8 Nails On A Chalkboard For Foreign Students In The U.S.

8 Nails On A Chalkboard For Foreign Students In The U.S.

We've heard it all before...

1. “Oh you’re from London? My friend is from Liverpool! Maybe you know him: John Smith? Brown hair? Kinda tall?”

Just because your friend lives in the same country I am from, it doesn’t mean I automatically know him. To put it into perspective, London to Liverpool is a four-hour drive without traffic. That’s the same amount of time it takes to get to Vegas from Los Angeles - and you even cross state lines!

2. “Whereabouts in London? Oh yeah, totally heard of Shepherd’s Bush…near Buckingham Palace, right?”

When they ask you exactly where you’re from, and then pretend they know where that is. Having only been to New York City once, I would never ask a New Yorker where in New York they lived, and whether they can see the Statue of Liberty from their bedroom window - although admittedly, that would be very cool.

3. “Oh, your favorite TV show is American? How come? Aren’t you from England?”

First of all, I’d be surprised if aliens hadn’t spent the last 20 years watching Friends, and secondly, I am from England- not from under a rock. We get TV there too, people!

4.“Do we have accents to you?”

Let me ask you one thing: if you moved to China for a couple of years, would Chinese magically start sounding not-Chinese? Way to go, making me feel like a minority!

5. “So wait, if you’re from England, why are you here?”

I’m sitting in class and trying to focus on the education my parents are paying for, not standing in immigration in the airport. As a foreign student, having this question fired at you is frustrating. I’m not here just biding my time. I’m here to learn- just like you.

6. “You have an accent!”

I’m not even going to grace this with an explanation.

7. “You can’t have an opinion on American politics because you’re not from here.”

As a Political Science major, this was one of the most ridiculous statements I have heard since moving to America - and it was spoken by an Arts major. As a foreigner, one may have even more perspective on their host country’s political system. It is easier to view it from the outside, with some objectivity and outside experience.

8. “Go back to where you came from!”

This one mainly applies to Caucasian foreign students. If you were to yell that at a student of color, you wouldn’t get the same, relaxed reaction. It’s still rude, even if I am white.

Cover Image Credit: Kat Jayne

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10 Things To Do When It Just Isn't Your Day

Don't let the bad day blues get you down.

We have all had our fair share of under the weather, no good, very bad, sad and rainy days. No one is a stranger to the days that hiding under the covers feels like the only right thing to do. All you know is that you don’t want to feel this down, so what do you do next? Look no more! There are plenty of fool proof ways to survive that seemingly impossible day. Personally tried and tested, at least one of these methods is bound to help. Follow these tips and tricks to keep your head (and heart) above water:

1. Eat whatever you want.

You know that the first thing to come to mind after and during a rough day is what your next meal will be. TREAT YOURSELF! Do you want that family size bag of chocolate pretzels? Eat the entire thing. In one sitting.

2. Take every possible opportunity for a nap.

What better to do after a big meal than to enter into temporary hibernation. Sleep that day off. Catch some Z's and drop your problems.

3. Drink a cup of tea/hot chocolate.

Let a good cup of tea or hot chocolate heal your soul with its cozy and sweet embrace. This step is ESSENTIAL for a cold or rainy day.

4. Watch a whole lot of Youtube/Netflix.

Been meaning to binge The Office? Today is your lucky day! Life gave you a swift kick in the behind and you can find your healing in Michael Scott's puns.

5. Cry.

Just let it out. If you need to cry a new great lake, so be it. No one will judge, we've all been there.

6. Find someone to vent to.

Phone a friend. Or find one to hold you during # 5. Regardless, find someone to listen to you vent about your big bad day.

7. Take a long walk...to your fridge (Repeat Step 1)

So you've eaten and taken the nap but all of that sleeping burns calories. You are a growing human being, aren't you? You deserve that second round of junk food.

8. Find a dog and pet it.

This step cannot be skipped. The experience of petting a sweet and loving dog of any shape or size is instant healing.

9. Listen to that playlist.

You know what this is for you. For some, it's listening to more sad music when you're already sad. For others it's french club music or maybe even classical. Genres aside, you know just what playlist is going to get you through this.

10. If all else fails...call your parents.

If you gather anything from this, do not take this step for granted. A call to a parent or family member might just be the clarity you need. Besides, you know they would love to hear from you.

Good luck and remember that tomorrow is a new day!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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A Familiar Monologue No One Likes To Talk About

A brief glimpse into the pitter-patter of college students on autopilot and the sadness we like to avoid

We all know the drill. The alarm clock rings or some song, whichever you’ve decided you want to hate forever, begins to play. Through blurred eyes, you hit “snooze” and roll over. Two hours later your eyes open and you fly (or fall if you sleep in a loft, like me) out of bed because you’ve overslept. Again.

After throwing pants on (because sleeping pantless is always the move unless Mother Nature has decided to pay her monthly visit), you scramble together the world’s messiest peanut butter sandwich and book it to class with two minutes to spare.

You make it to all your classes and sit wide-eyed in each lecture hall while your professor reminds you of all the ways you don’t actually keep up with world events in the capacity you wish you did. Then you hurdle your body off to the coffee shop across Grounds where you’re meeting with an all too frequently neglected friend. You shut down the conversation after exactly an hour, apologize, and hit the library in order to cram write your class blog post due in thirty minutes. You pass the rest of the day like a zombie on autopilot, taking care of various assignments and following through on certain commitments….

And then it all stops.

You sit on the floor of your room and actually pay attention to that subtle nudging of a feeling you’ve had all day. And you realize you’re actually just sad. It might be disappointment or loneliness or exhaustion but it’s there, begging you to acknowledge it. So maybe you go take a second shower in order to cry without fear of interruption. Maybe you flip on Netflix because, hey, it’s easier to live in a fake world that requires no vulnerability on your part than it is to actively choose a mundane reality.

You wonder if anyone else feels this way –detached from the day, like a sleepwalker – and type out a flippant text to a friend about not feeling too great and then you switch the phone off. You pull on your dad’s old, oversized college sweatshirt with tattered sleeves and hit the lights. Perhaps people will think you’re asleep and ignore you. Climbing into bed for the night, you know you probably will just lay there awake with your eyes shut for the next five hours but you pull the covers up anyway.

But your phone buzzes – your friend says she’s outside.

Rolling off the bed and down the stairs, you knock on the stilled car window of the minivan humming patiently in the street with its hazards on. She looks up from the radio, opens the door, and pulls you into a hug. And you feel a little more awake to the day than you did before. Find those people in your life who are willing to join you in the low spots when you have nothing to offer in return and don't take them for granted.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash: Xavier Sotomayor

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