I’ve been missing for a while (again), but this time I have an extremely valid reason – I was firstly holidaying around the US, and now I’m settling in at my new home. After living a little more than the first two decades of my life at the same place, I’m now living away from home, because I’m doing my PhD at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The level of adulting (kindly excuse my use of crazy words) has gone up, people.
In the last couple of weeks, I have…
…learnt that packed lunches are a wonderful thing
…already got my first set of bruised scabby knees
…pulled/pushed doors in the wrong direction (way too many times)
…gotten a water account in my name (well they first named me Baner (first name) Jee (last name), but I got it changed after I’d laughed a full minute)
…left my water bottle in class (and then retrieved it the next afternoon)
…learnt that I can cook well enough and my experiments aren’t bad at all
…had a staring contest with a rabbit in front of my apartment building
…understood that if your front door is open and someone is moving around in your room, it’s probably just the maintenance guy fixing your window blinds(and not an intruder, so don’t scream)
…stuck to my resolution to wash dishes as soon as I’m done with them
…gotten lost in Walmart (and Target. And JC Penney)
…repeated myself several times (slowly) because my English is accented
…learnt that my English is accented
…been expressed deep commiseration and laments over the fact that I’m a doctoral student, and will probably stay here forever
…already gotten socialized to dread midterms
…confirmed that UIUC is indeed surrounded by cornfields, but what people leave out is that within those cornfields you have pretty much everything you might need
…visited the ‘Taste of Champaign-Urbana‘ and despite the live music and delectable food, been most excited by the froyo spoons which change colour when cold
…got a taste of what the (in)famous #gradlife is about
…observed the “Undergrad” and seen several stereotypes played out
…observed the “Grad” and seen several stereotypes played out
…realized that I’ll probably be okay.
Now these realizations/learnings were only in university, so you can imagine how much I was bombarded with while I was being touristy before I got here. It wasn’t as much of a culture-shock as it is a learning process. The widespread reach of American movies, TV series and Tumblr has done at least one thing – made American popular culture known to everyone.
And now I must go and study, because you know, Grad school and all that.
(I’m probably just going to chat with my flatmates about which restaurant we’re going to try out this week)