I'm a Frat Boy Now
So I had my first taste of Swedish university life last night. There was a get together to visit some pubs downtown so we can meet each other. I got there a little late, and found everyone doing some sort of fraternity hazing ritual. Not really as bad as hazing, in that there was no violence, but pretty much as silly as the stuff we had to do back in high-school, people lining up and following orders from some higher-classman wearing dark sunglasses to appear menacing. People telling us we should suck up to them and other similar crap.
I was beginning to doubt my decision to come here again. I really had no need or desire to be back in high-school. If I go to a pub, I want to walk at my own pace sit where I want, and talk to the people I am with, not have orders barked at me to line-up straight. Most people looked like they were having fun, so I decided that the only reason I took offense at being told what to do and when to do it by people who I don't know and have not had any reason to respect yet, was because I was an "individualistic American".
I was relieved to find later on, however, that most of the other foreign students didn't think too highly of the kids games either. The few people from the program that I did meet seem interesting and interested in learning instead of frat parties and games, so there is still hope.
The international student body also seems to have a great degree of diverstiy, which is really cool. The thing I probably liked best about Tokyo was that the relativly small international community there allowed me to meet more people from around the world than I ever would if I had been living and working someplace in the US. Here, I am the only one from the US that I have met so far. There is one woman from Canada, a handful from Spain, some from Germany, Poland, and I have only met a few of the several hundred international students.
I'm still having to get adjusted to living the dorm life again, with loud classic-rock blaring through the neighbors speakers all day, and people yelling outside my window, but once it gets colder I wont have the windows open anyway. Oh how I already miss my quiet apartment on the river.