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A Brit in America

Six weeks ago I had just moved from London to New Orleans and was only three days into the nine months that I will be spending at Tulane. It only took me those three days to fall completely in love with the city, the people and the University (although my Tulane love is decreasing in direct proportion to the huge amount of reading I am being given). Everything was amazingly overwhelming in those first few days, and almost every day since I’ve done something new, something that I probably wouldn’t have back home. Maybe it’s the sun, maybe it’s the accents, who knows, maybe it’s even the Boot, but since I’ve come to America I’ve been trying to say yes to (almost) every opportunity that comes my way.
During these first six weeks I have experienced a hurricane, a heatstroke, political campaigning and a workload that outstrips the one I had at home by miles. I have had my right to drink legally revoked (why, drinking age, why aren’t you eighteen?), have experienced the horror that is the Boot and have mortified myself on SafeRide. It’s safe to say that my life here is completely different from the one I left in rainy Norwich. So I’m going to try and keep you guys updated on any of the things that happen over here that blow my British mind — things I love, things that I think are mental, things that make me want to run straight for Louis Armstrong airport and have a strong cup tea on the flight home.
This week I am being crushed by the American Midterm – that evil creature that rears its head in the middle of every semester. Life here still feels like an extended holiday to me, but suddenly my diary is filling up with presentations, paper due dates and exams instead of city explorations, swamp tours and nights out in NOLA. Last night I went to bed, completely sober, at 3am, after staying up to write a presentation for the next day. This is a sorry state of affairs – back in England my life motto was ‘coast’. I coasted through every class, read what I needed to but managed to have an amazing time as well. Here at Tulane people seem so driven, the teachers are always giving pop quizzes, asking us to write responses and blog about our thoughts. I think I may finally be getting the hang of it though, by this evening all my work will be done and tomorrow night, when I go to bed at 3am, it will hopefully be because I’ve just got home.


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