Like Sugar and Spice…

Ever since I was young, independence was something I always wanted. An accelerator under my foot, adult status and the opportunity to earn my own income. Although I’m living a different life out here right now and am doing none of these things, I know that in four months’ time I’ll have that back again.  It’s hard to compare my life in England with my life here in the USA because they really are very different. Granted, England is and always will be my home but after this experience, there will definitely be a slice of me in Mississippi too! My accent is adored out here and to be honest I’m human and enjoying the attention, although the whole “I’m from a city in England you’ve never heard of” speech can get slightly tiring.

“We live on Fascination.”

The beginning of my second semester here has been great! I’ve suddenly acquired such a social life that, somewhat ashamedly, I often forget who said what to me in conversations. It can’t be helped. I like being busy and not spending too much time by myself. I’ve made new friends and despite my previous post ranting about men and dating this side of the pond in general, I’ve started to date again too because, well why not? In this case, one bad apple does not spoil the bunch and there’s also the whole “kissing frogs before princes” thing. My friend joked that if I want to be a mum I’ll have to keep sifting through the frogs and I responded with “well I don’t intend to give birth to tadpoles” (although that didn’t happen in Shrek…) I’m making more of an effort to chill out this semester. The initial shock of moving here is gone now and I’m settled into my routine here. I’ve befriended many people and my confidence, like my weight these days (which is not a priority during my time here at all anymore), is sky high. It’s good to lighten up once in a while. One guy said he “liked my sense of humour.” I quickly responded with “yeah so do I- it’s why I often laugh at my own jokes.” I like being funny and sarcastic in a light hearted way. It’s fun, it’s me and it’s a natural traitof my personality. The southern hospitality really does exist as many people have touchingly took the time to show me and I hope to someday be able to repay this kind of generosity- whether it be the UK or the USA. Moreover, I’ve also asked Jana to teach me some German words via our fridge whiteboard because I think it would be shameful to say I’ve lived with a German woman for five months and not learned any new German vocabulary.

Love’s Young Dream.

I’ve been living in my apartment with Jana for a month now and despite the fact we don’t have much furniture, I love it. We both spend a lot of time here doing our own thing, whether it be studying or watching TV together, having own space is so nice. Jana used to joke that “she found my life very hard to keep up with but maybe living together would make it easier.” I love coming home and telling Jana about my day and hearing about hers. I love knowing someone will be there when I’m done for the day. I love the fact Jana gets all excited when I come back from a date and I tell her how it went etc. It’s nice living with one of your closest friends and I hope my experiences in third year back at Keele are just as good; although the rent will never be this cheap in England! Our friend Sydney and her English boyfriend Liam have been staying on our living room floor recently over the past few weeks. I enjoy my chats with Liam about England and English things and how life varies here etc, it’s a little slice of home. I also really admire their relationship. Long distance is not something I’ve ever personally wanted to try (maybe one day) but these two make it look easy! They’re a really cute couple and Liam being here means I’ve also got to know Sydney too- she’s no longer just “Jana’s friend Sydney.” The fact Liam is prepared to give up life in England to be with Sydney is remarkable. He’s out here for three months- November to February. He plans to raise the funds and study over here in Mississippi within the next year. He loves it here and he doesn’t even know that many people. Their relationship is refreshing and they fill some of the emptiness of the apartment by being here; not just physically but with their personalities too.

I’ve been asked if I would ever move out here if I fell in love. Would I? Well, for me personally it’d depend on which State and the fact it’d be different way of living to not be student out here. Being here in the USA for so long has also taught Jana and myself the ties we have to our own countries and cultures; so to give up everything I know I’d have to KNOW that this person was the “ONE.” It may, in theory, be too late but what do I care? I’ve always just aimed to please myself, after all nobody else has to walk in your shoes. What’s more, a lot of people I’ve met here are from this state but not this town. Some of my friends are from other Southern states such as Louisiana (Maddie), Alabama (Ariana), Texas (J.D) and Georgia (Onelia). Yet it’s nothing like being from Leicestershire but not from Leicester either, let me tell you. I don’t think I’ll ever get my head around the size of this country’s landscape. It really is MASSIVE! I think the size of it definitely plays a part in its cultural dominance. It pours over the pond filling us with Hollywood films, technology and fast food chains and it always will do. There’s no escape but honestly, I don’t think the world wants to escape the USA. It would be a VERY different world! God Bless America.


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