How to get an A+ in America, Weird words & Labor Day

So I have finally sorted my classes out, and after the first week I already have my favorite: Public Presentation (basically we have to stand at the front of the class and talk, yay) and I absolutely love my tutor, she’s a crazy mad women from Queens, NY who loves teaching and seems to quite like me.

Everyone here literally has so much enthusiasm and energy, and it especially shows in classes. To do well here you HAVE to show enthusiasm, answer questions, try and get extra credit (yes that is a real thing here) do your homework, assignments, read your books and show up to ALL your classses. (nerds..). I’ve already started to feel like i’m the annoying girl who constantly has her hand up in class haha, but I don’t care, this place has made me realise just how much I miss school! Putting your. hand up to answer a question, being all nervous it might be wrong and then feeling all clever and when you have got it right (I love it,) In the UK it’s so impersonal, but people learn in different ways and for many of my friends the UK University system works well for them. But personally, i’m a dork, I want my teachers to like me.

Weird Words
Also in class this week I very nearly made the brutal mistake of asking somebody for a ‘Rubber’… (a.k.a Eraser) It was only due to a previous conversation with a friend about Fringe’s (or ‘Bangs’ or whatever) that we got onto the discussion of how America has really strange words compared to England (you do, don’t deny it). We know the usual ‘Trash’ and ‘Sidewalk’ but recently i’m discovering more and more words like ‘Slacks’ (posh trousers) ‘Burner’ (hob) and Zucchini (courgette people!) I then suddenly remembered that a rubber (eraser) here means something veryyy different in the U.S compared to the UK. (It means a condom! (gasp!) and I had a minor chuckle to myself in class as to who funny it would have been if I had asked the person next to me if I could please borrow a rubber..

So what else has happened this week? Well, I discovered American clubbing, and my god it has been a SURREAL experience.

I had my first night out in NYC, with my friends from the UK. After walking around the city we eventually ended up in a club, with entry, a table and two bottles of Grey Goose vodka paid for by three gentlemen we had met in the queue. Now I am sure they were three absolutely charming gentlemen with no ulterior motive intended (ahem) but towards the end of the night, we went to the loo’s and decided it might be best to make a run for it and we got a cab home to our hostel. Which by the way I have to recommended – Hostelling International NYC on Amsterdam Ave – bedding and towel, beer garden, rec area, theatre and only $50 in NYC (amazing! website at the bottom.)

I also discovered clubbing in our town of Poughkeepsie, New York (wow!)
• So clubs here are FREE
• You can pay the bouncer $10 to que jump
• Vodka is SO cheap• Students have tabs (yep, TABS)
• They play amazing music (american house party, house, dance, alterntaive rock and everyone loves Blink 182.)
• They don’t check your bags or do pat downs
• People like to twerk – alot
• Pre-drinking is called ‘pre-gaming’
• People go for a slice of pizza at the end of the night (it’s literally one GIANT slice)
• In some clubs they have things going on like Hula hoop and Volley Ball
• Pulling is what you would expect to see in under 18 clubs in the U.K
• Everyone shares a cab home, even if they are going to different places – i.e. everyone pays $3 dollars to get in the taxi, they will literally ask people to sit on eachother to fill the taxi up as much as possible, then the taxi will drop off everyone accordingly (mental!)

We like sports
This week I also went to the gym (what?!) played some basketball, signed up for some clubs at the activities fair including Volley Ball, Marist Relay for Life *squals*, Skiing, Ultimate Frisbee, a Sorority and some other stuff.

On Saturday we went to the first College American Football Game of the season (Go Red Foxes!!) we had to be evacuated though due to a sudden massive storm appearing out of nowhere and the risk of the stadium being struck by lightning (awks). Literally one of THE most amazing storms I have ever been in.

I also met the Professor of the Television and Broadcasting class. On the discovery of my English accent he launched into much he loves the BBC and after chatting for several minutes about how much he loves Downton Abbey (honestly everyone loves that show here) he insisted on bringing me into his class to introduce me to all his students (omg) I was asked if I wanted to join the TV society and told I could maybe read College News (what!) Also this week I’ve got so badly bitten I’ve finally had to invested in some bug spray.

Today is also Labor Day which means no work and no classes 🙂

Hostelling International link:

Pictures of the week:

Sam x


My First Day of School.

Stressful would not be the word to sum up my day yesterday.

On discovery of my class timetable last week I had ended up with classes which a) I’ve already studied b) have no interest in studying, had been given c) 4 instead of 5 classes and d) no marketing or advertising classes (hello! That’s why I came to study here!) This was due to big mix up mainly on my home university’s end. Still I thought “it’s ok I’ll just swap some about and pick up another class it’ll be fine.”

No no. You see they have this thing here at Marist called “ad/drop” it’s where a certain carnage assumes itself from7:30am Monday morning where students anxiously sit at their laptops (or in my case get to Registrar office at 7:45am because i find out my account wasn’t yet working online) wait to frantically add and drop classes and hope they get the classes they want. Classes are mainly a maximum of 30 people per class so they get full VERY quickly. Very different from my 100+ business classes at home!

So yesterday from 7:45am I spent the whole day running around like a mad women, looking for professors, getting lost every 5 minutes, attempting to swap classes and refreshing the webpage every 20 seconds to see if the full classes i wanted had had a drop out, etc etc..

At about 5pm I left for home, I had managed to luckily swap a couple of my classes, dropped the ones I didn’t want, emailed the professors I couldn’t find, been made to take an “Art” class, as apparently you must always have 4 courses minimum for legal reasons (scary) seen my advisor 3 times and was eventually instructed to go home, wait for email replies and try again tomorrow. On top of all that, as I walked home I got massively rained on. Insult to injury to sum up my first bad day here.

Today, however was a complete turn around (YAY) after several emails last night I was greeted with 2 emails this morning: both to say I could study the 2 advertising courses I wanted to study. (Yes!!)The first Professor also invited me to the 1st class of Principles of Advertising today and so I had my very first class.

First Class: It rocked! My Professor (i love the fact we have to call them Professor!) is from Queens, NY has dreads and for an example of “What is Publicity” brought up the YouTube video of Miley Cyrus’s shocking performance at the VMA awards. Such a dude. There was about 32 of us in the class and it felt alot more personal and more like school compared to University back home, which i really like. We also had to do a “show and tell” and say what are names were, where we were from, interesting fact etc and everyone was of course again amazed that I’m from England (I literally don’t think I’ll ever get bored of that, or of how many people think I may have met Prince Harry. Lol)

I also had a message today to say my 2 friends are currently staying in NYC tonight and asked if I wanted to meet up with them and go out. So, as I don’t have class till 5pm tomorrow I’m now sat on the train on my way to Grand Central station, NYC for my first proper night out in New York City.

Man I love living here.

Sam x

The First Week of College.

It’s been a mad, exciting, surreal, weird and wonderful week.

We’ve had Orientation where I learnt things like; They DO use the grade system of A, A+ B etc (so much more fun than 2.1’s and 1’s!!) Campus “etiquette” i.e. how to be a polite human being around campus, who we need to talk to if we are feeling sad, how to change our classes and how to use the library (28 day loan people!!!)

Our group has expanded and become even more weird and wonderful and we’ve become very close as a group. I have developed the nickname ‘Geordie Shore’ from my lovely Israley/English friend Avi, as I am apparently very outgoing, loud and wear fake tan, lol. He insist it’s a compliment and we have the best team ever at Beer Pong.

The ‘accent.’ There have been mixed reactions about my accent, I had been under the complete pretense that over here everyone would LOVE my accent before I left, only to be greeted with the fact that in the city, nobody gave a crap I was British. Seriously, I could have been walking around with a monocle and top hat and no one would have batted an eyelid. However, College has been a completely different story, everyone is so excited about the fact I am from England!! and many have taken it upon themselves to imitate me (which is absolutely hilarious) “Hello I am from Eng-erl-land, please may I have a cup of tea?” I love it. I also love the fact that so many people in the U.S think that everyone knows everyone in England. “Oh wow! you’re from England! Do you know Caroline Eavestock? She’s also from England!” So funny.

Applebee’s. We’ve had a birthday already for my lovely french friend Alessandra, and we went to Apple Bee’s (eeek) we’ve been shopping and gone to the Mall, rushed to breakfast most mornings, (got up at 7am everyday this week except for today for orientation) and we’ve gone to an American house party and real American Diner.

I have learnt that American guys are on the other end of the scale of outgoing compared to British guys. Seriously, I was walking to meet some of the girls and could vaguely hear someone running shouting “ma’am! ma’am!” So i turned around, only to be greeted by an 18 year old American football freshman running up to me to say hello, insisting on giving me his number and then left me alone when he realised I was 22.. haha. To be honest i’m not actually as depressed about being 22 as I was in England as the drinking age here is of course 21 so I can still happily keep up my wine hobby.

Roomates. I moved into my new apartment and my 2 flatmates and roomate have moved in now too! and they are all wonderful girls. My roomate is from Brooklyn, New York! and the 2 girls next door are from Hawaii, yep HAWAII. I shamelessly asked them if they liked ‘Lilo and Stitch (don’t judge me, you were all wondering too) and they revealed that they love it and like to watch it when they get homesick and I nearly passed out with happiness.

This week. Overall it’s been a pretty awesome week and I am loving it here. The freshman have moved in and the Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors have moved back (i’m classed as a Junior Exchange Student by the way, i.e. 3rd year) and we have the Block Party and Fireworks tonight to celebrate (woo!!) Anyway i’m off to get ready, I can’t believe class starts tomorrow! More on that next week.

Sam x

Image: Hudson River and the Rotunda Building (Student Center)