I don’t know about you but I often think about how fast time flies by. I swear you blink and another month has passed. Anyway the past I week I had one of those moments that trigger you to sit back and really take in the moment that you are living….there and then. I am not going to lie, it was just a usual afternoon of me sitting in my college room thinking about which test to study for next or more than likely, which website to search for cheap flights to another city somewhere. Is there such a thing as a professional procrastinator? If so, I think I would be at the top of that field. Back to the story. It came to me that I had been in America for over 2 months now and I am halfway through my college experience. I am not completely sure how I feel about it to be honest. On one hand it feels like I have been here forever yet on the other, it feels like yesterday that I was stepping off a plane in LA after 20 something hours of travel. Delirious and ready to take on the next adventure. To be honest it still feels like I’m looking in on someone else’s life.
I went on my Contiki, I caught up with my brother in Missouri and got to experience Speedway in America (Yes, I like motorsport) and now lets go to campus life. I flew into Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina on the night of the 9th of August and stayed in a hotel as I could not arrive on campus until the following day. Honestly, it was incredibly strange having some space after travelling in close quarters with people over the two weeks prior. That space was short lived. Getting into an Uber to come to NC State the morning of the 10th gave me an odd feeling. It was bittersweet and I was eager to experience the ‘college life’ yet I felt like I also wanted to burst into tears. Overwhelming was an understatement. A few years of dreaming and over 12 months of planning had lead up to this moment.
I rocked up to an office on campus and wandered in, having no idea if this was where I was meant to be or not. I would have loved to have seen my face. I knew that I must have been in the right sort of area as I had seen NC State banners but it looked just like a little town. I expected the campus to be big but never realised how big it actually was. Luckily, I arrived at the same time as another girl from Adelaide and from that office we went on the search for our home for the next 6 months. The 3rd floor of Alexander Hall it was. A residential hall, home to about 160 internationals and americans right in the centre of the campus. We decided to go and explore that day and visit another friend on a different part of the campus. After walking for over 1 and a half hours, in 40oC and 100% humidity we finally made it. Thankfully the uni has its own bus like and we caught that back. The next 4 days were our orientation days. Full of meetings, lectures on culture shock and making new friends. Those few days flew by and it was time for classes to start.
In general, I have found uni here to be quite different from home. The campus is huge (like a little town) and there is a great deal of college pride/spirit. As far as classes go, I am taking 5. Immunology, Biochemistry, Medical Microbiology, a Biochemistry lab and a Medical Microbiology lab. Unlike home, my lectures are not recorded and there are a lot fewer people in the classes. Testing is very frequent. On one hand I feel like it is easier to do well and keep up but I think I prefer having a major exam. I am trying to get out and do something most weekends but there is honestly aways something going on on campus. There would be no need for me to leave if I didn’t want to. So far we have been to a few house parties, a frat party, been tailgating, a couple football matches, gone to Charlotte, gone to Carolina Beach, gone to a lake, been to Chicago and I have volunteered at a few events. I will do a post on those adventures soon. Many more events are coming up including Homecoming, Halloween, Thanksgiving and I am sure a few others that I can’t remember at the minute. Then basically time is up.
I am not going to say that the whole time I have been here has been smooth sailing. Yes, I had a couple of rough weeks but looking into the future now, it is going to be sad to leave this place. It has grown to be my home and a place I feel comfortable. I have started booking trips for after uni as I have about a month here before I head home. I loved my Contiki so I have decided to do a Top Deck tour. At first I will head to New Orleans for about a week and from there head to Memphis, Nashville, Chicago again (I love that place), Washington DC and finish in New York where I will have New Years. From there I will have a few days before I head back.
All in all, I just wanted to give you a quick update and tell you a little more about my experience. I should be off. Until next time…. take care.