So, at some point in time on this blog I wanted to talk about just random British stuff so that one day I can look back and think about how silly I was or something like that. Due to lack of brain effort, this would be one of those posts.
Overall, British fashion is just a lot more fun than American fashion. People take more risks on a daily basis. Girls who would probably be considered preppy girls still where like hipster accessories. There is a lot more personality in most people’s outfits (including the guys) which is awesome. Also, people don’t really get judged for wearing crazy stuff.
I’ll talk girl’s fashion first. Lots of accessories. Lots. I’d say 75% of girls on a daily basis are wearing scarves. Cool hair accessories are also super common.
In terms of clothes, lots of dresses with tights and boots or jeans with nice shirts. Once again, lots of personality. Ruffles, prints, embellishments galore.
One thing that is not cute in girl’s fashion over here is that it is really common for girls to wear like shorts with tights and boots. Imagine colored tights with destroyed denim shorts and boots. Not cute.
Heavy eye makeup is really common, but that’s really the only difference in terms of makeup.
Guy’s fashion. They actually once again have personality. Guys I would say wear scarves like 50% of the time. Messenger bags are common. Hats are also common.
I don’t think I have seen a single person wear like a polo shirt or anything super boring like that.
I think that is all I got. Sorry if this was boring :)
Ok, so I know I haven’t posted in a while, like over 3 weeks, but I’m going to start posting more stuff soon. Tonight, I’m just going to talk about this trip and do a random post on British stuff because I wanted to do that at some point too. I’ll post hopefully more interesting stuff later including stuff about the last 3 weeks and such. This was another fun day trip that I took last Saturday. Here are some random tidbits.
We went to Durham first which is a really pretty small city. The main attractions are obviously the cathedral and the castle. Seriously, I feel like every town in England has some majestic cathedral and castle. Anyways, we wanted to go into the castle, but you can’t go in the castle unless you go on the tour and the tours didn’t start till 2 which is when we were leaving. So, no castle.
We ended up taking a tour of the cathedral instead. The cathedral was beautiful. Obviously, you couldn’t take pics inside, but it was gorgeous. It was just my flat mate and I who went on the actual tour led by some very official ladies in like robes. When I say it was just my flat mate and I who went on the tour, I mean that it was just the two of us that were on the tour with these two ladies not just that we were the only people we actually knew. It was awkward. Possibly because when the tour started they asked if we were members of any church and both of us were like “No, no, I’m not.” I’ve never felt more judged in all my life then when both ladies just kind of made like an “ahh” noise. I feel very awkward in a church.
Moving on, we went to a market place afterwards and got lunch and shopped.
The bus then took us to the Metrocentre which is like a fucking humongous mall that has its own rail station and like is sectioned off into other malls by color. It’s big. Like real big. We for some reason decided at first to walk around to find the stores we wanted, but very quickly realized that was a dumb idea and got a map.
I got a new scarf and a dress from Primark which is like my new favorite store. All for like 8 pounds too.
This is really all I can think of. It wasn’t that exciting of a day trip, but it was still a lot of fun. I really need to do these things the night of, so I can actually remember shit. Pictures are below :) (btw the reason I’m not in any of these pics or in a lot of the other day trip pics is because at some point of the day it usually ends up raining and then my hair is like standing on the top of my head so …)
So last night there was a kind of weird tour of the town hall led by the mayor and mayoress for all the exchange students. Here are some of the highlights lol. Most of my pics were crape because the lighting was so bad.
The courtroom in the pictures was used in the Alice and Wonderland movie.
The mayor was talking to all of us throughout the tour. He asked where I was from and I tried to explain where North Carolina is and where I live in North Carolina. It was kind of funny.
The mayor was joking the whole time and even danced at one point. He was wearing some very official shoulder thing though so it was just a weird combo.
Nothing really else exciting lol. We tried to find someplace that served food in Lancaster and not just alcohol at like 8 pm after the tour was over and seriously could only find like mcdonalds and super fancy places with like hour waits. We just went back to the university.
Quick summary of the amazing trip I took today to the Lake District.
I went with flat mates and some other exchange students. These trips are organized by the university and anyone can go on them. It only cost like 15 pounds too.
Today, I visited Kirkstone Pass, Glenridding, Ullswater, Keswick, Grasmere, Ambleside and Windermere. Yeah. It was awesome.
I honestly don’t remember a lot about it besides it was absolutely beautiful. The pictures do not do it justice. The Lake District is gorgeous. Between the lakes, the streams, the mountains and the adorable little towns, the Lake District is awesome (even in January).
As previously mentioned, I had hot chocolate on a snow covered mountain in the most adorable little mountain lodge ever.
I visited the grave of William Wordsworth and the cottage he lived in for a lot of his life.
I got “world famous” gingerbread and fudge. The number of like sweet shops in these small towns is ridiculous btw.
I can’t really think of anything else, but it was too beautiful to be real at times.
Okay. So after the semi-angry blog about my sexuality, I thought I would just give an overall analysis of my life right now. Honestly, I don’t know if I believe that life could be going any better than it is right now (besides one point that I’ll get to later). I couldn’t be prouder of the person I am and how much I have accomplished/grown in the past year (hell, the past couple months). Sexuality completely aside, I have never been more clear on what I’m all about and what my goals in life are. I’ve come so far in dealing with issues or things that I’ve struggled with my whole life. I still have things to work on, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what they are and I’m trying to acknowledge/deal with these issues as much as possible. Also, I’m in fucking England. Like what? I still don’t believe it. Today I went on a tour of the Lake District. I drank hot chocolate at 1500 ft above sea level on a snow covered mountain in Northern England. Like seriously? What the fuck. I’m meeting new people and seeing some amazing new places. I seriously had difficulty sleeping the first couple of nights I was here because I was so excited. Now being here is amazing, BUT what’s even more amazing and the thing that seriously brings me to tears when I think about it (I’m really not kidding … like seriously no sarcasm) is knowing that I have the most incredible friends back home who love and accept me just the way I am and who will be there when I get back. The only way this experience could get any better is if you guys were here to share it with me. So in honor of my amazing friends, I plan on doing a post about each one of them to tell them how much they mean to me and how amazing they are. I really do miss all of you guys! I’m probably going to start with members of certain cult and then move on to my other amazing friends. This will probably be drawn out over a little while because I want them to be well thought and not have a hundred grammatical errors like this post probably has. Cheers!!!
So, meeting new friends while studying abroad has raised the question, “How long after meeting someone new do you tell them that you are bi?” So, in the previously mentioned conversation that I was having with my flat mates about hot guys, it dawned on me that this was probably when most people would mention their sexuality. I hadn’t even thought about telling them before this because I had known them for like a week, but if you are having an hour long conversation about Gerald Butler and Ryan Gosling with someone than that sort of implies some sort of friendship. I, however, did not tell them because I’m kind of a crazy person who has to already have it planned out and be in control of the conversation before revealing ANYTHING personal to people. Sharing details about myself has never been my forte which is very much something I’m working on (and the main reason why I’m writing this right now). The only other time I really saw the opportunity to tell my flat mates is when we were discussing the kind of art we were looking at in my women’s studies class. One of my flat mates was like joking and sort of mockingly said of feminist artists “I love boobs!” like pretending to be one (It was a joke and it made more sense in context). I thought about saying “Omg, me too,” but I thought that would be awkward. Haha. Otherwise the opportunity hasn’t really presented itself for me to mention it, so stay tuned.
So Bob. Btw his name is not actually Bob (see next point). Bob is the boy that I met at the airport. I know enough about him to know that I want to know more, but I wouldn’t say this is an actual crush yet. I’ll give kind of a list of pros and cons. First off, he is cute and nerdy. He is confident, but socially awkward which is kind of my type. On the other hand, he is a little bit too socially awkward. It takes a couple of minutes in a conversation with him for him to become not awkward. After those couple of minutes, he is not really awkward at all and is actually pretty charming. Seeing him talk with other people, he is like this with everyone. It’s fine to be awkward for a while, but the more conversations you have with someone the less awkward it should get with someone. I don’t know if it ever will with him.
I’m going to refer to anyone I’m interested in on this blog as either Bob or Sally. If there is more than one boy or girl that I am interested in during my term here (which there probably will be), they will be referred to as Bob2 and Sally2 respectively. I’m not very fond of the name Sally, but I can’t think of another common girl’s name besides Sally which is sad.
Yes, the British boys here are amazing. They do smell amazing, they dress like models (lots of scarves and pea coats), and they really do add like darling to the end of their sentences when talking to you (once again, would normally make me hurl, but couldn’t be sexier in a british accent). Sadly, I’m still in exchange student land and only really hanging out with other exchange students. I will change this soon. I promise. (This point is included because it was directly asked by some girl named Lark and I’m sure she will eventually read this because she is a creeper.)
I’m not going to go by days anymore because that’s just too much work, but I’ll go by class and then give an overall summary.
Women’s Fucking Studies: I skipped Monday and hated the lecture on Tuesday. We went over what news is. Yeah. Also, construction was going on right outside so there was a constant drilling noise and I wanted to go far far away and never return.
Math: Got a lot harder. Going to have to work my ass off. Still math though.
Music: We listened to everything from Beyoncé to Springsteen during lecture. This may be my favorite class.
Peace Studies: Lecture boring. I’m the only American in recitation and there is a lot of anti-American sentiment, so I’m being careful with what I say. I don’t want to be attacked by like 20 people. Also, I’ve realized I do not know a lot about British politics. I can, however, say that I know more about British politics than my classmates know about American history. Basically all of the students in my class think that the majority of the white community was for racial integration in the 60s because “they came to their senses about the inequality between whites and blacks.” Yeah. Actual quote from class. I tried to correct them, but they didn’t really believe me.
English: Boring poetry from the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Blahh.
Summary: Not a lot happened this week. I went and saw Jane Eyre which was amazing. The club sign up thing didn’t have any of the clubs I wanted to sign up for. I did go into town for the first time by myself and I didn’t get lost. I got a new pair of boots that don’t kill my feet and McDonalds! I haven’t had fast food since I’ve been over here lol. On the way back, I sat on the top of a double decker bus in the front seat (I hadn’t sat in the front before) and it was really cool. At one point, I was the only one up there and probably looked insane.
Due to the fact my internet sucks, I’ve been typing up my blogs on word and then waiting for good internet connection to upload them. Some of the blogs I’m about to post were written a couple of days ago. That’s why I am posting like 5 long posts at once. I hate my internet.
So, I’ve been on tumblr for like almost two hours so I’m getting kind of tired of blogging. I’ll return later to blog about one or two other things. My summaries of my week will eventually get to like one sentence, but everything is still new and exciting.
Btw I really would like to skype with some people tonight or later this weekend. :)
If you are reading this, Rayna this includes you. We haven’t talked in like a week. :(
I had my women studies’ recitation thing and omg. First off, I wasn’t in the class till Tuesday so I missed the lecture on Monday and I only skimmed the reading (bc it pissed me off) and everyone in that class is either a women’s studies major or something like that (They don’t have general education requirements so in any class your mainly in it with people who are actually majoring in that subject) and I was one of the most talkative, intelligent people in there. We separated into groups and for the first exercise I spoke up for my group when she went around and asked what was your group’s opinion on this or that which I don’t mind at all and then when she came around again for something else I looked at my group members (thinking I should let them talk too) who all just looked away. Like really. Most of the girls in that class are really soft spoken and have like self-confidence issues. It’s almost sad. But yeah, it was like the easiest, most common sense stuff you have ever heard of. I think I may keep the class and just skip the lectures and not do the reading to get three extra credit hours.
Nothing else has really happened today and I haven’t learned any lessons yet so I think that’s the end of this post.
Over here, a lot of the classes are year round, but they let students join second semester. It’s really awkward though to join a class that has already been going on for a term. My literature class and peace studies class are like this.
In renaissance literature, we talked about Edward II. Lots of good talk about boy on boy action lol. Teacher good. Class chill. That’s about it.
In intro to peace studies, the teacher has a really strong Middle Eastern accent and is hard to understand. Interesting though. Felt out of the loop though because he kept referring to things from last term. He also ran lecture like five minutes over which was annoying.
Math workshop was so much fun. First off, out of 15 people only 6 showed up including me. We just worked problems and did a really cool proof. It made me smile. Workshop leader guy super cute and super nice.
Didn’t really get anything else done the rest of the day.
I may get annoyed with math sometimes, but I really do love it. I’ve realized this btw like probably a million times by now.
I had two math lectures and one Women’s studies class (yeah, we’ll get to that in a minute) on Tuesday.
I had found the building that my math class was in no problem, but I couldn’t find the lecture hall, so I asked the receptionist at the front of the building “Excuse me, where can I find lecture hall 2?” These three British girls were standing nearby and heard me ask her. When I was done getting directions and started to walk away, they mocked me by repeating what I said. Now at this point I was this close to insulting these girls or whatever, but I stopped myself because I really don’t need to make enemies at this school when I’ve only been here a week. Also, I really don’t want to stoop to their level. But yeah, that kind of pissed me off. Overall, UNC is a much nicer and friendlier place than Lancaster (and every other college I’ve been to for that matter) and that is just one of the reasons why Carolina will always be home to me. J
Math was awesome. The teacher is amazing. The classes are taught in like lecture style with huge classes and then you have like a recitation type thing later in the week. The material has to do a lot with complex numbers and uses of complex numbers which is really cool. Also, in math classes here they give you a typed up version of the notes where you just have to fill in some stuff which is pretty awesome. The one bad thing about math classes here is that everyone seems to know everyone since they are all second year math students who have been in the same classes with each other since first semester first year so it’s kind of cliquey.
Women’s fucking studies. I’m taking this class to fill a requirement that not a lot of classes here will fulfill and I still may drop it (see Friday for why I may keep it). I promised myself I would never take a women’s studies class because nothing bothers me more than whining, annoying girls. I can now say after this one lecture that I dislike feminists more than ever. All these girls seemed like girls who were stood up at prom and never got over it. We looked at feminist art this week. I wanted to scream. They are so fucking sexist against men it’s ridiculous. They are not helping women in any way, shape or form. They are just sitting there complaining about being marginalized in society instead of actually doing something about it. The lecturer is the worst lecturer I have ever had. She read the entire time from a piece of paper.
I went grocery shopping in town and had dinner with my flatmates. We actually got to talking about boys and our lives and such (more on this convo in future post). During this convo, it struck me just how me I am (for lack of better words). I automatically was giving advice and preaching some of the same things or principles that I’ve preached to other people a gazillion times. I’m so me that it makes me laugh sometimes. That was lame, but it’s true.
Also, I got to skype with some of the most amazing people in the world on Tuesday night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You guys are like my second family and my home away from home and not eating dinner with you guys and not seeing you guys before I go to sleep and fifty million other things is extremely weird.
Even though I’m bi, there are some days when girls as a whole are not attractive to me in the least bit. Between the assholes who mocked me and the feminist hellhole that is women’s studies, this would be one of those days. Also, British guys are super cute, super nice, and add like darling to the end of some of their sentences when talking to you (this would usually make me hurl, but in a British accent it couldn’t be sexier). Also, my gaydar in terms of guys is completely off over here. I keeping thinking “Aww that was super nice or cute, but he is probably gay.” I then realize later that British guys do stuff like that all the time, and I think “Fuck, he was kind of cute too.”
I have AMAZING friends. I knew this before Tuesday, but I feel like it should be restated as much as possible.
I spent the first half of the day walking around getting signatures to add and drop classes to fix my schedule (Yes, you even need to get department signatures to drop a class). At the end of the day, I did, however, have all the classes I wanted (and Wednesdays off!!! ).
My music class is on the history of rock and roll in America. Yeah. It’s pretty awesome. What is even more awesome is I only have one two hour lecture a week on Monday and my entire grade in that class is based on one 4,000 word paper about any song, album or artist that we want to analyze. Yeah. Be jealous. When I got to this class, I ran into a couple of other exchange students (all from America btw) that I ended up sitting with in class. One of the girls is actually Jenny’s (the other girl from UNC) flat mate who I had met and talked to a lot last week. The teacher kept asking questions specifically to us (we were the only Americans) since he very quickly figured out that all the Americans were sitting in the same area right next to each other and this is a course on music in America. The teacher though is really really cool and chill. We listened to music for a good thirty minutes of class and then just talked about it. It may just be that this was a kind of class people take to just get a good grade, but a lot of the British students were really rude during class. They talked while he was talking, and didn’t really pay attention.
The other exchange students and I got really used last week to campus being kind of dead and it being mainly just us on campus. On Monday, seriously campus felt completely different and weird. It seems like most of the British students are very cliquey.
I don’t even remember what I did Monday night so yeah (I wasn’t drunk so don’t go there lol).
It really must have sucked when nothing was online because just walking around to get tons of signatures to drop and add classes was a pain in the ass.
UNC is awesome. I knew this already, but I figured I’d restate it.
Blahh. The inevitable start of classes happened this Monday and here are some random bits about them and about other things that happened that day and also what I learned from it all. Warning: I may complain a little bit about one or two things lol. I separated the days out into different posts because some are really long.
This is going to be a very quick summary of the my trips to Manchester and Chester.
First, Manchester. I went with my flatmate Kirsten to Manchester on Saturday to go shopping. Here are some random tidbits or things that I found exciting.
We took a train there from Lancaster and I seriously don’t even remember how long its been since I’ve been on train. The countryside was really pretty and we went through a bunch of smaller towns that were adorable.
Kirsten is 27 and I knew she didn’t know I was only 19. On the way to Manchester I brought up my age and she said that she never would of guessed that I was only 19. Apparently I can pass for a lot older than I am.
We just took the bus straight to the mall in Manchester, but we passed the town hall on the way there and it was beautiful. Like beautiful.
We were there for about four to five hours. Its humongous.
Now to talk about clothes. The clothes here are so CUTE. There are tons of sweaters, scarves, dresses, nautical things, and ruffles EVERYWHERE. I have not let myself buy any clothes yet because I have been buying other things I actually need, but yeah the clothes are pretty much amazing.
I did get everything I need though including a phone (!!!), a hairdryer, a blanket and another converter so I can actually plug two things in at once.
I did buy a cute pair of earrings and clip for my hair.
There is this awesome store called Aramark. It’s like Walmart, but the clothes are actually cute and good quality. It’s really cheap. I love it.
Kirsten is a shopaholic and I talked her out of buying many things. I am way more responsible with money than a 27-year-old apparently.
Now Chester. Almost all the exchange students went on a trip to the ancient walled city of Chester on Sunday. Once again here are some random tidbits.
Chester is like on the border of England and we were like 20 miles away from North Wales. I was freaking out that I was even that close to Wales.
Riding on the bus, I noticed people don’t tailgate each other at all and there were signs announcing in what areas police were doing speed checks.
I hung out most the day with Kirsten and this girl Devin who also lives in my college. We walked the entire length of the wall around the city and it was beautiful (as seen in the pictures below).
We once again went to Aramark and I got this adorable bag that I can totally use as a bookbag to carry school stuff in for 8 pounds (like $12) and I am super excited.
We didn’t actually get to go inside the cathedral because there was Sunday morning mass and the tour guide in the afternoon was sick or something, but the outside was beautiful.
In a candy shop that sold a lot of American goods, a guy went over to a box of fruit loops and told his friend “These appear to be fruity cheerios.” His friend was like “Hmm, that’s interesting. I’ve never heard of those before.” They were both extremely amazed by this box of fruit loops. He then took a picture with the fruit loops and I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. I should of totally gone up to them and been like my cat is named after that cereal, but I didn’t think about it at the time.
At lunch, I ordered my first legal drink. It was just wine and I have had a couple of other drinks since I’ve been here that are a little bit more hardcore than wine, but I felt badass ordering a drink.
I’m going to try to not stop writing on this blog, but long written posts like this may be more rare within a couple of days.
After a day and a half of orientation, a tour of the BEAUTIFUL city of Lancaster. This was a quick tour of a lot of places that I will definitely will be going back to some of these places. Here are some pictures. I’ll try to remember all the history, but I’m not promising anything.
Manchester United airport and arriving at Lancaster
I ran into the other girl from UNC as soon as I got there which was cool.
A group of two girls and a guy who are all exchange students at Lancaster came up to me when I was waiting (I still don’t know how they knew I was going to Lancaster) wondering how to get to the shuttle service. So, when I had only been at the airport for like thirty minutes, I had already had like several long conversations with people which is weird since it is an airport in a foreign country where you think I wouldn’t know anyone or have anyone to talk to before even finding the representatives from the university that were there. One of the girls is also a math major and she is taking some of the same classes I am and she seemed nice.
Since the coach from the airport came only every couple of hours, a group of students would begin to gather with the representatives to wait for the next bus. When I got there, there was only one other guy there named Bob. First off, he is pretty dorky and awkward which is adorable. Just to tell you how awkward he is, today I met another girl from his state and she brought up that she had met a boy from where she was from who was sort of awkward and I was like “Is his name Bob?” and she was like “YEAH! How did you know?” So, yeah. Apparently, I like that. So, it was just the two of us sitting there and he was like “You wanna go check out the airport?” and I was like “Sure, let’s go!” We proceeded to walk around the part of the airport we could get in without like taking a bus to someplace else (which was actually really small, like we practically circled it twice) for probably more than twenty minutes and he adorably admitted he hadn’t flown before and that he got the money over here confused. So, yeah. We didn’t talk today though because we were in different groups the whole day for orientation. We did say hi a couple times though . (Fyi I still don’t know how much I’m going to talk about my love life on this blog. We’ll see how it goes.)
I also met another girl during this time who is also a math major and taking some of classes I am. I think this place is full of math nerds and I couldn’t be happier about that.
On the bus to Lancaster BBC radio was playing and I got really excited.
After dropping stuff in room and meeting flatmates, we went to the free dinner they had for exchange students. They serve alcohol at school functions. Not only did they serve alcohol at this dinner, they didn’t serve anything else. It was just wine, but I thought that was awesome.
The actual flight from Georgia to London was uneventful (except for watching the videos below while trying not to wake up the people around me by laughing so hard). Here are some of the things I saw or freaked out about during the hour and a half at was at this airport.
First off, this airport is so BIG! It’s crazy.
Everyone either had a British accent or was speaking in another language and it was magical.
During security, a female security guard came up to the male security guard who was passing my stuff through the scanner thing and the was like “HI, insert male security guard’s name here.” The male security guard was like “Hi, insert female security guard’s name here” and gave her the cutest kiss on the cheek as a greeting and it was the like adorably british and just plain ADORABLE. He also kind of knocked her glasses off a little bit when he kissed her and she turned to me and was jokingly like “Don’t you hate it when guys kiss you on the cheek and knock your glasses” and I was just like “Yeah I know doesn’t it suck.” Hehe. I was freaking out at this point thinking “OMG I love this place.” She then went on to tease him a little bit more and it was adorable.
At one of the stations, a girl and a boy in their 20s were standing in front of me and the girl was going to Manchester and boy was flying to California. When they got up to the attendant, the attendant stopped the guy and said that he couldn’t go any further because it was for international flights. The girl was like “Can’t he come just a little bit farther,” and as soon as the attendant said no she broke down in tears. It was SO sad. They just seemed like star-crossed lovers who had met up in London. I saw her later (she was on my flight) and she still looked like she had tears on her cheek.
I thought I had more mini stories to tell, but I can’t think of anything else.