Louder and quieter

By: Jade Mobbs

Flying into Baltimore on the day of Trump’s inauguration could perhaps be an accurate representation of what was going to come of my semester abroad. You know better than I do about how the election of this controversial president could affect the future of America and so I was aware flying from London that day, that it would be a subject I was inevitably going to be surrounded with. My predictions were true and although I’m often subjected to explanations of politics back home, it’s not something that comes naturally to me and so I won’t be talking about that.

However, that iconic day wasn’t just iconic for America, it was iconic for me and the change I was about to face personally living in a different country. I have now been on campus for a month and I can safely say Goucher College is full of an almost alarming amount of kind and inspiring people. Being from a busy city in which you are looked at suspiciously if you talk to anyone you don’t know, it’s lovely to encounter so many people who smile, say hello and want to know more about you. The British accent is both a curse and a blessing, as of course you can’t just blend in and act as if you know what you’re doing or what a dime is worth. But, it can also be quite entertaining after saying one word and seeing someone’s eyes widen as they realise where you’re from, which happens more often than I thought it would.

From a young age I loved to watch American sitcoms such as Friends and would always find it difficult to differentiate between our two countries but the difference becomes clearer each day at Goucher. A good example would be the volume of my classes, something I didn’t expect but perhaps should have done. It’s such a contrast from my very quiet, repetitive and almost clinical lessons back home. The professors and students have such enthusiasm and knowledge on a variety of subjects and its extremely enjoyable to be part of an abundance of energy. Despite my classes being louder, campus is quieter. I think this has something to do with the university social life in the UK being focused on drinking until you can’t remember last week, never mind last night, something I admit is the driving force for most of my weekends. But as some of you know who have already studied abroad and those of you who will during your time at Goucher, your experience isn’t about what you can do at home, it’s about doing what you can’t. Therefore, during my time in America I will be travelling around the country, engaging with the new culture and finally getting to see the places I used to watch on TV.

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