Study Abroad: I survived my first midterm.

Normally, October brings in the darker evenings, colder weather, changing trees and a general feeling of warmth and home.

The start of October was a bit different this year.

Yes the trees are changing and the wonderful colours of autumn are appearing but that’s really all that is cluing me into the changing seasons.

First of all, it’s still so warm that I’m leaving my apartment without a jacket, I haven’t even considered wearing my scarf yet and honestly it just makes me sad. The other day it was 30°which is practically summer weather.

Second of all, yes the evenings have been getting darker sooner but I haven’t exactly been feeling that comforted by being indoors in warm lighting because the past three weeks have been crazy with university work.

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Honestly, give me back my two essays a semester form of assessment because I cannot handle the American system of five exams and essays due in one week. I’m happy to say I survived, and the fact that the standard expected here is lower than back home means I’m actually doing really well in all of my classes. I guess I have no reason to complain that much.

I am lowkey terrified that I will forget how to write a high standard essay when I go back to Birmingham next year though.

It’s now Fall Break which means 97% of my friends have gone home and all I have is my own thoughts for company during most of the day. It’s not too bad, I’ve read two chapters for my sociology class and now I’m writing up my English notes whilst an old season of Bones plays in the background. I’m not rushing to get three pieces of work done at once and there’s not risk of me forgetting to do my reading for tomorrows class. Everything is calm and relaxed.

Some fun things that I have learnt and experienced since my last post:

  1. I’ve written more articles for The Beacon. You can read all of them here if you’re really interested in the goings on in Wilkes-Barre.
  2. I experienced my first Homecoming. I still don’t really understand the purpose of a Homecoming court, during the dance we all had to separate and cheer the nominees. Why? I don’t really know. The dance was a good and fun time, there was a three course meal and dancing. Oh and I received a new identity since my name card said “Megan Stangay”. I didn’t realise Stanley was so hard to spell until that moment.
  3. Homecoming was 1950’s themed and I accidentally stole three of the craft vinyls but our apartment looks cool now so it was worth it.

  4. Homecoming also included an American football game. I kind of understand what is going on now so I’m no longer blankly staring at a bunch of men tackling each other as they move the ball down the field. One major mistake we made during this particular football game? Dressing for winter. There we were in our thick Wilkes jumpers whilst the sun was shining and the temperature reached 28°C. We left during the second quarter because honestly death was near as I have never felt so warm in my life.
  5. I went to a poetry reading. An alumni asked me when I graduated which makes me question how old I really look. Do I appear older than 22? I hope not. I’m a small child living across the world trying to survive thank you very much. I was also peer pressured into reading poetry and I’m not entirely sure they listened properly because of my very obvious accent. Also because I read it very fact and I have a tendency to mumble.
  6. I often wear a denim pinafore with a striped top, several people have complemented this outfit which is all good and lovely. Yesterday, however, a girl literally stopped her car in the middle of the street to tell me I was “channeling my inner chucky”. All I know about chucky is this it’s a creepy horror doll so I really don’t know how to feel about this. IMG_20171012_152015
  7. Pumpkin Patches are real and so are Christmas Tree farms. I’m hopefully going to a Pumpkin Patch with my roommate Emily so watch this space because I am going to get EXCITED.
  8. If you want to shock and horrify an American just tell them you’ve never eaten Lucky Charms or Girl Scout Cookies. It works every time, trust me.
  9. Halloween decorations go up October 1st with no delay. We have a light-up pumpkin called Henry.
  10. They eat scones with literally anything. A roast dinner? Put a scone in there. But scones aren’t called scones in this situation, they’re called ‘biscuits’ which is just wrong. Savoury scones are great but don’t need to go with a roast dinner. Or eggs. Or weird white gravy that I’m too scared to try.
  11. Like when my fiends were shocked to learn I had never eaten lucky charms, this truly horrified me. Pancakes are also called flapjacks and actual flapjacks do not exist here. Why are pancakes and flapjacks interchangeable termS? WHY? I just don’t get it America. I really don’t
  12. I’ve realised half of these are food related but that’s something we are all going to have to deal with it
  13. And finally, my feet are so small here I can get away with buying shoes for children.  My joke about being a small child earlier is more real than I thought.

 

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