First of all I want to apologise to my acapella group and my future self who I’m sure will look back and cringe but I couldn’t resist using a ‘Pitch Perfect’ quote as the title. Just to clear things up for all my lovelies back home, we do not put aca at the beginning of everything we say!
This week has been tough for me, which you will know if you’ve read my previous blog posts or have been unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a teary phone call. Big shoutout to my amazing friends, family & boyfriend who have listened to all my crying this week.
Nevertheless, there is always one thing that can make me feel better and that is music. This week we had our first real acapella performance. We have sung at a school and at a soccer game here which were both fun but this was something different. I went over to two of the girls’ house to get ready where we got into our pretty clothes and did our hair and make up.
Bekah made my hair look amazing and I’ve already told her she has to fly over when I get married to do my hair for me. (I’m not getting married anytime soon, no one freak out!).
The concert was at another university about thirty minutes away. It’s always nice to get off campus and see the surrounding area. When we arrived we sound checked and then headed to the green room to warm up. They had a screen set up with the live stream of the show so we got to see the other groups who were going on before us. It wasn’t too long until we were being called up behind stage listening to them introducing us. I’m unsure why we started meowing at each other but it’s something that has developed over the last few weeks. Therefore, it only seemed fitting to tell the hosts that when they introduced us we wanted to dedicate our songs to cats. My group is the best, they really are.
Stepping out onto that stage with the lights on us was an amazing feeling. It felt like I blinked and it was over but I loved every minute. My soul sparkles when I sing. That sounds disgustingly cringey and soppy but it’s true. I just feel better when I sing. It was exactly what I needed to help pull me out of my doom and gloom. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to sing with and I want to thank them so much for always making me smile even when I feel like crying.
This week I have discovered that being homesick & stressed isn’t a good combination when you have anxiety. In fact, it’s a very very bad combination. I’m struggling to be away from everyone I love when the thing I need most is a cuddle and a cup of tea with them.
However, my dad gave me the best piece of advice for dealing with anxiety. He told me I just needed to ride the wave. Ride the wave of panic, ride the wave of stress & ride the wave of sadness because life is full of ups and downs. And he’s completely right! I have days of utter doom & gloom which are then followed by times of happiness & adventure. It’s something to thing about when you’re sitting in a puddle of sadness missing home. That’s my top tip for study abroad students for this week – ride the wave!
Quick update as I’m drowning in work this week…mid terms are right around the corner & I’m stressing!
Cam, my boyfriend, came to visit me as he’s studying at a college not too far from me this year. It was so good to have a little piece of home with me and to share this little world I have made here. We had a great weekend exploring downtown including going to a museum and watching the gay pride festival that was going on. Both were eye opening. Especially the anti gay protestors which was definitely something I’ve never seen before. It was very bizarre.
I may be a little quiet on here until after midterms but I’ll try to get back on track as soon as I can! For now enjoy some pictures I took at the weekend!
I wanted to take this cutie home!
A beautiful day downtown.
Unsure of why there is a naked lady on this wall but it looked cool so here’s a picture of that.
I started off my week with an outdoor yoga class. It had been a hot day so I was a little apprehensive. By the time the class rolled around though, it had cooled down and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A very relaxing end to my day!
On Wednesday one of my friends took me to Whole Foods to pick up a few things. I LOVE IT THERE! I am a big fan of healthy eating and it is safe to say that it is a little harder to eat as healthy as I would like in the cafeteria. Picking up some yummy, healthy treats was so fun and I went a little bit crazy in the tea aisle! I am such a British stereotype!
It’s mental health awareness week here and these pin wheels have been put on the lawn to represent the huge number of students that commit suicide at colleges across America every year. It’s such a shocking number but I am so glad my college has a great counselling and mental health centre. It really could save someone’s life.
On Friday my acapella group had a gig and we went out for dinner afterwards. I ordered pasta and it came in a cooking dish with a serving spoon … only in America!! We also got crayons to draw on the table cloth with and you can just about see what I put in this shot – “Someone from England ate here, yay for tea and the Queen”. I couldn’t help but keep living up to the stereotype Americans have given me.
On Saturday I went with a couple of the acapella girls to a festival that was happening downtown. I had the best time exploring the area and enjoying the craft stalls and music.
And of course no week is complete without some homework. I should actually be doing some now so I’m going to sign off here. I hope you enjoyed this post and I’ll see you all here next week!
I had a blast this past weekend. Firstly, my professor cancelled my Friday class so I had a 4 day weekend – I am not complaining. However, there were some other reasons why I had fun this week.
On Friday we drove about twenty minutes from campus for our acapella retreat. The first evening I was on dinner duty and thanks to chef Bekah we made a banging spaghetti bolognese (for my American friends reading this, banging means good!). We then rehearsed until 11pm and followed that with a little party – nevertheless I was in bed by 1am as we had a long day the next day.
On Saturday we started the day by getting to know each other. We sat round and talked to each other and it was kind of a raw and emotional hour and a half. I’m so glad we did it though. Life tip: everyone has stuff going on, be there for them and let them be there for you. We then sang from about 2pm – 11pm and got through a looootttt of songs. Despite it being a long and intense rehearsal, it is inspiring to be around such talented people. I’m very lucky to be part of this group. After rehearsals we let off some steam with another party. They attempted to teach me how to twerk which I completely failed at but they taught me some other moves that I managed to get (I think!). I forgot to take any photos the whole retreat so I apologise for the lack of visuals here.
Sunday morning I made my way back to campus and met with my friend Molly (one of the greatest humans alive just by the way). She took me for my first experience of American thrift shopping which was so fun! I picked up two shirts for $2.56 – thank you America for your labour day deals!
Being the Disney fan that I am I very nearly bought this. I regret not picking it up now!! Hopefully I can go back and it will still be there.
I spent the rest of the day at Molly’s house which is what I needed! Sometimes it’s nice to get away from campus and spend some time in a normal home!
So that was my labour day weekend, I didn’t travel anywhere like a lot of people do but I had the best weekend with my friends.
I’ll be posting another ‘Week in Pictures’ at the end of the week so look out for that!
It is crazy to think that just four weeks ago I was sitting in an airport crying my eyes out, hugging my dad, knowing I wasn’t going to see him until Christmas. So much has happened since then.
I’ve settled in, made friends, started classes, joined an acapella club, explored where I’m living for the next year and so on. I’m having the time of my life. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss home.
Week four has been marked by the strong pain of homesickness. My friends are still on their summer holidays and are meeting up and having fun without me. My dad and my brother’s birthdays are this week and it hurts my heart that I am not there to wish him a happy birthday in person. Whilst my boyfriend is also studying abroad in America, trying to navigate the American public transport system in order to see him is proving a struggle. I’m used to walking down the road when I want to see him so this is tough.
The people I usually share my innermost thoughts with and rawest moments aren’t here. That’s weird for me. It’s weird to not be sharing my day to day life with the people I’ve seen so often up until now.
I’m so lucky to be here but it doesn’t mean I don’t miss home.
I’ve been listening to ‘Waiting’ by Julia Nunes this week and the lyrics have never felt more true than they do right now. Not only for missing home but for the fact that it was the seven year anniversary of my beautiful mum’s passing the other day. That day was hard. It’s always hard but it was harder than ever this time because I was away from my family too.
To make things worse, today I got my grade back for a presentation I did last week. I was over the moon with the mark but the comments cut me a little. My teacher had put that I needed to speak slower because people couldn’t understand me. I found this to be an unnecessary comment for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have a very stereotypically southern British accent so I think it is a lot easier to understand to the American ear than other regional accents. Secondly, I know I speak faster when I present something and I take that criticism on board but don’t make it to be a negative comment on my accent. I already feel out of place in a new country – I can’t go anywhere without someone commenting on my accent and that’s fine. Nevertheless, I listen to American accents all day and don’t complain that I can’t understand because I can understand because it’s really not that different to mine! Maybe homesickness and made me take this more to heart than I should but hey, cut me some slack.
Moving abroad is hard and missing home is harder.
I saw this on campus yesterday and it made me smile. I feel so sad right now but I have hope that it will get better.