Four long years and now I am back where I started

People,

Yes it is true, I have made the big move back to Sweden. I have spent the past four years pursuing a bachelors degree at Marquette University, and it has been filled with a lot and little bit of everything. College really is a time where you get to explore, and try on new things and with the risk if sounding a bit cliche, you really kind of find yourself I guess. Being in a foreign country, and being away form your parents you really do learn a lot about yourself. The good, bad and the ugly I guess, but it is an experience I would advice anyone to explore. I could not be happier with my college, and Marquette has given me a lot, but in the class room as well as on the soccer field. I have met so many amazing people, obviously a wide variety of students, teachers, team mates, young, old and well you name it I guess. I also got lucky and fell in love in over my ears, head and heart but later on fell out of love. But I have also had the pleasure of seeing a lot of the world, spent a summer in Canada, my spring breaks in Miami, Spain, Dominican Republic and NYC. Went to countless places with the team, mostly cities that I honestly cannot remember the name of, but we went there to perform and so we did. Two regular season titles, one Big East championship (first in school history) and two NCAA play-off spots where we got the first win in school history. Titles are obviously fun and all, but when it comes to being part of team such as the one we had at Marquette it really has been more about the journey, during my four years I made friends for life. People you never forget, not because of the titles you won but the struggle you went through together. The countless miles, weights, and hours.

However, now all that is the past. It is actually just as far away as Sweden and home became four years ago, but now the roles are reversed and Sweden now is the mysterious new and Milwaukee the old security. I do believe that my past experience has put me in a good position to do something with my life. I am not gonna lie these first couple of weeks have been challenging, it is a completely new way of life, and I cannot help but wonder if it is the same for everyone who finishes college. As of now I am living in my moms basement, obviously looking for a place of my own, but it is not that easy to find and unfortunately I do not have the finances to buy a place. I am sure something will turn up though, that’s how it tends to work out and all and all living at home has its perks. Obviously, extremely happy that my mom opened up her home for me, but after living away from home for four years I do miss having a place to call my own.

Things are looking up though, I am starting full-time on january fifth in a field that peeks my interest and out office is pretty awesome. A sweet hot chocolate machine, and tons of fruit for us employees. I do so love my bananas. However, it is a long commute, and with hope for not experiencing delays I will spend about 3 hours a day traveling to and from work. I guess that will be my nap time, or book reading time, whatever i’ll fins something to do. I am also about to sign a, let’s call it a semi professional soccer contract. Could obviously lead to something more lucrative, but honestly I am just happy to have a chance to play after all these injuries. After all what it comes down to is the love for the game.

That is probably it until we enter 2015, which actually will be my first as an independent adult, as long as I can find a place of my own of course.

 

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A Wheelchair Can Change So Much

Hello people, I am currently sitting at one of the most relaxing places known to mankind or more so of what is known to me. It has been quite the adventure to get here; being in between a wheelchair and crutches does not make a small boat the easiest object to get myself into. But after some stealthy moves with my left leg, and some risky jumps a whole day of relaxing was no problem.

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Today is my last day in a cast, as long as the doctor has not changed her mind. I hope with all my heart that her prediction is correct; being in a cast is awful. Obviously much worse could happen, but I have not enjoyed my time in this cast. You become so limited in what you can do, simple things like carrying food fro the stove to the table is always a real adventure and just taking a calming walk out by the water is impossible by myself. Clearly missing soccer as well, but at least there are a lot of games on TV. I’m not going to lie; there has been a lot of TV watching and other activities that do not include real movement. I am thoroughly lucky that I only need to be this limited for two months; it is hard to imagine using a wheelchair forever.

After being in one for about a month, I realize what a hassle and struggle it must be for those who are in one indefinitely. As much as we Swedes pride ourselves in taking special care for those who are less fortunate, it really is limiting to use a wheelchair. Some stores are not big enough to fit a wheelchair, and others do not have an elevator that reaches every floor. In all honesty without my friends and family being such amazing human beings I would most likely have spent all my time in and around my house. But know I have had the chance to watch a lot of soccer games live, and spend time downtown taking a casual Swedish fika. Something all Americans should consider incorporating into society.

But I guess my main point with this whole post is that I have gained a lot of respect for those who are in a wheelchair or has any other handicap for that matter. What they go through on a daily basis is not easy, and I admire their ability to continue their lives in all the ways that they do even though they are facing such obstacles every day.

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//Sebastian

Decisions That Shape You, and 10 Interview Tips

Hello people, hope that you are all well, and that this past weekend was optimal. I feel as if the older you get the more precious the weekend becomes,  because let’s face being a student or a child is a very relaxed life. As I am reaching the point of leaving student life and entering the work force, there are choices that you and the people surrounding you have made that really shaped how life looks for both you and them.

Thinking about my own life, I know that one of the biggest decisions I ever made was moving to Milwaukee, could not have made a bigger change actually. Leaving Sweden for the USA, now that is a big decision, but I believe the small decisions shape us as well. For students that usually entails, should I study or play video games, should I pursue an internship, or should I focus solidly on my academic achievements. Am I the person who will spend his college days going out 5 nights a week, there are a lot of small decisions here that will shape one’s future.

One decisions that has alway baffled me is the one regarding internships, now I know that internships can be low paying and that people can issues with their managers etc. I have been lucky in that regard, but I think the real reason for getting an internship is seeing if that is an industry you can se yourselves work in. Let us be honest if you cannot stand 15-20 hours as an intern for a semester, how will you stand 5 years with 40 – 60 + hours a week. Yes off course it looks good on a resume, but it is the only way to see if your specific internship is something you want to do.

But how do you go about getting those internships? Well interviews becomes essential, and I have to say that I have been somewhat successful at Interviews. I have not had that many, but those I have had have lead to jobs or internships. I have a top ten list for what I have found to be important for succeeding with interviews.

1. Be confident! People want to be assured that they are making the right choice for their business, and if you do not show confidence in your self and your abilities why should they?

2. Be polite! There is no greater fault you could do than to be rude, I beg you do not take confidence to be related to cocky. If you do, your chances will minimize immensely.

3. Take an interest! Make sure to research the people who will be interviewing you, as well as the company yo might come to represent. Even though Mike in suits got hired without any research, you most likely do not have the same capabilities as him. Try and find something that you have in common with the company ideals, or the with the person who will be conducting the interview.

4. Be likable. The president of a company that shall remain unknown told me that he never hires anyone that he could not drive to Chicago with without being bored. People know they will most likely be working close to you, and they want to enjoy that time. This does not mean that you have to be over the top hilarious, it just means you got to be able to talk to people about anything and everything.

5. Dress like you are about to meet the president. The first thing people will notice when you walk in the room is what you are wearing. Make sure it is comfortable and professional. As Barney Stinson would say “Suit up”.

6. Be prepared to ask questions! When they ask you if yo have any questions (and they will) always do. Have a few questions ready that works wherever you go, and have at least one that relates back to something that came up during the interview. My favorite is, who would not be a good fit for (role) at (company)?

7. Turn your weakness into strengths! Let’s face reality, you are not perfect! Nor will you ever be perfect, however, that is no reason to let anyone discard you as a candidate. A weakness of mine is grammar, however, that awareness makes me focus particularly hard on writing in order to ensure that my weak grammar never shows in my end product.

8. A firm handshake. First they see you, than they will shake your hand. That handshake will allow them to create an image of how you are as a person. Make sure, that handshake represents the calm and firm character that you will bring to  work.

9. Smile! People like when you smile, smiling makes people happy. Happy people are nice, and nice people are good to get along with. Mix that with your skill-set and abrakadabra you are getting offers.

10. Follow up!  When you leave the room it is not over, you can still turn a maybe to a yes. Follow up with the interviewer, say thank you and make it personal by bringing up something they said.

These are a few tactics I use when I prepare for an interview, and hopefully they will work for you as well.

Would you guys add anything, or do you have anything that I did not mention that works for you? Comment and spread the knowledge so that we all will be amazing.

 

 

Life Perspective And Lessons

Hello people hope that you all are getting through with the week in a splendid way, today I will put another person’s story onto my blog. As I am sure most of you have realized by now, different people who you never could imagine will play a big role in your life. In both good and bad ways, I hope for most of you more good than bad. However, as planing for next semester is in the making I have been talking to my athletic academic advisor about school etc. and today she shared a piece of her life with me that she had put down on paper after reading an article in the New York Times, obviously I am no where near the age of 50 but I could still appreciate what she wrote, and I hope that I one day will be able reflect on my life in a similar manner.

About the 40s…

An established author and New York Times Op/Ed contributor wrote an opinion piece in the NYT a few days ago titled “What You Learn in Your 40s.” That’s all well and good, and I’m certain a lot of people read it (what with it being by a best-selling author, and, you know, being in the NYT…). But I had a tiny problem with the fact that she wrote it on the eve of her 44th birthday; I really have to believe (or HOPE to believe) that she has NOT yet learned all that she will learn in her 40s.

So, I thought about it, and tossed together some of my own discoveries from that decade, ones I’ve experienced myself and/or shared with my friends and contemporaries, all of who, like me, are freshly arrived on the other side of our 40s. What we say about that: truth. Or as my slightly-more-badass friend Maria says: church.

This is the decade where your parents might get hit with some bad news about their health. If not your parents, then the parent or parents of your friends. Your parent, or parents, or those of your friends, may die. Suddenly, it becomes a priority to get your business in order, square up your relationships if they are not there already, visit more, drop what you’re doing and get there. I think the 40s taught me a lot about the fine art of showing the hell up.

You may have a peer get hit with a tough medical diagnosis. Or it might be you who is on the receiving end of some real bad news. You may bury your college roommate. But before that, when she calls to tell you the cancer is back and she’s entering hospice, you and all your other college roommates fly across the country, shipping Wisconsin custard to arrive there at the same time, and spend an unforgettable weekend in the mountains, eating too much, staying up too late, laughing til you weep. You don’t hesitate, and you show the hell up. Later, about six months after her death, you all fly again to the other side of the country to walk/run as a team in a national event for the Cure. And when you’re done doing that, you sit-and-drink-by-the-pool-for-a-Cure, and call that an event, too.

You get to conflict with your kids. In order to not have an ulcer, you decide that year (or two) that you butted heads over politics or policy with your teen-who-knows-everything is in fact your opportunity to teach about disagreeing respectfully, about listening to both sides, about not strong-arming anyone into an opinion. Then much later, when that same son studies abroad for a semester, maybe you’ll receive the best Mother’s Day email ever, that says in part, “if I could go back and do one thing over, I would kick high-school-me in the ass.” It’s lonely on the high road, but when the sunrise comes, it’s pretty stunning…it’ll blow your hair back.

Listen to music your kids like, and have them listen to yours. Maybe then when your son and his buddies form a band and are playing out live somewhere, he’ll introduce a Warren Zevon cover with, “I learned this from my mom.” And maybe one day, someone will play you a song on the guitar, from deep in the archives, and tell you, “this makes me think of you”, and that may also blow your hair back. It’s important to be loved, but it’s profound to be understood. Also, watch movies your kids like, and have them watch something you like. That’s how your kids will know that “Chicken Run” is the same story as “The Great Escape.” If you’re exceptionally lucky, one of your favorite movies (“The Intouchables”) will be thanks to a recommendation from your own child.

Teach your kids to man up, to lead not follow, and to care for and include others. They may find they like that role, and you may find yourself in an all-school assembly where your 17-year-old son is the speaker, and talks eloquently about how when both of his parents were diagnosed with cancer, others picked us up and carried our family, and that he now believes our role as members of a community is to create a Body of Christ, by accepting help that is offered to us and by in turn offering a helping hand to others. That’s his definition of purpose, but you can adopt it as your own. In your 40s, you may learn from those you’ve taught.

You don’t get much vacation time, but take a week to chaperone a teen service trip to Appalachia. You might learn to attach underpinning to a tornado-damaged mobile home. Or, you may get to watch your daughter’s face as she sees a man in a wheelchair use the ramp she and her team built to enter the home he hadn’t been able to live in since a storm ripped his old ramp away. You can talk about the importance of giving, or you can walk the walk. Maybe your daughter’s friend (the one who has vacationed with your family, and been like a bonus sister-daughter to your family) will ask you to be her Confirmation sponsor because she likes the way you try to live a message of service.

Make new traditions. You might have to. Both your parents could die a year apart, and your childhood home is sold, and you have no physical connection to your hometown. You have no one there to spend Christmas with, and nowhere to stay. So your sister finds a rental house in the rural area near your hometown, and you all go there and build a new idea of holiday. And when you put up the tree that first year in this new unfamiliar place, and there is no tree-topper, your daughter and nephews fashion one out of cardboard and duct-tape, and that too becomes part of your new tradition.

You can learn something new, and you should. You might change careers, because you want to, or because you have to. You might find that it is indeed possible to pursue a Masters of Arts in a field you love, even if that pursuit includes 700 daunting hours of supervised clinicals in addition to working full time, raising a family, and having a home life. You get a lot of street cred when you tell your kids to buckle down and do school-work, while you are doing your own. Even better if you put your phone away while you do it; that resonates with them. But when you walk across the stage, in cap and gown, the last month of your 40s, to receive your degree, hearing “YEAH MOM!” shouted from the balcony is pretty awesome.

You may end up getting a dog. Even if it loves your husband best, you may witness that dog’s ability to make him a better man (as dogs are wont to do), and bring out the best in him. Or the dog may love you best, and you may learn a whole new chapter of the meaning of companionship.

Give books 30 pages to pull you in, even if you’re a voracious reader. Life is short and there are unanticipated struggles; there’s no need to struggle through a book.

Get fit. You realize this is the body that’s going to take you the distance. Honor it with real care. You might find out you really like lacing up your running shoes and getting out for a few miles at sun-up.

Figure out you don’t need ‘things’ as gifts. The best gifts are time together, a sweet note, lying in bed watching ‘CBS Sunday Morning’, sharing coffee, or a gift-card for a session with a personal trainer, or a voucher for airfare to go see your sister. Get rid of the things you don’t need.

Talk to the ones a generation ahead of you. Get those family stories written down; archive your story or have your talented sister self-publish the narrative that is your history. Have your mom teach you how to make those popovers; but if she’s gone too soon, and you still don’t know how to do it because you never asked, let that be your only regret. Those were some damn good popovers she made.

Donate the jeans that are too small. Buy the comfortable boots. Bring flip-flops to wedding receptions so you don’t have dance in killer heels. Eat pancakes for dinner. Cultivate friendships with your girlfriends; you know you’d be lost without them – tell them so. Sing along to “Brave” or “Countdown” even when your daughter’s friends are over.

Tell people you love them, even if you’ve never said it before, or you haven’t said it in a while, or maybe you just haven’t said it yet today. Hug the ones you love, leave nothing unsaid, and enjoy every sandwich. I’m no longer in my 40s, but I’ve learned a lot, and plan to learn a lot more.

 

Thank you for sharing such amazing insight with me, and than you for helping me graduate college!

 

//Sebastian

Life As A Senior In College

Hello people, I hope you all are enjoying the fact that it is Friday, time to relax and enjoy time away from the weekly responsibilities. Well, almost at least, I have practice at 5, but after that it is clear skies and no turbulence.

One thing I have noticed as I have entered my senior year here at Marquette University is that classes are not only becoming more interesting but also more demanding. No longer can I just wait to do an assignment a day or two before it is due in a few classes. Now they all require planning and preparation as least a week ahed of time. Which off course is not bad at all, however, there is one conflict that comes with being a senior. The job search, a process that takes up countless hours, make a resume, remake that resume 5 times, tweak it for every possible job. Cover letter, revise and redo, and tweak for every job. Find companies that are hiring, and that are hiring in a field where you have an interest. Network like never before, reach out to every possible person that could possibly help you get a job.

A teacher ones told me, if you want to make it in Hollywood there is one thing you have to do. Never sleep, instead of sleeping go to every party, every event, every lunch and dinner that you possibly can find. And as the process of hiring is evolving, and trough my own experience so far I would say that there is one line that sticks with me” It is not about what you know, but who you know”.

So as this interesting experience continues I will strive to connect and learn form professionals in the industry, and if everything goes as planned I will have a job offer by the time I graduate from Marquette.

But know it is time for some homework before it is time to practice and than relax.

Also, Go Sweden, Olympic final here we come. And actually strange to know that Erik Karlsson who I used to train with is the point leader for the Swedish team. One time we lived very similar lives, but not anymore. Hopefully he will score the game winner in the final on Sunday!

//Sebastian

Happy Holidays

Hello everyone, I hope you all have had a great christmas, hopefully you all received quality gifts and even more importantly quality time with loved ones. I know that I received both, obviously one of the two is more valuable than the other, but presents are still nice. I actually received more presents this year than I have ever before. Most likely spent more time unwrapping presents this year than all my other christmases all together.

I would post pictures off the gifts, but lets face it the internet is already filled with enough stupid pictures. So I will not play a part in that little game.

As for now this will be it, as yesterday was the 25th all swedes now exactly how I feel right now, and it is time for a nap!

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Best,

Sebastian

The Working Man

Good evening people, finally the days has arrived. It is Fridays, the working week is over. Now we can all indulge in what I would like to call the two days of madness. No that is not true at all, to be completely honest this week has been hard. Hours on hours of work, and practice on top of that. What took most of my energy was the moving. Not my own moving because I am not moving in until June 1, but to help my friends. College housing has one big problem, and that is the one week between move out and move in. What are people suppose to do, put there  belongings on the street? No NO no I say, so at the moment I got furniture for multiple friends in the apartment. Actually got 4 beds and 6 couch/futons here, all more comfortable than mine I would imagine. I actually believe I could open up a pretty successful second hand furniture store right now.

Back to my working week, I have to admit that I love woking for the wave. Even though I do not get paid, I find myself spending more hours in the office than I intend. I fell like I get to work on so many different skills that I never really get tired of what I am doing. If that is a good thing or a bad I do not know, all I know is that the hours I spend in office are flying by.

Big day tomorrow though, Champions League final, and I will be taking my talents out to Trey’s lake house here in Wisconsin. Good game good company, what more can am an ask for.

Hope all of you will enjoy your weekend as well.

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///Sebastian