As an American studying abroad in England, before I arrived in this country, I did not expect that I would get a big culture shock. I was wrong. The similarities that the United States and England share are just above the surface. Once I arrived in England, I felt that I completely skipped Stage 1 and I went straight to a mixture of Stage 2 and Stage 3. If anything, I experienced Stage 1 before I arrived with my ideas and expectations of what I thought England was going to be, but my ideas and expectations were probably a little bit too high.
The feelings of irritation, frustration, homesickness, depression, and helplessness were experience the first 6 hours I landed in England! But I already talked about that in my previous post. Let’s just say my first day in England was definitely rocky and it didn’t help with my exhaustion and jet lag. Put me into a situation where I am tired, hungry, and have no Wi-Fi or cellular network and I feel very vulnerable and upset.
However, I have grown past all those feelings and have bettered myself to be a stronger and more independent individual. I’ve gone through Stage 4 by taking each day at a time and making new friends while I am studying abroad. When you experience new challenges and changes all at the same time it can be very overwhelming, however the best thing to do is just to tackle each challenge and change one step at a time. I have met new friends from all over the world and it’s so wonderful to learn about their different perspectives in life. It allows me to broaden my mind by being more humble, accepting, and understanding.
Currently, I am at Stage 5. I am well adjusted to my new life here in England and I’ve gotten used to many of the new challenges and changes I’ve experienced in the beginning. There are moments while I’m walking on the street and I just feel so blessed to be studying abroad in England. While it is much colder in England than in Florida, I would not want to go back. If I had the chance to stay in England longer, then I would definitely take that chance! My 5 months in England just doesn’t feel long enough. As much as Dorothy wanted to go back to Kansas, I don’t want to go back to Florida.