In my eight or so months here I've conjured up quite a few memories, made some goods mates,
and noticed more than a few differences.
Being a simple lad from the country I've been used to barn dances and playing traditional games such as musical chairs in order to have fun and as an ill-fated attempt to attract women. To my Horror I was introduced to grinding in my first week in America. Even if you don't want to partake in the 'dancing' I've found that getting across the room runs the risk of being caught up in someone else's grind or, worse still, a sandwich of people grinding.
2. The Accent
This seems like a pretty obvious point to make but the issue runs deeper; when I first came here nobody could understand what I said. To reiterate the last point I'm from a more rural part of Northern Ireland, and even in the cities back home they strain as they struggle to make out what I say. Perhaps the biggest problem however is the speed with which I talk. The words become slurred and some words don't even appear to be English; more than once people have congratulated me on learning English despite it being my native language. As for the southern accent (which may may not be present), it's much much slower, much much smoother, and much much more understandable.
3. This Accent Leads To New Words
The style of English I speak from day-to-day is technically another language called 'Ulster-Scots', although it's probably more of a dialect than anything. This has resulted in us saying some unusual words. Instead of 'yes' you're more likely to hear me mutter 'aye', and instead of 'hello' I'll say 'what's the craic', a term that frequently led to confusion and people to make connections to a certain drug. On other occasions I say words but they just appear very different, instead of pronouncing butter as 'but-ter' I usually find it easier and more natural to say 'buh-er', the t just doesn't make an appearance.For the most part Americans stick to actual English.
You American students love your time. Time is major difference and back in Ireland we take a rather laid back approach to time, so if the professor says class starts at 10 it actually won't really start until 10:05 or maybe even later, and accordingly I come around then. America has embarrassed me however, people here start class exactly on the hour everyday, and better still you all insist on showing up around 10 minutes early. To my detriment this has led to me being 'that guy'; the guy that stumbles in 10 minutes late each day, clearly disorientated and appearing to have just woke up (which I have).
I was also introduced to Fraternities for the first time. I chose not to join one but was fascinated with the very idea that they actually did exist and weren't just something I saw on bad neighbors. Although they actually turned out to be a lot different I enjoyed heading down to the houses to pass away a few hours (grinding excluded). I'd also just like to put it out there that sororities terrify me. It's an eclectic mix of organized screaming and cult-like chants which is impressive, and the sisterhood aspect I like, but it's downright terrifying at times.