challenging paper, every train ride, every act of turning on a powerbank instead of wallowing in the dim glow of a dying phone, will lead us towards becoming the best version of ourselves.

Tags: personal reflections journey of self-discovery college life personal reflection resilience

Continue reading

From Stationery to Stories: Unmasking the Might of a Journalist's Tools

Piles of colorful pens, notebooks, newspaper clippings and a laptop with election headlines.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, November 6, 2023, 08:05

Another chilly morning on my commute to the heart of Oslo, but that's typical for this time of year. Snowflakes drift exhaustingly against the cold train windows, too close to teardrops for comfort, while everyone inside is just trying to keep warm. Grief tiptoes around the corners of my heart as I pull out my laptop to write today's blog post; a topic that once brought joy, now only brings memories.

Stationery, the heartbeat of any college student. Not only an essential part of our educational journey, but also a subtle representation of who we are.

The breath of a brand-new notebook, those blank pages begging to be filled with rambling thoughts, dreams, or perhaps lecture notes. It is a fresh start, a new semester captured in between two covers, its pages yet untouched by the inevitable mistakes and unreadable handwriting. It's a silent promise, an unspoken pact between us and our aspirations.

Pens are just as vital. They are our weapons, our tools. They help us manifest our thoughts, ideas, dreams onto the world, even if that world is just a simple piece of paper or the margins of our textbooks. We are lost without them, be it pens that bleed ink like wounded soldiers or those with tips finer than a needle's edge.

Highlighters are the unsung heroes of the stationery family. Adding colour to our monotonous lecture notes, they create subtle emphasis that draws the wandering mind back to the essence, back to what's important. Oh, how we neglect their importance until we are adrift in a sea of text.

Pocketsize post-its, sitting in our backpacks like ignorable whispers, only find themselves sticking out from textbooks, marking significant sections. They are like breadcrumbs for the academic Hansel and Gretel, guiding us though the maze-like forest of knowledge.

Reading about the recent US Presidential election in the Aftenposten this morning, I couldn't help but feel a pang of sorrow. It is heartbreaking to see the allegations and controversies making headlines. The whole world is in turmoil. The debates about mail-in voting, the unfounded claims of fraud, and declaring victory before final results - it all feels so unfair, so unjust. It's a dark reminder of the fragility of democracy, even in the so-called 'Land of the Free.'

If there's a lesson we, as future reporters and journalists, can extract from this situation, it's the importance of facts and transparency. Just as our pens, notebooks, highlighters, and sticky notes help us in our pursuit of knowledge, truth, and clarity, we must remember our roles and responsibilities.

In our hands, the stationery turns into instruments of change. They transform from mere objects to catalysts, driving us towards our objectives. We wade through oceans of information, pick apart the facts, and piece together a narrative. This isn't just about stationery in our backpacks; it's about principles in our hearts.

The train pulls into Oslo, the morning's sorrow temporarily set aside, tucked away into the backpack with the rest of my stationery. Classes await. It's time to face another day, armed with pens, notebooks, and a determination to uncover the truth - for isn't that what we aspiring journalists are studying to do?

Tags: student life stationery college life journalism

Continue reading

From Classroom to Commuter Train: Reflections on College, Choices, and Connection Amidst Norway's Landscapes

A student sits alone in a train, engrossed in a newspaper, with a solitary suitcase by her side.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, October 24, 2023, 15:47

As the train slices through the chilly November afternoon, my fingertips hover above the warmed keys of my laptop, guided by rhythm of absent thoughts. The scenery changes from the steel and concrete of Oslo to the familiar patchwork quilt of forests and quaint wooden houses that mark my journey home.

These commutes have become a small part of my college experience; sitting quietly in the corner of a train, a spectator to the changing landscapes outside while fighting the urge to succumb to the lull of the train. It's soothing really, a moment of solitude that seems to exist outside the cycle of assignments and deadlines.

College can be an overwhelming tumble of new experiences. Lectures, seminars, group work and a slew of emails that ask more of me than I think possible. I've come to realize it’s not just about learning in classrooms, but equally about learning myself - my limitations and strengths, both equally important, and equally worthy of acceptance. With every assignment, every research paper I write, I feel an incremental change, a growth, a shift in perspective. And this very train ride becomes my anchor, my time to process the thoughts and discoveries of the day.

Reflecting on the day behind, I am drawn to a snippet of news I read earlier, a chilling account of a missing woman from Ålesund. Been missing for several days now. The sad reality that she may be out there somewhere, battling the same cold I am shielded from inside this comfortable cabin stings me. The details of the woman, still fresh in the cyber pages of, are etched into my mind. A stark reminder of my privileged reality; to live an uninterrupted life, to have the freedom to take this journey every day, to ponder, and to write my thoughts down, unthreatened and unafraid.

It’s a sobering reflection, one that makes all college stress seem trivial. Somewhere in these hours spent learning and growing, it's worth remembering that the world continues its dance outside the university bubble. That people are fighting unspoken battles, that same world is darker to some people than it is to me. In all this maelarchy, I become acutely aware of one thing - Choices. The power to affect change. The power to carve my own path.

In the vast spectrum of college life, filled with all shades of experience that are too complex to pour into words, I somehow find myself grasping a deeper understanding of life’s fragility and beauty. There’s something about college that triggers immense growth, not just academically, but in personal perspectives. And amidst the lessons taught in classrooms and libraries, there lies another lesson, a silent one, pulled from the delicate leaflets of newspaper columns and lived experiences.

As the train pulls into my station, I pack away my laptop and don my coat, steeled against the unforgiving chill. My heart still feels heavy with the news of the missing woman, her life another unknown narrative being written somewhere outside this train. Pushing away the curtain of thoughts, I step onto the cold platform. College has changed me, I can feel it. And it's not just knowledge taking root, but empathy growing within me. A desire to use the power of words wisely, to shed light, to make a difference. Even if it's just by writing about it - every word a pledge, a silent prayer. A hope wrought in ink that the woman missing in Ålesund is found soon, safe and sound.

Tags: college life self-reflection empowerment through education

Continue reading

Between Books and Reality: A College Student’s Melancholy Dance with Economic Indicators

A person hunched over their desk, surrounded by books and notebooks, typing on a laptop with an intense expression, representing dedication amidst uncertainty. #college #journalism #commitment
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 07:32

Another day dawns, bleak and dreary, mirroring my mood perfectly. The temperature outside shivers shy of freezing at 3°C, and the frosted train window is a chilling inscription of my arctic thoughts. Another day commutes to college and into the hardbound confines of education. Yet, I can't help but recollect how different my image of university life was before reality served me a rather bitter cup of truth.

Life in college, rather than a whimsical adventure to self-discovery and untamed truth, is unfolding as a machine, spewing out graduates year after year. We journey through this process, churning out reports, homework and term papers, measured and evaluated for our potential contribution to the system. Where gone are the spirited debates, the challenging conversations, the open-ended questions?

I've been questioning recently, what is the true value of this education? As the train speeds towards Oslo, racing against my foggy thoughts, the harsh news article from E24 that I just read seems to add another layer of uncertainty to my ponderings. A significant dip in Norway's price growth. An alteration in monetary policy. The ripple effect on the krone exchange rate. The growing stagnation in the housing market. It all suddenly feels so disheartening and overwhelming. Where do we, the young and hopeful, navigate our future in such a volatile landscape?

Even as I study journalism, bridging the gap between truth and representation, the present dynamics in the financial domain add a shade of grey to my otherwise vibrant canvas of hopes. How do I see myself helping the common folk understand these complex economic twists and turns? It certainly doesn’t help morale to reflect on graduating into a world of low interest rates and suppressed housing markets.

These foreboding statistics paint an unsettling and uneasy prospect for us, the soon-to-be workforce, embarking on our journey into the 'real world'. Battling the constant pressure to align our career choices with the volatile economic climate, our college life often seems like a launchpad into a realm of hard choices and compromising dreams, rather than a delightful haven for intellectual growth and exploration.

It feels as if the college bubble provides but a temporary shield from deeper rumblings and realities of the world outside. It is in these challenging times, staring out into the vast, cold expanse of the Norwegian landscape, I remind myself, that the core of journalism – the thirst for truth, the challenge of narratives, the relentless pursuit of change – is not dictated by economic indicators or monetary policy. They remain, stubborn and robust, at the heart of what I do and who I want to be.

Essentially, college is an echo of the real world - shaped by external forces, yet holding within it, the power to shape its reality. Which makes me wonder if my bitterness resides more in these sobering reflections of the world, rather than college life itself. As my train shrouds itself in the melancholy symphony of gloomy landscapes and moody skies, I find myself grappling with these reflections, ever more determined to make sense of this capricious dance between realities and desires.

The train inches closer to Oslo, the bleak city beckons, and a long day of lectures waits. But there is comfort, however slight, in penning down these reflections, acknowledging the bitter, yet pressing forth with a resolve that this won’t be the only narrative of my college journey. I hope that my future posts will echo a different perspective, perhaps a happier note, as I continue to unravel the intertwined webs of college life and the world beyond. Until then, amidst the blur of snow-clad trees and icy lakes, the journey continues...

Tags: college life economic climate personal reflection

Continue reading