As this semester and academic year is coming to an end, it means my year abroad away from London is too. Now would be an appropriate time to look back on what American college life has taught me, as well as mentioning random useful information about British stuff. Since the Harry Potter saga’s over, aside from Misfits and The Inbetweeners there aren’t many other recent programs doing the educating shown over here on the media front. To start things off, you may not know that some letters of the alphabet are said differently over there, but they are. The h in ‘haitch’ isn’t silent, for example, and our ‘z’ is pronounced ‘zed’ (this wasn’t the most fun difference to have in my statistics class). We do weird things like spell colour with ‘u’ and use ‘s’ instead of ‘z’s in words like ‘stabilise’. Also, pickle is called ‘gherkin’, eggplant is known as an ‘aubergine’ and we call fries ‘chips’ and potato chips ‘crisps’. That may be a lot to take in for now, so we can move on.
This may be an insult to some’s intelligence, but it was news for others that the United Kingdom is comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Also, we do love the royal family and have tea parties down the street when it’s a golden jubilee and stuff, but there are many people who are, in fact, indifferent about them, so we can’t actually share exclusive conversations being had in the palace. Something else worth mentioning is that American pop culture is highly prominent in our media, as well as everywhere else. It seems the world knows much more about America than America knows about the world. On a lighter note, we are seven seasons deep in our own equally trashy version of Jersey Shore based in Newcastle, North East England called Geordie Shore.
The school systems are very different, but that’s an entirely different article. I have to note though, the opportunity to be a UTA and having them as a resource is something everyone should have. It’s also great seeing how much of the student body gets involved with clubs and organisations on campus. Nowhere else has Greek Life! I’m told there are sorority and fraternity chapters brought over to other countries, but it is a very unique thing and can be difficult thing to try to explain to those who are clueless. College life is definitely not what you see in Blue Mountain State but it is what you make it, and I hope you’re making it a happy experience.
Brace yourselves for a whole bunch of generalisations now, ‘Murricans. You guys do patriotism well. You guys also do narcissism well and yes, there is a way to be pleasantly narcissistic. Some call it charm and get away with it. You don’t do public transport well. It’s virtually non-existent on Long Island. I’m just grateful I was here for the 7Bus. You guys do caring about the British accent particularly well. I’m sure my accent has gotten me a lot of my friends here and I’m sure the other Brits here would agree, as would the Australians about their own.
One FAQ is “does the way you sound aid in your mate seeking behaviour” aka “am I talking my way into getting booty?” There’s a simple answer here… yes. Even when you’re not interested, people just dig the accent. Another FAQ that usually follows the latter is “would people like your American accent if you came over to London?” Yes, they would. There would also be those that are nonchalant about it as well as those who hate Americans, but mostly yes. I’ve often been asked if I like America, which is a hard question to answer for multiple reasons, starting with how flipping huge this young country is. My take is that you don’t quite realise how big it is until you get here, and then you realllllly find out when travelling. I haven’t quite gotten round to seeing the whole thing, but from what I have seen I definitely have a list of places to see and things to do that I’ve added to my bucket list.
This oddly wasn’t my attitude when I first got here. I didn’t have the ‘American dream,’ I actually just thought it’d be pretty cool to study abroad for a year. And don’t get me wrong; London is still my favourite city, but there is a lot of magic here. Especially in New York City. From the people to the sounds to the lights to finding out the steps in Times Square do actually close if you’re there late/early enough. Then there’s the pizza and the halal chicken and rice— ugh. It’s a place of business and dreams. Even all of the guests that I’ve had have left inspired. What started off informative now feels more like a feel-good article about where you call home. It was all your doing after all. Good shit, guys.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.