I went to Uppsala last night to visit CBCC. It was a lot of fun, got to meet a few of his friends and just enjoy the evening. We went out to the Nations and drank a bit. Ended up heading back to the corridors and hanging out and watched some South Park. Just a pretty good night all around.
Uppsala is very much a college town. It’s a beautiful old town, but during the school year is overrun with university students. It’s amazing. And fun. And loud. And drunken. Really all you could hope for in a college town. At the center of this are the Nations.
Nations are hard to explain to people, especially Americans (read the University's explanation here). Your first reaction always tends to be: “Well, they’re kind of like the Greek life” but that doesn’t do any sort of justice whatsoever to the Nations (and if you ask me is somewhat of an insult). Students join a Nation, and there are plenty to choose from, just like most Greek life in the US. However, very few people live at the Nations, if any at all, and everyone joins. This isn’t like Greek life at home where just a few people join. It’s very egalitarian in that sense.
The Nations are more like clubs and bars than frats or sororities. Almost all of them serve alcohol and have different attractions, some being dance clubs, some being calm little pubs, and others bringing in live music. Just a wide range of possibilities. At the same time though, you can go to the Nation and grab a good cheap meal. You can take time to get away and study there. They even hold wonderful gasques, where you get all gussied up in a suit or tux and eat fancy food and then go to the after-party. They are truly versatile, and just a huge part of university life in Uppsala, and something I loved being a part of again.
CBCC did a good job of taking care of things and it ended up being a great night. So here I am back in Stockholm, very tired, but pretty pleased with the previous evening, but at the same time very much looking forward to not doing a whole lot tonight.