I have tagged 3 blog posts with student-life:

Finding Your Rhythm: Navigating the Dance between University, Work, and Friendship in the Frosty Heart of Norway

A young man reading a newspaper, surrounded by textbooks, a laptop, and a coffee, against a university backdrop.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 09:46

Good morning, everyone. As I sit on this train, the frost etching its poetry on the windows and the Norwegian winter making its presence known with a bracing -9 degrees Celsius, I am reminded of the concept of balance. The balance inherent in the very cycle of nature, winter's cold giving way to spring's rebirth. This thought prompts me to share my own experiences on navigating the tricky interplay between being a full-time university student, a part-time worker, and an always-on-call friend.

Managing time between these roles is like stepping into an intricate dance, one that requires a blend of grace, discipline and strategy. The snapshots of my mornings, characterized by the rhythm of the train wheels against the track, end up setting the stage for my entire day. In the confines of my daily commute lies a block of time that I use to plan, strategize, and educate myself. I write these very sentences, zooming towards another day at the university, my thoughts shaped by the world around me.

Today, for instance, I read news that radiates heat even from afar - a report on the escalating conflict in Gaza. As a student of journalism, it's a stark reminder of the power words wield, of their capacity to inform, educate, and inspire action. I further read about the Prime Minister's call for a ceasefire, his concerns for civilian safety, his emphasis on humanitarian aid and international law. The world, it seems, is dancing its own intricate dance, with bigger stakes and higher tensions.

For me, each day is a series of carefully planned steps. I study. I work. But I also listen, engage, and maintain connections with those who enrich my life. I meet friends for coffee, take study breaks to chat with them, laughing, gossiping, and growing together. Through these seemingly simple acts of connection, I cultivate invaluable relationships, nurturing friendships that create a strong support network which is, so often, a crucial element in coping with the pressures and demands of life.

Every one of us lives different lives, but the challenge of balancing distinct facets of life is universal. Whether it is college, work, friends, or any other pursuits demanding your time and attention, remember to be patient with yourself. It's a dance, after all. You'll stumble, miss a step, lose your rhythm from time to time. Forgive yourself when you do so, retie your dancing shoes, and step back onto the floor; the dance of life waits for no one.

And despite the challenges, there is an undeniable beauty in this delicate tightrope walk of managing time between university, work, and friends. It builds resilience, it teaches prioritization, it fosters empathy. It has given me a multi-faceted lens to gaze upon life, one that has amazing clarity, brilliant hues, and a breathtaking depth.

So, as this train forges forward, breaking through the silvery mist, I do too. I am grateful for my life, this frame-within-a-frame existence that keeps me grounded yet also propels me into the fascinating, challenging, enriching world of adulthood. I am grateful that amidst the chaos, I can still find balance. And as long as I learn to adjust my steps to the shifting rhythm, I am confident that I can keep dancing this intricate dance of life.

Tags: university life life balance student life time management

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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

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Juggling Journalism and Joy: The Ebb and Flow of Student Life

A student juggling books, a coffee, and a laptop, as friends beckon her from afar.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 08:15

As my journey starts by fleeing my warm, cosy home, a wave of grey dewy daylight greets me. The sleepy skies hint at the calm chill of 8 degrees Celsius. I find myself reflecting on the rough pendulum swing that is my student life. Between studies and the need for social interaction lies a fragile balance.

One end of the string holds the emblem of heavy books, research papers and dates with my laptop late into the night. I am bound by the beauty of journalism, my passport to the uncertainties of the world. My heart finds solace in stories, in voices often unheard. Between understanding and writing about societal issues, world crises and local narratives, my academic life leaves little or no time for a conventional social life.

Yet, on the other end of the swing, a firm voice reminds me of the need for a social life. The joy of laughter shared in old halls, midnight cups of bitter coffee in the company of friends, the thrill of last-minute travel plans, they form a vital part of my being. In these memories, I find the fertile soil where the seeds of my creativity sprout.

Lighting them both without scorching either is but a battle. As I pen down these thoughts, nestled comfortably in my train seat, the brouhaha of the world fades away. Assignments, deadlines, social gatherings, they all seem small as I watch the world pass by.

It’s here, in these minutes of quiet, I find my balance. These moments of solitude that miraculously seem to bond my contradicting lives. A battery pack at my side, I am reminded of the power of preparation and the fortune of foresight. Its continuous surge of energy is my metaphorical reminder of the need to keep going, to keep juggling.

Yet, my heartstrings are strummed with a melancholy tune as I glance at the morning news. An unfortunate incident in Belgium snatches two young lives. Lives that had travelled in hope of witnessing a thrilling football match. Their dreams and aspirations, abruptly halted, reminding me of the unpredictable whims of the world.

These moments bring forth a new perspective on life and its delicate balance. A gulp of reality washes over me – reminding me to treasure every conversation, every shared smile, and every fleeting moment of solitude.

As I descend from the train, the chill of the morning gets replaced by a strange warmth. A reassured heart braces itself for the class, ready to juggle the whirlpool of studies, only to return to this blissful solitude in the evening, recharged by the faithful powerbank of knowledge and friendship.

So, here's to the ebb and flow of student life, to the melancholic charm of early mornings and to the empowering energy of powerbanks - literal and metaphorical. The symbols of endurance, resilience, and foresight that keep us going, even while balancing on the adventurous wire of life.

Death, news, laughter, sorrow, hopes - they tend to cross our paths every day on the rollercoaster ride called life. And somewhere amidst these ups and downs, we find our balance, our sweet equilibrium.

Tags: balance self-reflection student life journalism struggle for balance

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