Friday, 6 March 2015

A British Girl Living the American Dream: Part 1

It's been exactly ONE MONTH since I left the UK for the US. When I boarded my 13 hour flight from London Gatwick to Orlando, Florida, a ton of emotions were flooding through me. Firstly, I'm 21 and this would be the first time I would ever be living on my own (scary thought!). For most people moving out is a challenging but natural part of life; you've grown up and you're now going off into the big wide world. However, most people my age would be moving somewhere else within their own country. I wasn't... I was moving across the Atlantic Ocean to America. I was excited to do something so completely out of my comfort zone, but the thought was also a little daunting. Secondly, how would I cope being five hours behind the people I love? Would I not like being out of the loop with everyone back home? When I applied for a place on this exchange programme, I was so passionate about getting it and put my heart and soul into everything I did. I worked extremely hard throughout the whole process of writing an entrance essay, to being short-listed, to creating a video with audio and finally having an interview in front of a panel. Despite how difficult it was to get a place, I did. And despite how much I thought I would be thrown into the deep end, I went for it anyway. I feel like that is what life should be about - we need to take risks in order to gain. We need to take that final leap of faith so we can turn around and say 'I did it'. This is what makes people so interesting... hearing about their experiences. 

Moving to the USA has taught me many things about myself and about life in general. I am so much more independent now than I have ever been before. I've learnt about the importance of family and friends and not taking them for granted... but also, how to cope being on your own for hours at a time. I'm the type of person who loves sociable settings and engaging in funny conversations with people (I can talk for England...), but I also really appreciate the kind of days where I can just be comfortable keeping myself company; and in my case that usually involves reading a book or going on blogs (hint to add your links below haha). What I find most interesting about America is the people and how different they are to the British. They are very straightforward, always want to help, love to give compliments about anything and everything and don't beat around the bush - which I love! They have also found me to be quite interesting. They don't understand my sarcasm and take everything a little too literally, but other than that they are so interested in my culture and how I live back home. I keep having to explain that I'm not used to eating things in such large amounts and everywhere I go it's obvious they know I'm a non-resident alien because of the way I dress - apparently British people have a very unique sense of style!

I've had to get used to using the American currency on a daily basis. I'm sorry America, I love you but I just can't get my head around the practicality of a one dollar note... it makes me feel like I'm rich when I'm actually far from it. It's also very strange that you can't really walk anywhere. There is so much land here and everything is ten times bigger than back home in cute little England, so I have no choice but to cab it to places, get the bus (whenever they run) or actually walk. If it snows in Georgia everyone goes into a complete panic mode and my university ended up being closed for a week which was quite amusing as I'm so used to that sort of weather at home anyway. Fitting my life into a suitcase was no easy task and had to be completed in shifts on the run up to my departure, but I managed to do it without going over my luggage limit wahoo! I still have two months left of my placement but I'm certainly not wishing it away. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to do a study abroad programme because after all an experience like this will stay with me for the rest of my life. Have any of you completed a study abroad placement or are you thinking of doing it? Let me know in the comments below and keep an eye out for my Part 2! 




    





2 comments:

  1. Hey! I've nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award! Check it out! nominathttp://life-of-elana.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/the-sisterhood-of-world-blogger-award.html xox

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  2. wonderful shots... love it all! :)

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