Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

What is there to do but study?

It’s true that I spend the majority of my time working here, but that is not what this blog post is about.  It’s about what I do for fun.

The social aspect of clubs and societies is a really big deal in England – probably bigger than it is in America.  A theory I’ve read is that English people are so reserved that they need common ground upon which to connect with people.  I’m good with that, so I joined rowing (mostly because I wanted to do at least one Mansfield-only club, and because it’s the most British thing ever) and I made the university soccer team.  I might play soccer games for my college too, but I probably won’t go to practices due to time constraints.  Also, Mansfield has socials fairly frequently at college which always turn out to be quite fun and classy.

The first thing I can remember doing since my last post is rowing.  I did a trial day the first day of term.  I’ve rowed two times now, and I may say with complete certainly and honesty that I am, as the Brits would say, rubbish.  Complete rubbish.  I thought I was relatively athletic – I can run fast, and I was on two state championship soccer teams.  But I can’t even lift the bloody oars out of the water!  And I keep calling the oars paddles!  The thing is, I don’t lack strength any more than the others do – in fact, apparently the main part of rowing is in your thighs, and mine are quite strong(ish) – I’m just pitifully uncoordinated.  But I think rowing is fun.  Maybe not fun enough to warrant the 5:30am wakeups once a week, or all the hassle that comes with putting the boat in the water and steadying the boat while other people are rowing…but we’ll see how it goes.

It’s been great getting back into soccer.  The teams aren’t very successful so far, but that’s okay since it’s really a social thing for me.  I’m on the second team called the Furies – the first team (the Blues) are SO good!  I feel really secure where I am because I know I’m definitely not good enough to be on the Blues so I don’t need to try and prove that I should be moved up or anything.  Everyone on the team is really nice but I haven’t been able to go to a social yet.  Wednesday night is initiation, though, so that should be a good opportunity do get to know some people.

What else do I do that’s social?  Ugh, not much.  It needs to be improved.  I think I can only mention a few more times that I’ve hung out with people.

1. G&D’s, a great ice cream store where they are also famous for random things like their pizza bagels (which are exceptional – and how do you make an exceptional pizza bagel?!).  The second years and I met there 1st week to try to get Holly’s bike sorted out for me, but we couldn’t open the valve to fill the flat tire so I am still walking everywhere.  This needs to change, actually.  Anyway, it was a pretty good night  – the ice cream was phenomenal.

2. On Friday of 1st week Priya and I went to the college bar for karaoke night.  Lauren, Saskia (another second year) and Anisa were arriving just as Priya and I got there, and I ended up separating from Priya and spending most of the night with Lauren, Anisa, their friend Addie (a second year guy from Romania), and a few JYAs.  We sang some great songs – in HUGE groups of people, mind you!! – and it was this night that I realized how fun the pub culture could be.  After karaoke we went to G&Ds for the second time that week, and ate more ice cream over more conversation.

3. Champagne and Chocolates!  This was a great day AND night.  It was the day Lauren left, and I let myself sleep in, hang out and do some errands rather than working.  The night’s event turned out to be a lot of fun.  It was just so classy – everyone looked so formal and we were all sipping champagne and listening to live jazz music and, I mean, there was CHOCOLATE.  SO MUCH.  Why can’t America be like this?  I love England.

4. (3.5)?  At champagne and chocolates I mainly hung out with Priya, and afterwards she invited me to her room to watch a movie since Glee is on an annoying hiatus ALREADY.  We ended up talking and watching P.S. I Love You until 2:00am, which was great.

Honestly, I think this is all I can boast of having done in terms of social events and extracurriculars so far aside from a brief rowing social.  I feel like I’ve been kind of slacking socially these past few weeks.  It’s just that there’s SO MUCH WORK to be done here – more about that in the next post.  I’m going to try to kick it up a notch and forget my worries, and embrace this adjustment period of studying abroad.  I guess I’m not doing half bad so far.  Hopefully I’ll have more news for you next time!

Ari

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