What I learned during my first winter in Scandinavia

Since the moment I decided to move to Sweden there was one-thing friends, family and I were concern about: winter in Scandinavia! *Insert dramatic soundtrack*. Especially coming from the Caribbean where when the temperature drops to 14C (very rare) everybody is talking about a “polar cold”. Off course I have heard about the darkness, walking on ice and the cold harsh weather… but one thing is to read about it and another one is experience it.

After almost 8 months in Sweden I have few announcement to make. The first: winter is over (at least in the southern part); the second: I survived (Yayy)! Not without learning some valuable lessons.

1. Patience

This was the hardest, because in my case.. “I’m latina, we can’t keep calm” but hey! that’s not an option if you want to survive winter in Scandinavia. Especially when you’re walking, put one feet in front of the other. Step by step. Like no one is waiting. Trust me on this. And for your own safety: do not run to catch the bus! (Yes, I have learned it the hard way).

2. Be one step ahead of your game

Leaving the house without checking the weather forecast? Wrong.

3. Plan, plan, and plan!

Things will not get done when “you feel like it” but when they need to be done. You don’t want to be stuck at home in the middle of a bad weather and realize you didn’t go for groceries when you were suppose to.

4. Enjoy the little things

I knew this one before, but winter made sure to highlight it. Like the first time I woke up and everything was covered in white. The feeling of stepping in fresh snow. Or when you arrive home after a long walk and it’s so warm and you take your coat off and make some coffee (Mmm!). If you keep an eye on these things winter in Scandinavia will be easy to manage.

5. Endurance

Some days are easy to give in and just stay in bed. Well this is not a suitable option. If the world keeps moving so do you.

6. This too shall pass…

Slowly the days will start getting brighter and the flowers will rise like a color splash in the grass. You will realize winter in Scandinavia is over and Spring is just around the corner.

Oh wait…

Well, at least is not cold anymore, right?

/Ivanna

Ivanna

A student from Dominican Republic doing a Master in Strategic Communication at Lund University, Campus Helsingborg. If you have any questions contact me at ivanna.studyinsweden@gmail.com
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