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Dancing with Time: A Norwegian Journalism Student's Reflections on Balancing Life, Work, and the Egg Shortage

A student striding down a frosty Norwegian street, latte in one hand, and in the other, a notepad.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, May 3, 2024, 09:38

The ground crunches underfoot as I make my way to the station, cradling my hot coffee carefully to avoid spills. The frigid air draws a sharp breath from my lips, not bemoaning yet another icy morning but rather oddly appreciative - because if there's one thing I consistently fail at managing, it's the weather (but then again, aren't we all?). The weather, much like time, refuses to bend to my whims and wishes. And speaking of time, it is sure a cruel and relentless partner in this dance we call life.

As a journalism student here in Norway, I am constantly spinning between various roles: Learner, commuter, writer, employee, and friend. It can be a tedious cycle, albeit instilled with the thrill of growth and discovery. Yet, as the train rattles below me, propelling me into the heart of Oslo and another lecture-infused day, I can't help but compare the fleeting landscape to my own life - always moving and changing, slipping away faster than I can through the murky window glass.

Splitting my existence between college, work, and friends feels like a questionable juggling act at times. On the one hand, my coursework calls for dedication and immense focus, a merciless taskmaster commanding me to write, read, analyze, repeat. The relentless push and pull between college and work responsibilities are a ceaseless source of exhaustion - Do I spend that additional hour finishing a paper or do I use it to earn some extra kroner to paint the town red?

And then there are friends, the souls who make laughter a little bit louder, life a little bit sweeter, and solitude a little bit bearable. Their importance cannot be understated, yet the quest for balance means less time savoured in their company.

And here commences the lament. Like the slow draining of Norwegian eggs over the past year, each day the aspects of my life are sucked into the vortex, leaving me hollow. I find an ironic kinship with the egg shortage; both our plights a result of circumstances beyond control. Increases in workload, cost of living, and academic demands resonate sourly with the escalating egg prices.

How do you fill an egg with nothing or a life with no time? Import them? The government's solution, albeit necessary, a potential threat to animal welfare, rings hollow in my heart. Imported time isn't the same. It doesn’t meet the same standards, nor does it provide the same comfort as homegrown moments do. A minute bought is a minute lost, leaving a void that sadly, morning coffee just can't fill.

In the grand scheme, this all might appear as some first-world lament. Eggs and time - what might an outsider say? But, the core truth of our lives is this: we are all just trying to manage what we have, with most of us fighting to not lose what little's left.

Can time be managed? I’m beginning to question that. As the train pulls into the city, students like me flooding out towards another day, I take a small breath, clutch my bag tighter and decide, time might be a relentless dance partner, but I can learn to step in rhythm, to twirl gracefully upon this stage.

As for the eggs, I can only hope for the situation to improve. Both are struggles, both require patience, and both, in their lamentable ways, make me appreciate what I have - my own version of the slightly scrambled, yet surprisingly delightful, student life.

Tags: Life in Norway student life time management

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