These past two weeks I’ve been all over the place. It’s been incredibly busy, between lectures, work, writing and editing, catching up with friends and a weekend away, I don’t think I’ve ever been busier, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I adore being busy, constantly moving, making things happen, even if it’s just on my FIFA career mode, I just love the feeling of progress. One of the biggest things I’ve done since my last editorial was a trip to Sweden with my brother. We flew over to visit my cousin, who’s spending the year living on Erasmus in Lund, a small town very close to the Copenhagen border. It’s fascinating how different their lives are compared to us here in Ireland, even just as students.
One of the major differences is the lack of daylight, something we really take for granted over here. In general, around this time of year (it still being winter and all) they only get about six to seven hours of sunlight. I arrived late on Friday night and left late on the Sunday night, and within that time I think I saw a total of four hours of daylight. Now, that being said we were drinking into the early hours of the morning every night, and weren’t waking up until about 1pm, but still, a whole weekend with only four hours of sunlight can really confuse your inner clock.
Another aspect of the trip that was very different from Ireland was the way in which the college students were divided. On the first day of college, my cousin was asked to decide which ‘Nation’ he wanted to be a part of. A ‘Nation’ is similar to a sorority in America, whereby it’s a club or house of students. Once you join a ‘Nation’, you are only allowed to attend their nights out and any events they organize, and if you don’t like your nation and want to swap, then tough. You’re not able to change until the start of the next year. As a ‘Nation’, the people in charge organize nights out, events, the bartenders are also members of the ‘Nation’ and aren’t paid and all their nightclubs seem to be (from the one time I actually saw one) to be situated on the top of their student accommodation complex. So in essence, it’s like having Voodoo on the roof of Vic Mills. On top of this, one of the more interesting elements of Sweden is the fact that the Swedish government has a monopoly of alcoholic drinks over 3.5%. Meaning any mass-manufactured drink (e.g. Heineken) has to be diluted to be less than 3.5%. Weird eh?
Anyway, away from my travel review, we have a fantastic issue in store for you. Our Film & TV editor Aaron has a look at the recent Oscar nominations, Fashion editor Iris takes a look at the fall of bloggers and influencers, and as part of our Arts & Entertainment section we’re given an insight in the view of literature from the perspective of the Transgender community, and why they feel their time to make their mark is upon us. From all at Byline, thank you for reading and if you’d like to contribute in any way, just drop us an e-mail and we’d be happy to have you!