A love letter to Volda
Yes, you read that correctly. This is a love letter to Volda, and as you read on (through this not-so-secret love letter of mine), you will come to understand why Volda will always be in my heart.
Dear Volda, I think we both remember well that summer of 2015. It was the summer that I was to officially 'begin'. I was to begin my higher education and I didn't know what I wanted, or what I was going to become. The plan, if truth be told, wasn't you, Volda. But you became the plan all the same. I remember well how tense and nervous I was. I didn't know a soul, after all. Thinking back on that summer of 2015 is like looking at a different version of myself. Because three years in higher education in a town like you, Volda, is something that leaves its mark on you. And the years have gone by quickly.
I started on an undergraduate programme in Planning and Administration – a course for those who have not yet chosen their direction, but who want a foundational introduction to subjects such as sociology, law, economy and planning. After a semester, I was still not entirely sure whether you were the right place for me, Volda.
But then it hit me. I had to find out what opportunities were waiting for me. Because after all, no one can deny that there is a sea of opportunities for students in Volda. The first mistake I made (read: me, not others) was not to sign up as a volunteer at the Rokken Students Union. Because I soon came to understand that Rokken was where all the action was; but you know all about that already, Volda. All the same, I soon found my way in – I signed up as costume manager for the Vekerevyen Annual Revue.
It was through Vekerevyen that I met a completely fantastic gang of people across the entire university spectrum. It was an interdisciplinary project with one common goal – to garner skills that we can bear with us forever. Not only was it a fantastic experience, and such incredibly good fun, but I also forged a completely unique friendship out of it. That's right Volda, I'm talking about Guro. Guro and I soon became a dynamic duo that got involved in all things large and small. Our common political interest led to us setting up the Feministisk Pub, which in turn led to us being active in the Student Parliament and acting as compères at the semester opening ceremony. That's right, Volda, you rarely saw us apart, and usually with two cheeky smiles on our faces. In other words – for me, it was crucial for my well-being that I found people that I got on with, and who got me. It made me want to engage in student life and do my bit for other students. Now I must say, Volda, I don't mean that all students need to do everything and get involved in it all, but that students know about the opportunities are out there and have an equal right to take part – that is important.
It is you, Volda, who has so much good in you, that makes it possible for us students to get involved and find out what we like to do. We are so lucky to have the chance to develop and acquire skills that in most cases will be relevant to us in our later working lives. We are lucky to have a university that takes good care of its students, and that applauds those who get involved.
You, Volda. When I finished with my bachelor dissertation a year ago, it wasn't easy to decide what to do next, for you had become my home. Should I move on or stay put? In many ways, I found myself in you, Volda, so who would i be without you? That is a question that remains unanswered, for I decided to stay where I was. A job opportunity at Sunnmøre Cultural Centre has given me at least another year to enjoy new challenges and experiences in Volda.
Dear Volda, You have given me such wonderful years that I wouldn't swap for anything else in the world. You have given me the chance to feel secure in myself as a student and as a part of the professional world, and that is something I will always be thankful for. In this context, 'Volda' is all of you many students who are active there. Volda is everyone who works at the university, in organisations and in businesses who get out and get involved. It is all of you at the Student Welfare Organisation, the Student Parliament and the Rokken Students Union. It is all of you who make up and give life to the local environment. Volda is unique and if you let yourself get swept up in it, I can guarantee you will have a great student experience.
Oda Næs Skoglund
Former student at IPA and current employee of Sunnmøre Cultural Centre.
Engaged in everything that Volda has to offer and generally happy to show my face all around the town.