I have tagged 9 blog posts with personal-reflection:

Chasing The Train of Thought: How Interviewing For Internships Mirrors The Political Climate

A student in smart casual attire, holding a globe in one hand and a CV on the other.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 09:39

As I sit here on my morning train commute, the world outside is swathed in a frigid white blanket, the mercury barely tickling 2°C. My breath fogs up the window as I settle in, creating a tiny cloud against the frost-coated glass. My fingers dance across my laptop's keyboard, as eager as the rest of me to let my thoughts, each birthed from my experiences, unravel.

Today I feel contemplative – buoyed by possibilities, anchored by uncertainties. The topic at hand seems abstractedly apropos - interviewing for internships. The very mention of it calls to mind countless evenings spent poring over cover letters and application forms, the uneasy stirs of anticipation and dread intertwining like an intricate dance.

The task of securing an internship is a rite of passage for many university students. As a journalism student, it’s more than just about getting a foot in the door – it’s about gaining the experience of chasing stories and truths, and laying the foundation for our future roles as custodians of the narrative.

Likewise, political leaders face a similar challenge – not in receiving internships, but in securing the people’s mandate. Their candidacy is much like a prolonged, high-stakes job interview, played out over months, even years. Recently, I read about the complex political triangle linking the United States, Iran, and Israel. The implicit strategical equations and the potential repercussions of recent skirmishes on an upcoming election are all intertwined in a labyrinthine intrigue.

It's quite intriguing, how securing an internship mirrors the political climate. Both involve high stakes. Both necessitate persuasion, competence, determination. There's the same jangling edge of uncertainty, the same exhilarating thrill of possibly being chosen. Of course, the magnitude of the consequences is vastly different, but somehow, this doesn't negate the parallels.

Interviewing for an internship is as much about understanding yourself as it is about comprehending the psyche of the organisation. Similar to political leaders analysis of their electorate's requirements. It's a game of insights, understanding, and empathy, punctuated by bursts of brute persistence.

As my train gently rocks along, the city of Oslo looming ever closer, I marvel at the interconnectivity of all things. What we, as students, endure and learn in our quest for experience, isn’t disassociated from the larger events unfolding on the global stage.

I turn to gaze out of the window, the world outside still frost-ridden, and yet teeming with life - a stark reminder of both the cold reality we exist within, and the fiery human spirit that propels us further. Just like the interviewee - navigating the formidable, yet still, hopeful battleground of experience and opportunity. We interview. We learn. We aspire. We progress.

Today, as yet another winter’s day unfolds, I am gripped by a sense of purpose emanating from my reflections. As I step onto the familiar platform, the world outside feels less intimidating, the weight of my potential less onerous. After all, to begin is to be halfway there. And, while the morning remains frigid, there’s a warmth spreading within me – a slow, burning resolve undeterred by the cold.

Tags: internship politics personal reflection

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Frosty Mornings and Fiery Battles: A Juxtaposition of Love and War

A lone traveler in winter wear, walking across a frost-laden bridge against an urban skyline backdrop.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, April 5, 2024, 08:09

As I watch the frost-encrusted landscape whisk past my train window this morning, the bone-chilling temperature of -1 °C feels as harsh and unrelenting as the emotional frostbite I've been grappling with lately. My fingers are numbed by the cold, making it difficult to type, but the contrastingly warm heat in the carriage is unbearable, mingling claustrophobically with the poignant undercurrents of melancholy that feel almost palpable in my words.

I've often opined that dating is a battlefield of sorts, fraught with high peaks of ecstasy and cataclysmic falls into despair, in, more or less, equal measure. But now, I find myself in this frozen apocalypse of loneliness and rejection, staring down the ghosts of romances past and hoping, vainly, for a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

Mornings on my commute have become a portal into a news world fiery with conflict and war. Today, that patch on the globe ignited with conflict is Ukraine. As I read this morning about NATO countries pledging more air defense to the beleaguered nation, the stark reality of humanities' propensity for combat and domination seems as cold and unforgiving as the frosty kiss of winter outside.

In comparison, my romantic foibles may seem insignificant but they pulse with their own brand of pain, no less grating against my spirit than the biting wind against my cheeks. Like international politics, affairs of the heart are complicated, burdened with power dynamics, unspoken expectations, and a distressing lack of honesty.

I've often wondered if global leaders feel the same sort of soul-crushing disappointment as I do when their pleas for assistance are met with strategic aid, rather than the genuine empathy they hoped for. Ukrainian president's recent plea for a no-fly zone over Ukraine has largely been met with tactful sidestepping by NATO allies, a raw reminder that international relations continue to be driven by cold pragmatism rather than ideals of hope, trust, and cooperation.

Like Ukraine, I find myself longing for a no-fly zone of my own, a safe space where I could negotiate my romantic entanglements without the fear of emotional bombardment. But, life as an adult, I've come to understand, is more about handling falling bombs than preventing them.

One would imagine that persistent need for self-defense would eventually erode our spirit. Yet, as I observe the indomitable Ukrainians and read about their courage, I realize that perhaps, resilience is where the beauty lies. Perhaps it's not about escaping the conflicts, but about surviving them, bearing witness to them, emerging stronger from them.

As my train draws closer to the fog-shrouded Oslo, I find myself drawing a parallel between my own love life and the complex web of international politics: messy, complicated, peppered with disappointments, yet blinding in its resilience. Both spheres, I’ve come to realize, are marred by a profound struggle between helplessness and hope, and at this particular juncture in life, I seem to be oscillating precariously between the two. Where I'll land, only time can tell.

As I close my laptop, with the somber Oslo skyline tinted with the pallor of the dawn, looming into view, I am left with a profound sense of melancholic clarity. My utopia of love and romance might just be as elusive as a world without conflict, yet the journey, the ceaseless attempts at survival, persist in a perpetual cycle of shattered illusions and rekindled hope. And that, perhaps, is the heart-wrenching beauty of it all.

Tags: personal reflection love and relationships international politics

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Chasing Aspirations: A Reflection on Career Goals Amidst Frosted Norwegian Landscapes

A young journalist gazing out a snowy train window in Oslo, laptop and powerbank on the table.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, November 21, 2023, 15:57

From the cozy cocoon of my train carriage, insulated from the chilly -1°C of an Oslo afternoon, I sit blissfully lost in a flurry of thoughts about career goals. Nestled in the warm semi-silence, I feel my fingers just itching to tap into existence my musings on this seemingly vast topic.

As the world outside speeds by in a blur of snow-capped trees and frosted landscapes, I find myself reflecting on the myriad paths we all have the ability to tread when it comes to forging our careers. Whatever field it is - journalism, medicine, art or even politics - the choices, twists and turns are as vast and diverse as the drifting snowflakes cascading down from the heavens.

It's enthralling to think about the freedom that lies within these infinite decisions. We wield the power to mold our lives, like flexible clay, into whatever shape we dream to be. Each choice we make, every risk we take, lead us towards different realities – ones that we alone are capable of creating. It's truly empowering to think of it that way.

I was reading an intriguing news article today about Sindre Finnes promising to sell his stock shares by 2025, due to a potential conflict of interest issue arising out of his political and business associations. Despite the criticism he faced, he has decided to pave a new path, aligning with his values and beliefs.

Isn’t this what career goals are truly about? They are not merely about garnering wealth, power, or status, but also about aligning with our personal values and ethics. Essentially, they are about having the courage to make changes that echo with our core beliefs, thereby leading us toward a future we genuinely believe in.

Speaking of belief, here I am, a journalism student, filled with dreams, just at the start of my own career, and excited for what the future holds. My powerbank is my reliable companion on this journey, much like a steadfast lighthouse guiding ships in the dark. This humble piece of tech keeps me connected to my dreams, as my fingers translate thoughts into words even in the unplugged confines of a speeding train filled with homeward-bound souls.

Despite the unpredictable paths, no journey is too arduous provided we remain firmly tethered to the powerhouses of our ethics, passions, and dreams. It's heartening to imagine that with every blog post I share, every story I pen, I am setting stepping stones towards my own grand career goal.

Even as dusk blankets the Norwegian landscape outside, a warm glow of satisfaction wraps around me. The spark from the fire of my career aspirations has ignited the kindling, soon, it'll turn into a full-blown flame. As the train chugs along, I look forward to the challenges, victories, and the endless opportunities that lay ahead on this chosen path.

So, here's to the journey, cherishing the process, respecting the power of choices, and of course, the undying loyalty of powerbanks. I look forward to becoming a worthy steward of the journalistic values, eager to contribute my own melody to the symphony of words that is journalism. But for now, I’m headed home where a steaming cup of tea awaits me.

Tags: career goals journalism personal reflection

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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

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Battlefields of the Heart: A Parallel Between Online Dating and Global Conflicts

Winter landscape & train tracks, open news app on Gaza conflict, dating app notifications visible.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, October 30, 2023, 15:23

The frigid air outside seeps through the gaps in the train windows, chilling my fingertips as I begin to type. The familiar clack of keys against my laptop aligns itself with the rhythmic hum of the tracks below, a comforting monotony that echoes the resonance of my thoughts. I look out at the stark winter scenery rushing by, a melancholy and desolate landscape mirroring the somber mood that's settled over me.

My mind wanders back to the news article I've just read. A bleak analysis of the conflict in Gaza. I begin to sense a disquieting parallel between my ruminations on the realities of global strife and human suffering, and my recent experiences with online dating. The connections seem absurd at first, but the contemplation continues to nag at me, persuaded by a shared sense of desolation and uncertainty.

Online dating, much like the ceaseless conflict, is a sort of battlefield in itself. It's a war characterized by unseen adversaries, faceless profiles writing thoughtless messages that scrape past the surface of who we really are. A war of attrition, the casualties of which are hope, authenticity, and patience. Much like a protracted conflict, we become mired in the cyclical nature of it all, hardened and weary with every passing interaction.

The vortex of potential matches is like a carousel that never stops turning; a relentless stream of profile photos and half-hearted introductions. In the ceaseless churn and swirl of faces and words, we're left with the overwhelming sense of disconnect. The promise of abundance that online dating was supposed to deliver instead has become a parading line of dissatisfaction and disappointment.

And just as the Gaza conflict drags on in its agonizing cycle of provocation and retaliation, in the world of online dating, there's always the next swipe, the next match, the next fleeting conversation that invariably fizzles out. We're caught in these looping patterns, repeating the same steps while hoping for a different outcome.

The bitter cold outside feels particularly invasive today, clawing at my body through layers of clothing, slicing straight into my bones. Its icy grip is polarized by the heat of boiling frustration inside. I wonder how much more we can bear; how much longer we can endure the desolation brought by this never-ending cycle of hope and disappointment.

We yearn for connections, be it romance or global harmony, but on the fringes of our longing, what we learn is the harsh reality of humanity: therein lies the tendency for cruelty, the propensity for misunderstanding, and the seemingly endless capacity for carrying on despite it all.

Staring out at the bleak, frozen winter landscape reflecting in my window, I can't help but feel a chilling alignment with the images conjured by the news article. And if this is how disheartened I feel by the world of online dating, then I can only imagine the despair that stems from conflicts that transcend borders, cultures and generations. The world, it seems, on both personal and global scales, runs rampant with a profound sense of disconnection.

As the train carries on through the icy landscape, I am left grappling with these feelings of despair, thinking about how it parallels my disheartening journey through online dating and the unending conflict halfway across the world. The frosty weather outside serves as an inescapable metaphor, an eternal winter encapsulating my solitary trek through the affections of strangers, brushing against the bracing winds of rejection and unmet expectations.

Perhaps it's the despondent mood setting upon me, exacerbated by this cold winter day and the aggravating update on the world stage, but I can't help concluding that we're all trapped in our respective battles, personal or universal, in search of elusive victories. In online dating as in life, we're merely soldiers in the war of connection, trapped within cycles of hope and despair, echoing the ceaseless rhythm of the train plowing through the wintry landscape.

Tags: global conflict online dating global conflicts personal reflection

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Strumming Through the Gloom: A Wintry Journey of Music, Metamorphosis, and Sustainable Futures

Person enjoying music in cozy room with records, Norway's snowy landscape and wind turbine in view.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, October 27, 2023, 14:15

As the chill of a 4°C afternoon bites through the window, leaving the heat of my coffee cup the only tangible warmth I can grasp, I turn on my playlist in an attempt to deflect the persistent gloom. And like a lighthouse in the fog, the familiar chords of my favourite band cut through the melancholy and fill the train carriage with an ethereal warmth, invisible and silent to anyone but me. This genre is no stranger to bitterness, but somehow, their music remains an antidote, a strange comfort in the dissonance of life.

Captivating melodies twine with the most profound lyrics, searing through the marrow of the mundane— it feels like they've intrinsically understood the very essence of the human struggle. Their songs paint a canvas of life in the most poignant strokes, rendering the monochrome world outside into a rich tapestry of hues.

Not to mention, their live performances resonate with an exhilarating vigour, allowing fans to connect with them on a transcendental level. The energy they uniquely cultivate in the crowd is nothing short of magic.

Then again, there's the solace that comes with their music, like a reliable powerbank, always there to recharge your soul when it feels depleted. It's a beautiful feeling, knowing that with a simple press of a button and a neatly tucked powerbank to keep the tunes flowing, you can find the solace you need. Undeniably, powerbanks have become the unsung superheroes of our time, always ready to deliver a lifeline to our perpetually drained devices, giving life to our music when we need it the most.

But while I bask in the solace of their music today, a heavier undertone prevails. News continues to roll in about shifting paradigms and the consequential sacrifices we need to make for the sake of our planet. Today, it was the Norwegian Climate Committee's plea to phase out oil production, a significant economic pillar of my country. Its echoes merge with the train noises and the lyrics of my favourite songs, laying down the harsh truth— change is imminent and necessary.

I find it strange how the world is connected, how a handful of thoughtful individuals' proposal to phase out oil and depend on renewable energies ties in with the philosophy of my favourite band — change is indeed inevitable.

Who knows, as their music continues to evolve and the story of my beloved Norway takes a new turn towards a more sustainable future, these gloomy days too might transform into something more extraordinary. After all, isn't it in the face of constant change and challenges that we truly find our essence? Maybe this gloomy afternoon carries the seeds of an unexpectedly bright sunrise.

As I sign off my thoughts today, the cold outside feels a tad bit less bitter. I hold on to my coffee cup tighter as I listen again to my favourite band's latest song, now against a subtly different backdrop. The landscape outside the train remains the same, but every word of the lyrics smears a thoughtful ripple across it, hinting at the profound changes to come, the incredible transformations we're capable of, and the legacy we can let behind: a healthier planet for those after us.

So, here I am— an ordinary student, on her own transition, clinging to the warm chords of her favourite band, contemplating a nation's transformation, and ponderay on a world in metamorphosis, acknowledging the gloom but not succumbing to it. For in every ending, as my favourite band has often sung, there is a new beginning.

Tags: personal reflection music climate change personal reflections

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Life Lessons from a Train Ride: A Journey through Existence and Experience

A lone figure sitting by a train window, gazing at a passing landscape, encapsulating thought and movement.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, October 23, 2023, 08:51

As the wheels of the train grind steadily beneath me, the crisp 5°C morning air brushes past the window beyond my gaze, bent firmly on my laptop screen. Memories, thoughts, considerations and lessons learned jockey for position, each one begging for a moment's contemplation, a fragment of digital preservation. The serenity of the passing Norwegian landscapes becomes an ironic contrast as I contemplate my topic for the day: life lessons I’ve learnt so far.

Life, as I’ve come to understand, is less a journey predetermined and more a path spontaneously awakened and discovered with each step taken. The tracks upon which my train travels bear an uncanny resemblance to the realm of existence, laid by the craftsman’s intent yet shaped and scarred by time and experience.

Indeed, the first gem I've uncovered in my life's rocky field is that patience is more of a savior than a mere virtue. Hastened decisions, panic, prompt judgement can often lead to a network of disappointment and regrets. Like waiting for a train to arrive, we must learn the art of mastering our pace, synchronizing it with life's tempo, understanding that hour hands can't be budged by mere will.

Yesterday’s news in the train was filled with the mirth of a local celebration; today, it is stained by the anguish carried from Stavanger. Two souls, found within the crosshairs of Cupid’s malevolent cousin, now lay in hospital beds. A grim reminder: life remains beautifully unpredictable and fickle in its dispensation. Embracing the uncertainty of life, while keeping a steady heart, is another lesson learned on this winding, unpredictable route.

The events this morning convey yet another lesson: consequences are real. Although the alleged shooter now sits in police custody, the echoes of his presumably momentary lapse in judgement reverberate within both the victims and himself, as well as ripple out, impacting countless others. Acts of magnitude, born from moments of decision, are not simply erasable blemishes on life’s narrative; they etch deep into its ongoing script. It's an eye-opener, learning that our actions invariably create ripples in the vast pond of existence.

On a similar note, but with an oddly positive spin, the incident sheds light on the interconnectivity of all things. An event in Stavanger seeps its way into the veins of news, threading together the lives of countless different people reading the same sentence, feeling a similar mix of emotions, weaving a tapestry of shared human experience. It’s a stark reminder: we are threads in the same carpet, waves in the same ocean. No matter how isolated we sometimes feel, we never truly are.

The train slows. I lean back, close my eyes for a swift moment. Opening them again, I glance once more at the passing Norwegian landscapes, whose serene beauty - to the hurried eyes, could easily be reduced to a blur of green and blue. It makes me think: Slow down – Unplug. Appreciate. Be in the present. A constant yet endearing reminder from life.

As the train pulls into the heart of Oslo, and my final destination of the day looms into view, I’m reminded of the final lesson for the day — the journey holds just as much significance, if not more, than the destination.

The lessons learned so far are an unexpected culmination of time and experience, a twisted blend of beautiful serendipities and bruising reality checks. Life, it seems, is a teacher both gentle and harsh - but a teacher we’d be wise to listen to nonetheless.

As I pack away my laptop, readying myself for another day at the university, I take a moment to appreciate the spaces between. The pauses, the transitions and the silences. For it's in these spaces between pages, letters, words and sounds that our beautiful, strange, poignant stories reside. The train halts. I smile, step off, and step into the continuation of my story.

Another day, another lesson, another trip on life's grand train.

Tags: life lessons personal reflection Norway travel

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Faith in Transit: Musings on Spirituality from a Snowy Oslo-bound Train

A Gazan man praying on a moving train, with an Oslo landscape blurred in the window.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, October 16, 2023, 07:43

I sit on the train to Oslo, fingers poised over the cold screen of my laptop. Another journey, another opportunity to clear the fog of thoughts through writing. Outside, the temperature dips to 3°C. The falling snow seems a mirror of my own frosty inner landscape, reflecting back at me my own melancholy. I nestle deeper into my coat, earphones isolating me from the scattered murmurs of the sleepy commuters.

Today, I am contemplating something bigger, something beyond our daily routines and individual sorrows - spirituality and religion. It's a poignant topic echoing in our mind’s quiet chambers, yet somehow, we turn the volume down. We drown it in the buzz of everyday life, in our struggle for ambition or survival, or both.

Church bells toll in the distance as the train glides past another sleepy town. Its echo nudges me back to the topic at hand; the power of faith. Why do people cling so fiercely to concepts intangible? What compels them to surrender control to deities unseen? Is it fear? Is it love? Or is it desperation? Our human essence, as volatile as it is, seeks solace in the divine. It’s a beacon of light in the labyrinth of existence.

As I ponder over these questions, my thoughts meander towards Ashraf al-Najar, a doting father and diligent engineer, whose story I happened upon this morning on a Norwegian news site, VG. Stranded in Gaza since February due to a border lockdown, he is living a nightmare far removed from the safety and predictability of his job and life in Norway. From the boundaries of Gaza, he is reduced to a mere observer of his daughter's life in Oslo, held captive by circumstances beyond his control.

Al-Najar's predicament resonates with the essence of spirituality to me. It's the desperate call for some divine intervention, for the universe to rearrange itself and liberate him from his current circumstance. It's the fervent prayer of a father separated from his child, yearning for the warmth of her hug, rather than the coldness of satellite connectivity. His story reinforces the belief that sometimes, faith becomes not just a spiritual choice, but an emotional refuge.

Switching off my screen for a moment, I gaze into the gloomy landscape outside. The white of the diminishing snow seems blanched of life. The barren trees stand stark against the grey sky, its branches spread out as if in a silent plea for spring's warmth. Despite the outward gloom, faith and spirituality infuse warmth into this seemingly cold reality.

My musings are cut short by the dying battery symbol on my laptop. Sighing, I pull out my faithful powerbank, weighing the sleek gadget with an inexplicable fondness. It's my saviour in these long commutes, empowering me to capture passing thoughts and fleeting inspirations, to transform cold, hard facts into living tales as real, as palpable as the chill outside.

Back to al-Najar's story - it is a testament to resilience, powered by the enduring faith of a father. His relentless struggle against the toughest of circumstances underlines the vital role of faith in our lives. And in our darkest moments, just as a simple device like powerbank replenishes our phones and laptops, spirituality recharges our souls. Despite being wrapped in a shroud of melancholy, this revelation kindles a small flame of hope within me.

This whole train ride, my thoughts, my emotions, al-Najar’s predicament, they all connect, reminding me both of our frailty and our resilient spirit. And just like this journey, fraught with bitter cold and dreading uncertainties, the exploration of spirituality within us draws a map leading to inner strength, resilience, and surprisingly, a semblance of peace.

The train halts at Oslo, tearing me away from my musings. As I step out, the biting wind snaps at my face, but within me a warm current surges - a strange camaraderie with a stranger, a robust faith in the power of faith, and a renewed resolve to explore this fascinating ocean that is spirituality. Despite the depression gripping me, the frost thawing from the trees convinces me that spring will indeed come, and with it, a brighter disposition of mine.

Tags: journey spirituality faith personal reflection

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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

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