Well this weekend marks five weeks in Chapel Hill, and I cannot comprehend how quickly it has gone! I’m seriously regretting not sitting down earlier, to begin writing about my experiences, but oh well… Live and learn.
Over the past 5 weeks I have done a lot! So here are just some random thoughts to kick off the many Carolina blog posts to come!
So far I have:
- Checked 12 items off my UNC Exchange Bucket List (posts to come soon!)
- Made countless new amazing friends!
- Attended 60 classes (12 per week)
- Read hundreds and hundreds of pages of required reading
- Gotten lost trying to get out of 3 different buildings
- Completed 6 assignments
- Watched two seasons of Friends (a girl needs her down time)
- Eaten way too many Dining Hall cookies
- And bought way to many UNC branded clothes… GO TAR HEELS!
Papers not essays, page counts not word counts, no further reading or research, and quizzes every week are just some of the things I’m having to get used too. Two weeks ago my teacher told me that further reading in preparation for my six-page history essay was ‘discouraged’. At first I thought he was being sarcastic, but I quickly realised that it was his legitimate answer to my question and I was completely shocked. No trawling through journal articles and library books doing extra research to build my essay… all I needed to use was the required textbook and I was good to go. I wonder how often thats going to happen? Otherwise, I’m really enjoying all of my classes and I’m realising how little I knew about American history and politics. But that’s changing!
Australian vs. American vs. British
Yes we all speak English but when you’re navigating accents, different names for the same object/food, and cultural colloquialisms, we may as well be speaking different languages. Although it does lead to some pretty funny misunderstandings. I’m pretty sure for my first two weeks here, majority of my conversations involved translating what I was saying and my American and British friends translating what they were saying for me.
Some of my wonderful hall mates in front of the Old Well!
Fashion in the South
The way girls dress here is certainly unique to the South… but you know what I don’t mind it all 🙂
For classes/gym/running, the girls all sport Nike shorts, baggy sorority and/or free event shirts from their presumably large collection and fluro Nike running shoes. Tailgates and football games are when the ladies go all out! Carolina Blue and white sundresses with Jack Rodgers sandals… its basically a uniform in itself. Oh and of course the pearls! All the girls wear gorgeous pearl studs, which I love because my pearl studs are probably my favourite piece of jewellery.
Southern food is everything they say it is, and more! It will give you a heart attack if you were to eat it everyday, but its still pretty damn amazing! So far I have tried all the essentials, fried chicken, BBQ pulled pork, corn bread, Mac and Cheese (which appears on the vegetable list… I know right?), and my favourite is most definitely the sweet potato biscuits I had at Mama Dips! Delicious!
Sweet Potato Biscuits
I’m going to ruin everyone’s assumption of America when I tell you that McDonalds just isn’t a thing here… you rarely see them and when you do spot one, they look like the McDonalds buildings we had in Australia about 10 years ago before they all got McCafe’s. Here in the South, Chick Fil A and Bojangles are the fast food of choice and I definitely understand why! Yum!
The little things…
On the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I set myself up in a shady spot on the lawn in front of my residence hall soaking up the summer heat, at 6pm, because earlier was way too hot. The Carolina Bell Tower rings every 15 minutes and you can hear it everywhere on campus. It chimed as usual at 6pm, but this time it continued to ring playing the tune of ‘America the Beautiful’. Little things like this that I hear or see without expecting too, make me so happy.
The Bell Tower on September 11 – 3000 flags remember 3000 people
Bynum Circle Fountain
I have so much more to share and hopefully it will be soon! Thanks for reading!