Raise your hand if you’ve been to college. Is your hand up? Will it be up soon? Mine is. Consequently, this is getting difficult to type. Anyhoo, I thought I’d take this opportunity to expound on the differences between my life in the middle of a major city (I’m a star on the map!) and small, suburban life.
For years teachers and trusted friends have been lecturing about how difficult college and how it’s nothing like high school. Turns out they were joking. Take, for example, my Intro to International Politics class. Every reading assignment and lecture topic could have been summed up succinctly in two movies: WarGames and Red Dawn. If you haven’t seen either of these, I heartily suggest them. They’re early ’80s oh-my-God-we’re-in-the-middle-of-the-Cold-War movies – need I say more? If so, then WarGames = Ally Sheedy + Matthew Broderick in their second greatest teen performances and Red Dawn = the late, great(?) Patrick Swayze. All the talk of Cuba in the class also made me think of Dirty Dancing – Havanna Nights, but in respect of Patrick Swayze I’m not going to go there.
So, yeah. The school aspect doesn’t seem that much different for me – excepting the free time and having classmates who genuinely want to be there. But the living situation is something to acclimate to. I love having a roommate and two suite-mates. That took little, if any adjusting. The real shock is the diversity and the charisma of the city. Yesterday alone, I heard at least three languages being spoken, not including English or Arabic in my class. The only language I hear back home is English. DC life is also much louder – sirens blare down the block multiple times a day, not to mention the scores of students that congregate outside of our window every night (seeing as it’s right above the front door).
Just living in the city has changed my perspective about day-to-day life. On Wendesday, I walked on grass for the first time in over a fortnight. And that only happened on the other, more suburban, campus. Yesterday as my roommate Amanda and I were chatting we both realized that I hadn’t been in a car in almost three weeks. I can barely imagine being in a car; the mental image seems almost foreign. To get anywhere in this city we just walk or hop on the Metro – easy-peasy.
I guess the differences I’ve met and the adjustments I’ve had to make between home and school could be considered culture shock. Not that I mind. When I finally visit home over break, I have a feeling I’ll be homesick for DC. This city has quickly become my new home.
Oh, and here’s your appropriately titled musical clip of the day: