So, today I had planned a post about how great things were going and how much I am finally beginning to get into the swing of things. And thennnn I checked my email and someone from Akron, Ohio who studied abroad in Wolverhampton emailed me...to tell me really that I am being negative. And what was funny was that she had only read one of my posts, my first one. Which to me, just isnt really reflective of my actual feelings about studying abroad because I had only been here for like a week and I was NOT feeling good or anything close to it. So, I get all ready to feel bad until I realized that I shouldnt! This blog is for me to share my experiences about studying abroad. Sometimes they will be negative, and sometimes they will be positive. I had a reeallllly rough transition. I think its because I was already stressed before I came and then mix together stress, not sleeping properly, not eating properly, being in a new surrounding and you just have a mess. So if their is anyone else that feels I have been negative...oh well. This is what you get when you read a blog. MY EXPERIENCE. Not, some happy collective study abroader experiencer where everything is supposed to be lollipops.
But like I said, I am feeling pretty good today! So yay.
So, why am I feeling better? I have had 6 hours or more of sleep for the last 2 days. That is enough to be happy about. But I also have had good meals. No junk food. And I alllsssoooo exercised today. So I really feel good and energetic. I got some work done yesterday. I finally feel into the groove here. The weather is so beautiful today. I went to Bath on Saturday and that was a great experience. I have been trying to stay positive and take care of myself. Its crazy, you just cant be in a stressful situation or a new one and not take care of yourself. I have to eat properly and get exercise in order to feel good and get things done. It's just the way its works. I have gotten so better about the food. Oh, and I must clarify something. Before I do, I must say I never think people that don't know me are reading this blog, so I guess I need to stop assuming that. Okay, so my opinions of the food here are more than just some dumb American who just wants American food. I am a picky eater. Anyone who knows me, knows that. At home, I send things back alllll the time. If I dont like food, I throw it away. That is it. So my discomfort with the food here is less about it being from a different country and more about ME being a weird picky eater. But anyways. I have been cooking lately and I just feel better. I made tacos last night and I am making some sauteed chicken and a baked potato tonight. Yummy!
I love being with people from different countries. It does make me see the things that I do that are very much associated with being an American. I will stick with the food thing. Example. My housemate is alllwwaayysss saying something about the food that I throw away. Actually, they all have seen me throw away massive amounts of food and complain about food. And my one housemate has this (annoying yet lovable) thing where she says...what about the children in Africa. Sometimes I feel like pulling out my hair when she says it, but I must admit something. I am way too comfortable with wasting food. People here eat their food...even if they dont like it. WOWWWWW.
Because thats how they were raised! But even though I wasnt necessarily raised to waste food my culture doesnt necessarily look down upon it. American culture is so...what am I trying to say here....it is centered around everyones likes and dislikes. If you dont like this, throw it away, send this back, yadda yadda yadda. We're so comfortable with throwing things away and demanding things that we like cause...damnit we deserve it. If we dont like it, we complain. Cause we are supposed to like it. I have seen so many people not like their food and eat it. It really does amaze me. I havent seen anyone send anything back. Anything. My two housemates from Holland and Belgium are just amazed at how much food I waste. They said they were raised to eat everything. And the stereotype that is most known for Americans (other than fast food, and yes Americans...unfortunately we are known for our fast food) is that we want everything big and in massive amounts. We just cant get enough and we cant have things big enough. That is not something I can say I am proud of. I think it goes hand in hand with my waste of food. Oh, theres always more where that came from and oh who cares and yadda yadda. I always think their is more and I hardly think about the people who struggle...and NOT in Africa, shit in America! I think these are the subtleties that will change my behavior in the long run.
I am starting to really appreciate the European way of life. And of course, I will not say that this is every European country and alllll Americans are this or that. But being around my housemates just brings out the things that I do that I could possibly change. Things that I think I get from my larger culture. The first thing to be noticed is my wasteful habits. So I have already looked at my eating habits and my spending habits. Theres no telling what else I will learn to appreciate!