By Janice Tieperman
I’ve only been here for two weeks, but it feels like I could’ve lived here for years. That is, if you disregard the scathingly obvious American accent, the fact that I’m always going to call it an elevator, and the grim truth that I probably couldn’t make it more than ten meters in a car over here.
But where’s the fun in sweating the small details?
Despite any of the kinks that come with communal living and the fact that all university towns have their lurkers, Plymouth (and England in general) has an undeniable charm and general likability that for two decades I could scarcely find in the USA.
Then again, most of the people I’ve been hanging around have been international students or other English students who are new to town as well, so it’s hardly fair to make such a positive assumption with such little time and experience clocked in here.
Not to mention that it automatically sounds nicer being insulted in a British accent than in an American one–but hey, I’m probably pretty biased there.
The past week and half have been spent as a period of exploration.
While most of my exploration has only led me to Cornwall, the neighboring region, the views I’ve encountered in those trips have astonished me completely.
The geography itself is remarkably similar to the coastlines of northeastern America, but that brief yet recurring realization that I am, in fact, not in America stuns me every single time.
The biggest surprise to me in this journey so far is how much self-reflection I’ve reached in just two short weeks.
I’ve had to deal with severe anxiety for a great deal of my life, and while I’ve gotten much control over it over the years, the idea of heading to another country completely alone boggled every fiber of my being.
Yet, in the time I’ve been here, my anxiety levels haven’t skyrocketed or anything of the sort.
In the time I traveled, it’s like I transitioned from one home to another, which is the complete opposite of what I expected.
While most things in my future are still very much uncertain, this trip so far has felt very stable.
Speaking of stability, classes finally started today! Not gonna lie, I was beginning to feel a little disoriented with the four-month break.
And while my two lectures today definitely cemented in my mind why I’m most definitely not a literature major, they’ve put me in an abstract environment that doesn’t quite fit the mold of any class I’ve ever attended before.
Above all else, it’s been great to see that no matter what part of the world I’m in, I’ll always be surrounded by English nerds. (insert nerd emoji here)
I feel like this has been a sufficient amount of rambling, so I’ll end this here.
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