28 December 2019
I have spent a semester abroad in Lancaster, England and am finally home in Winter Park, Florida. I was surprised at how well I had adjusted to the weather and was not too warm when I arrived. It feels amazing to be back. Every morning I wake up to my dog jumping on my chest to give me kisses. I think he was the one who missed me the most.
Looking back at my first blog post I definitely see the difference between America and England. I thought the who would be rather similar but looking deeply England has a strong culture. In America, everyone always says White people don’t have a culture. It took going to Europe to see how wrong that statement was. My culture is white rice and black beans, real southern BBQ, sweet tea and homemade orange juice. English culture is Lancashire hotpots, hot English Breakfast tea, Yorkshire pudding, and a full English Breakfast.
My identity impacted my view of England by letting me explore every culture around England. England is so diverse, and I was willing to sit and learn from it. I joined clubs like the Jewish society that let me see the difference between Jews in America and England. Within my flat, I got the chance to learn from six different cultures. It allowed me to see how honest and kind the people of Northern England were. In the past couple of years, I felt like the world had turned cruel and cold. England showed me that not everyone is like that. British people will go out of their way to make sure you are safe. The number of people who offered to help me in England blew my mind. England gave me faith in the world again. There’s a lot I have to unlearn from America. England made me realize that I am at a social disadvantage of being an American. My flatmates did tell me they were surprised at how open-minded I was for an American. I felt my willingness to try new things, listen to opinions opposite of my own, and eat foods way outside my comfort zone, really helped me in traveling abroad.
While abroad I got to experience different identities in my own flat. All eight of us were widely different people, but we ended up enjoying all the same things. All of our music tastes were different, but we always ended up enjoying listening to each other’s music. We had different politic views but down to the core believed the same things. I think as a whole we all wanted the world to be a better place. Half of my flatmates being Political Science majors, they were really out trying to change it. We learned from each other. Our flat was from five different countries; England, Wales, Germany, Spain, and the US. I know I’ll be back in England for graduate school, and I’ll be right back in Lancaster to see them graduate in 2022.