Ville

peace

My childhood friend committed a suicide not so long ago. I still remember the last day when I met him and my other childhood friend. I arranged a gathering and we drank beer and reminisced the good old times. I did not see anything suicidal in his behavior or in the way he talked. He had changed for sure, but everybody changes in ten to fifteen years. And so when I heard the news, I was without words.

He inspired me to understand more about suicide. The following essay is an assignment that I wrote for the course Humanism and Peace Work.

As is the norm for scientific articles, I define suicide and describe contributing risk and protective factors.

Then I explain the positive decline in suicides evidenced by data. Suicides have most likely decreased as a result of framing suicide as a mental health problem, treating depression, limiting access to lethal means of suicide like firearms, reducing alcohol consumption, and urbanisation.

Lastly, I discuss suicide from Western and Eastern humanist perspective.


Finns met one of the deepest economic recessions of all western Europeans in the mid-1990s. Unemployment climbed up to 20%, and as a consequence the government cut down funding from health services (Lehtinen & Taipale, 2001). Despite the hardship, suicides peaked in 1990 and declined significantly thereafter, and halved in 2015 (figure 1) (OSF, 2021).

This positive trend emerged after the implementation of the National Suicide Prevention Project from 1986 to 1996 (Vorma et al., 2020). Majority of people then who committed suicide (88%) suffered from illnesses, notably depression, serious physical illness, and substance abuse.

figure 1. suicides per 100 000 inhabitants, 1971 to 2019 (OSF, 2021)

Suicide

Suicidal behavior refers to suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and committed suicide─the act of intentionally causing one's own death (THL, 2021a). Thus, suicidal behavior exists on a spectrum of severity where it progresses from less severe ideation to a more severe form, committed suicide (Turecki & Brent, 2016).

Suicidal ideation is not rare among Finnish people (THL, 2021a). At least one in six people in their lives have thought about committing a suicide. Luckily suicidal ideations are momentary for many people. Suicide ideation is much more common for women, whereas committed suicide is more common for men, worldwide (Ritchie, Roser & Ortiz-Ospina, 2015). Still, among the people who do not seek help, suicide attempts happen to 1/100 people per year (THL, 2021a).

Notwithstanding the importance of explicating between and within different suicidal behaviors like ideation, attempts, and completions, the following data and literature in this essay concerns committed suicides (hereafter suicides).

Globally, there are 800,000 people who commit suicide every year, which is twice the amount of homicides (Ritchie, Roser & Ortiz-Ospina, 2015). Suicide accounts for 1.4% of the global deaths in 2017, which coincides with Finland in 2019 when 1.4% commited suicide. Indeed, suicide is among the top ten causes of death in Finland (OSF, 2019).

In Finland, the three most common suicide methods were by hanging, firearm, or by an overdose of psychotropic medicine (e.g., antidepressant), all three of which are characterized by sex differences (OSF, 2021). Men die by hanging or by firearm much more than women, whereas both women and men die by psychotropic drug overdose to an equal extent.

Risk factors to suicide include mental illness, alcohol abuse, somatic disease, alienation from society, life crises surrounded by negative emotions, male gender, firearms availability, history of suicides and mental illnesses in family, and prior suicide attempts (Baxter et al., 2011; Darvishi et al., 2015; Ferrari et al., 2010; Grinshteyn & Hemenway, 2019; Haukka et al., 2008; Suokas et al., 2001; THL, 2021a). Regarding age as a risk factor, young Finns aged 10 to 14 tend to have very low suicide rates until age 15 to 19 when suicide rate sharply increase five-fold, and then doubles after the age of 20 and beyond (OSF, 2021).

Protective factors include support and access to therapy, familial and extrafamilial supportive relationships, physical health, positive mental health, problem-solving and coping skills, cognitive flexibility, good self-esteem, and feelings of togetherness and hope (THL, 2021a). Studies also show that online-only friendships may offer protective benefits for youth, especially those who experience suicidal ideation (Massing-Schaffer et al., 2020).

Given that suicide is often associated with a mental health illness, there is then a way to treat it with therapeutic and pharmacological means. Moreover, evidence suggests that limiting access to lethal means of suicide like firearms, reducing alcohol consumption, and urbanisation may reduce suicides.

Possible causes

There are five possible causes as to why suicides may have decreased in Finland: framing suicide as a mental health problem, treating depression, limiting access to lethal means of suicide like firearms, reduction in consumption of alcohol, and urbanisation.

Framing suicide as a mental health problem and raising awareness of suicide in general has spurred improvement in access to mental health services (Abrams et al., 2020). After the constant increase in suicides from 1921 onward (figure 2), Finns became aware of the growing problem and started the National Suicide Prevention Project in 1986 (Lönnqvist, 2003, 2007).

In addition, the mental health service system was revamped from the ground up in the 1990s (Lehtinen & Taipale, 2001), which was reflected by the explosive increase in mental and behavioral illness diagnoses from 1995 onwards (figure 5). In the end, these two changes together helped ensure that people at the risk of suicide received treatment (Vorma et al., 2020).

figure 2. absolute number of suicides per year, 1921–2019. (OSF, 2021)

Given that depression and suicide go hand in hand (figure 3), treating depression with therapy and/or pharmaceuticals may prevent suicides.

Laukkala et al. (2002) and Vilhelmsson (2013) report that there was a fourfold surge in the use of antidepressants after 1990. The available data suggests that reimbursements for depression medicines between 1994 to 2020 tripled (figure 4), which is associated with an exponential amount of behavioral and mental illness diagnoses between 1995 and 2019 (figure 5). People finally received the help they needed.

Korkeila et al. (2007) and Salokangas et al. (2012) say that increased antidepressant use is associated with decline in suicides when controlling for other variables and their interactions. Thus, treating mental and behavioral illnesses, and especially depression, has most likely prevented majority of potential suicides.

figure 3. suicide rates vs. prevalence of depression, 1990–2017 (Ritchie, Roser,& Ortiz-Ospina, 2015)

figure 4. reimbursements for depression medicines, recipients aged 18-64 per 1000 persons of the same age, 1994–2020 (THL, 2021b)

figure 5. rehabilitation clients in certain main disease categories, 1995–2019 (KELA, 2021)

Limiting lethal means of suicide like firearms may reduce suicides (Abrams et al., 2020). It is easier to commit suicide if there are means to do it. In Finland, firearms (i.e., handguns, rifles, and shotguns) have over the years been the third most commonly used method in suicide (figure 6).

Privately owned licit and illicit firearms (figure 7) have decreased between the years 2005 and 2019 (Alpers, Michael & Dylan, 2021; MOI, 2021). Thus, there may be a positive association in the decline of firearms and suicides. Overdose of psychotropic drugs or hanging is harder if not impossible to counteract given there are no sensible restrictions that can be implemented.

figure 6. suicides by method, 1998–2017 (OSF, 2021)

figure 7. number of privately owned licit and illicit firearms, 2005–2019 (Alpers, Michael, & Dylan, 2021; MOI, 2021)

In Finland, documented alcohol consumption increased from 1960, peaked in 2007, and decreased thereafter (figure 8).

In their meta-analysis, Darvishi et al. (2015) found a significant positive association between alcohol use and suicide. However, suicides declined after 1990, but alcohol consumption continued to increase around until 2007, so there is no clear-cut positive association during that time period. In any case, alcohol does not cause suicide per se, but it heightens the risk of suicide.

figure 8. recorded consumption of alcoholic beverages, 100% alcohol, 1933–2019 (THL, 2020)

figure 9. sale of alcoholic beverages by type of beverage and by region, per capita aged 15 and over, 100% alcohol, 2019 (THL, 2020)

Sha, Yip and Law (2017) found that suicides declined in China between 1990 to 2010, which was strongly associated with urbanisation. More urbanisation, less suicides. Generally urban areas provide greater cultural and economical benefits compared to rural areas.

In Finland, suicides per region between 2016 to 2020 (figure 9) show that suicides crudely lie in rural regions compared to urban regions (my understanding is that East- and North-Finland are more rural compared to West- and South-Finland.

Pesonen et al. (2001) studied urban-rural differences in male suicides between 1988 to 1997 and found that male suicide mortality may be regionally diverging in Finland. However, there are no studies that focus on the effect of urbanisation in Finland, countrywide, on suicides, as of yet.

figure 10. suicides per 100 000 inhabitants per region, 2016–2020. Darker blue means to more suicides compared to lighter blue (THL, 2021c)

Discussion

There is always hope for a better life in the future, a life that may be sufficiently rich and strange, creative and beautiful, peaceful and vibrant to have made the wait worthwhile. (Hecht, 2013)

Suicide’s meaning changed across historical and geographical contexts. Ancient philosophers were largely against suicide, although some suicides were considered as philosophically sound, heroic, respected, pragmatic, and justified (Hecht, 2013). Then major religions, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam heavily condemned suicide because God forbade it. Suicide was an offensive act toward God for life is sacred.

After the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century Europe, suicide’s meaning changed, and became medicalized, secularized, and decremininalized. Medical education flourished in the beginning of 20th century, and suicide was soon framed as a mental health problem.

But despite the positive development over the decades and centuries, Hecht states that we still have no coherent argument against suicide, apart from what God says. Somehow the Western culture tolerates suicide, namely that death is fiercely challenged in other domains but not when death is caused by oneself. An argument found from humanism may pave path against suicide.

In the Western perspective of humanism, Pinker (2018) states that its goal is maximizing human flourishing. This means that life, health, happiness, freedom, knowledge, love, and richness of experience are at the core of humanism.

In the the Eastern perspective of humanism, Patel and Prasad (2020) argue that humanism is defined as relational and virtue-based rather than absolute and authority-based; there was a flexible set of ethical standards; a notion of the ideal person (e.g., Junzi, Buddha); a concept of universal justice and a rejection of supreme authority or sovereignty; and a focus on education.

In the Western sense of humanism, there has been undeniable humanistic progress made toward understanding and preventing suicides in the world, especially in Finland (Vorma et al., 2020).

Less suicides is a win for life. But at what cost? What I will write next is controversial so heads up: I am not sure if eating depression medication to prevent suicides is “human flourishing” to the individual, especially in the long term. Maybe for the society as a whole, because then we avoid suicides that would create suffering to the people close to the person who killed him or herself.

I have never suffered from a mental illness and I am not sure what depression and its medication does to you. The people that I have had the pleasure to get to know in the past four years, I have experienced doubt regarding medication.

I do not think that people under medication live their lives to their fullest. I do not think they experience all emotions one can feel. It is as though they have numbed some emotional aspects of their lives. At the same time, they may have more control of their thoughts and in that way process their emotions without falling into emotional rollercoaster.

Then again, people who do not take their medication do not necessarily live their life to the fullest anyway given the pain the have to endure. So there is no right answer. Still, science currently states that medication alone or psychotherapy alone are not as effective compared to the combination of the two for long-term healing.

In the Eastern humanistic sense, a person who commits suicide is far from an ideal person. And while no authority can reject suicide, there is no virtue in taking one’s own life.

As Hecht (2013) argues, we not only owe it to society and especially our personal communities to stay alive, but also to our future self. Suicide rules out the future self that may not have wanted suicide.

Conclusion

Taken as a whole, there is a complex interplay of factors impacting suicide including psychological, sociodemographic, cultural, religious, economical, regional factors, risk and protective factors.

And while there has been a 21-year positive downward trend in suicides in Finland, it cannot be expected to continue without research and continuous preventive measures.

The strong associations of suicide may be possible causes, although correlation does not imply causation. Even if the aforementioned possible causes were not actual causes, but mere associations, they all individually contribute to human flourishing nevertheless.

Namely, framing suicide as a mental health problem, treating depression, limiting access to lethal means of suicide like firearms, reducing alcohol consumption, and urbanisation are all humanistic endeavours by themselves. If suicides decreased as a result of these strong associations, then all the better.

#essay #peace

åbo akademi university (the factory mill) in vaasa

I am enjoying the Saturday morning with a cup of dark-roasted coffee and chocolate cereal. I usually do not and I should not, but the urge was too big to handle. Coffee makes me irritated, jittery and anxious because it has more caffeine than I take. Chocolate cereal provides little nutrients and makes me hungry after a while. That is why I prefer green tea and porridge. I felt making an exception today.

I moved from Vaasa to stay and live in Turku for the summer as well as the last academic year. I lived with my parents past three summers to work and get money, and save rent and food money.

This time I decided to make a change in my life and move to the city center and share an apartment with others.

I live with four people from South Africa, France, and two from Finland. They research cancer biology, study mathematics, and architecture, and work in automotive engineering. I am extremely lucky to get to live with such super fun, intelligent, and kind people.

Ordinarily they asked me what I study. And it is always such a “pleasure” to describe my studies to new people I meet:

I study humanism, nonviolence, gender studies, nordic welfare, nonkilling, civil resistance, AGGRESSION, PSYCHOPATHOLOGY, INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS, WAR, EVIL, VIOLENCE, KILLING, and TORTURE. ... :)))

In International relations and conflicts course I jumped right into the unknown waters and learned about dozen theories that describe how nation-states interact in a world that has no rules or a ruler. How super effing interesting is that! And how peculiar that the programme did not make this course mandatory as it introduces some key ideas on how conflicts emerge in the state level. The peace programme focuses more on the individual.

Among many things, I learned that countries where men treat women unequally have more frequent and severe conflicts with other countries (McDermott, 2020). Therefore, educating children to treat all genders as equal reduces the likelihood of violence within and between nation-states, and terrorism, and many other problems.

In my final assigment, I analysed whether Finland should join NATO or not, and argued that Finland should join NATO when analysed through Realism School of Thought.

But after the Nonkilling course I realised that joining NATO does not help us realise peace. During the course, we did a group exercise where we imagined a nonkilling society by 2050.

A ‘nonkilling society’ is a human community characterised by (1) no killing of humans and no threats to kill; (2) no weapons designed to kill humans and no justifications for using them; (3) and no conditions of society dependent upon threat or use of killing force for maintenance or change (Paige, 2003).

Joining NATO is to depend upon a threat or use of killing force to maintain or change the society. After all, whatever one opines about NATO, it is in essence designed to kill people. Therefore, joining NATO does not help us to achieve a nonkilling future.

And while imagining possible futures seems like a stupid, useless thing to do, we need to do it to shift our attention and action to a world we want to live in. We often forget this, and develop reactionary, short-term thinking fueled by emotions such as fear.

In the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991) our attitudes toward the behavior and perceived behavioral control affect our intentions which in turn affect our behavior. Therefore, imagining futures is fundamentally about changing our attitudes and perceived behavioral control, which would then affect our behavior. In that sense, imagining futures is an essential first step toward the desired future.

theory of planned behavior

If peace and a world without killing is too distant idea and hard future to imagine, given the war on Ukraine, and other killing and suicides that happen every day in all parts of the world, focus on your own future life and see how it works.

For example, athletes and actors often imagine their performance before they do it, and it greatly increases their chances of success. In the same manner, when we imagine a world without killing, we increase our chances of achieving it.

Unfortunately, killing is so widespread and common in the world right now that it is taken for granted. We are numbed to it. It is supposedly a natural and inescapable aspect of life and human condition. However, majority of the people have not killed and do not want to kill, those who are forced to kill avoid it at all costs, and the few who end up killing develop post-traumatic stress disorder among other psychological trauma. Therefore, killing is far from normal human behavior.

In the Violence, aggression and psychopathology course I learned that even mere exposure is enough to create more violence, so not just being the victim or aggressor. That is, previous exposure to violence is a risk factor that best predicts increased violent and antisocial behavior later in life (Dubow et al., 2019).

Violence is an epidemic in the exact same sense that coronavirus is. In that regard, the war in Ukraine is not solved by offensively attacking Russia, either by the Ukrainians themselves or Europeans. It only creates more violence.

What partially explains killing is our underlying biological predisposition for aggression. This means that humans, like other animals, can solve conflicts by being aggressive.

In Peace literature studies 1 course, I attended the seminar hosted by International Society for Research on Aggression, and learned that social experience dramatically shapes the level of aggression, namely how simple winning and losing can affect the brain structures in the chemical, synaptic, and neuronal level in mice. This can be generalised to humans to some extent.

This finding implies that the cultural and social conditions can exacerbate or curb aggression tendencies. So it is not that “we cannot do anything about it, because it is in our genes”. We can. For example, I have heard from so many people, from my family and friends to lecturers that aggression and violence is something inherently permanent in Russian population and culture.

This is incorrect. It is not the Russian people but the living conditions that give rise to such behavior—name it system-wide structures or organisations. Moreover, soldiers are conditioned to killing within the military organisation. So there are more caveats. This is to say that Finnish people can be aggressive and violent, and kill, under the right circumstances.

There were three more courses that I took part in. To put it short, Critical perspectives on migration, citizenship and inclusion course taught me that migration is a complex and highly political topic that I need to understand more. Torture and its treatment course taught me how to torture people in the most effective way. And Scientific writing taught me something useful too I think.

Bobby

I have to go feed and babysit friend's Bobby the Cat now. Until next time! Adiós!

#university #finland #peace

I live in Vaasa, Finland now. I have a group of friends from Canada, the U.S, and Belgium. Or was it France? That guy never made up his mind about his national identity. The Canadian lass has Scottish ancestry and knows how to make super delicious white bread. And the guy from the States actually has a Finnish passport, which means that upon arriving to Finland, the military asked him to join conscription. Ironic that he went to study peace but instead was given a rifle.

What an odd bunch of people we are. Anyway, after the turn of the year, a young woman from Turkey, a middle-aged Irish guy from Finland, and a young Finn-Swede(?) guy move to Vaasa. I think we are going to need more chairs and cutlery if we are going to keep hosting our weekly dinners. Also card games are going to get interesting with more players.

So I mostly spend my daily life behind a laptop screen, lifting dumbbells, in ice-cold sea, and with friends. I have also spent time chatting and calling with a girl I met last spring who is now studying abroad. But we did not want the same things, so it was in our best interest to put distance to our relationship. That was honestly the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Love can be ecstatic and agonizing at times.

Sad. Anyway, what are my thoughts on the courses and the programme as a whole so far? If my experiences of Leiden University and its bachelor programme can be assumed comparable enough, then I would say that the PEACE programme is somewhat blah. For one, all the courses lack—perhaps because of online format—meaningful social interaction like highly needed networking, sharing knowledge, and understanding worldviews of different nationalities and lived experiences. Or, the fault may lie in lack of pedagogical education for some educators as one of my friends reasoned.

Online format sucks now more than it did in my bachelor studies. Back then it was super great but now I am tired. Given that the online sessions are lectures and debates, it is important to speak up. But people do not initiate and participate in discussion online as much as I would wish (me included), interrupting feels super inorganic compared to face-to-face, and don't get me started about technical difficulties.

Continuing with my complaints, the programme has only one quantitative research course, which was one of the worst “statistics” courses I have ever taken. The course is a huge flop.

Lastly, from the three canceled courses for next semester, one would have been an absolute must course called Negotiation and mediation: Essential strategies and skill. Currently there is one identical course in Tampere for one month but its schedule conflicts with other courses I am taking. Perhaps next academic year is better.

Shortcomings notwithstanding, there is a lot of good in this programme too. Indeed, I have become aware of things that I would never have realized otherwise and I have learned quite a bit too. I think? I forget a lot too.

So far I have taken the following courses from the best to the absolute worst: Introduction to Peace and Conflict Research, Humanism and Peace Work, Power of Nonviolence, Psychology of Evil, Gender Equality, and Test Construction.

To synthesize all six courses respectively in one sentence, I would say that the most striking things I've learned is that killing a fellow human being face-to-face apparently does not come natural to a soldier without conditioning as evidenced by war case studies and clinical psychology; the real threat of several existential threats notwithstanding, when looking through the lens of humanism and data we are de facto progressing toward a better future; using asymmetric warfare, namely nonviolent methods are the best way for normal people to use against those who use violence like dictators; and moral disengagement is the biggest reason why normal people do evil things. I did not learn anything from Gender Equality, Media and Peace and Test Construction. Rubbish, absolute waste of time.

Next semester is going to be interesting. After Christmas I will spend time with a dude between 6 and 14 years old as part of a volunteering program by the Mannerheim league for child welfare. That ought to be interesting. I hope to find a suitable Master's thesis topic though I am currently gravitating toward Bitcoin as a nonviolent movement and method. I want to meditate daily again. I want to learn Estonian. I want to find a relevant internship in Finland or elsewhere. I want to keep learning guitar and sing songs.

In the sauna where I go twice a week with my Belgian-French friend, I was called a person who has its future ahead. She asked if I know where I want to be in the future. I don't know was and will be my answer. Predicting human behavior and predicting the future is an equation with myriad variables that is impossible to calculate. This applies even to my very own behavior. Every year is so unpredictably scary and anxiety-inducing yet predictably beautiful and exciting.

However, that does not mean I am aimlessly wandering or that I have no dreams. (Then again if I do not know which way to go, does it then matter what path I take?) I am where I need to be and doing things that I like. Besides, building a career is always a neverending exploration and self-discovery, so there is no specific end that I am after. Fundamentally people have a strong need to belong. In that sense, my dream is to find a group of people that do meaningful things especially toward people's wellbeing and flourishing—for example peace building. My French-Belgian friend said that my dream was awfully close to Nazis. Nein!

autumn colors

replot bridge #university #finland #peace

Pöö pöö hyvät ystävät. It has been a while. I graduated from Leiden University with bachelor degree in psychology. After summer it feels I have forgotten everything, though I do opine I have great academic literacy if nothing else. What a road. I thought I would become a psychologist, instead I am back in Finland studying peace, mediation, and conflict research (PEACE) in Åbo Akademi University? Peace studies are a multidisciplinary studies that aim to understand the causes of violence and war from many perspectives, including psychology.

Indeed, my experiences in the Netherlands made me think of other possible careers than just psychology. It would have been close-minded of me if I did not. I looked at social psychology, neuroscience, clinical psychology, human-technology interaction (HTI), user-experience design, cognitive science, health studies, and various research-focused programmes, and of course the PEACE programme. There were three things I especially looked at when weighing the programmes: curriculum content, zero tuition fee, and the most important idea that would ultimately affect my decision: If I did not have to worry about money, which career would I pursue? That way I can be sure that I am doing what I find meaningful, and not only to do it because of money. Although having enough money to sustain a decent lifestyle would be nice. No denying that.

Even though I had thirty credits worth of knowledge on neuroscience, I thought that neuroscience lacked interaction with people that I sought in my future career. I could not imagine myself studying brain cells in a windowless laboratory. But the knowledge is definitely not wasted. For example, during one the introductory courses we had to read the Seville Statement, and I learned that in the 1980s people apparently thought that there is something in the human brain that makes us biologically predisposed to violence. This is false, and this is exactly where neuroscience can prove it. In other words, I wield a “neuroscience bullshit detector”.

I applied in the first application round in winter. Second round would come later in spring. I applied to the PEACE and HTI programme. I got rejected to HTI and accepted to PEACE. When I received the rejection letter, I was not upset—I guess I was not interested in HTI then after all? Huh. In contrast, getting a letter from Åbo Akademi surprised me. Happy confusion. I then decided not to apply in the spring round to clinical psychology.

What drew me in PEACE programme was its developmental psychology-focused curriculum. It was something familiar but also something new—because this time it would be taught in a niche context: peace and war. The idea of working abroad for a good cause, peace, potentially mediating conflicts is compelling. Although, as sexy as that might sound, I might actually find myself as a low-paid grunt in the field, and later a paper pusher in a bureocratic system where nothing seems to move unless you are the one with the power and money. Anyway, I believe that even the smallest contributions to society can help us ensure a better future. If 'violence breeds violence', why cannot 'peace foster peace'? And another example is that if I smile to a person, then perhaps that person will become happier and subsequently smile to someone else. You see where I am going? Small contributions. Butterfly effect. Karma.

I do not know where PEACE will take me and it should cause anxiety in me, but I see this as an interesting turn of events. While it is not as I envisioned myself five years ago, or even one year ago, I am open to what future brings.

#PEACE #Finland


peace studies

Second Semester of Peace Studies First Semester of Peace Studies Peace, Mediation, and Conflict Research

essays

Grass Manifesto Suicides in Finland Are Decreasing Should Finland Ally with NATO or Remain Militarily Non-Aligned? How To Decide Your Career – Ten Lessons 3 Years of Personal Blogging – 5 Challenges I've Encountered On Consistency Do Express Sternly and Colorfully That You Despise Some Things The Value of Science by R. P. Feynman Schemas of Bitcoin Skeemoja Bitcoinista (Finnish) Why did George Floyd die? Quantity Mindset


stories from Holland

My Bachelor Thesis Reflecting on My Road to Bachelor in Psychology in Leiden and Beyond Banana is the King of the Fruits🍌 Wish I Had Learned Dutch Housing Guide for Students at Leiden University The Escape from Holland The Crimson-Red Couch Celebrating the Finnish Independence Day in Leiden Of Beggars The First Year is Wrapped Up Habits and Priorities An Update, plus Plans for Early 2019 The First Exams Are Over Eureka, Psychology! The Defier of the Wind Emperor The Weeks Preceding This Moment, a Review Things Clicked! My First Bitcoin Coffee House Hunting in the Netherlands Why I Started a Blog


stories from Finland

My Studies Have Ended in the Netherlands Bicycle trip to Åland – What I Learned Summer in Finland Accident Astray Experiences in the Netherlands in Retrospect



#cycling #Finland #introspection #travel #bitcoin #essay #coffee #Holland #experiences #househunting #meta #blogging #OWL #Leiden #Hague #psychology #introspection #summer #work #IndependenceDay #story #BlackLivesMatter #GeorgeFloyd #guide #language #bananas #university #PEACE #NATO