Well, it has officially been a month since I’ve packed up my bags and left home to come to England! It’s crazy to think how fast this journey has flown by (and still continues to). Only being here one month has already exposed me to so many different things and differences between England and the United States.
The most obvious difference being that they drive on the other side of the road. Thankfully I’m able to walk everywhere (or grab a bus), so there should never come a time where I would have to drive a car. Also, walking & biking are such huge things here. Manchester is a good size city with a lot of people and a lot to do so you constantly see people out and about walking to work, class, city center, etc. I remember my first few weeks here I had so many blisters on my feet because I had never walked that long for so many consecutive days before.
The second biggest difference to me definitely has to be the style here. Everybody dresses a little more “edgier” here. People are not afraid to mix and match different styles, patterns and colors. The best part is that nobody cares! Typically in the U.S. where I’ve been you notice people staring at you if you’re outfit doesn’t match, or if you’re dressed nicer than your peers around you. But here, everybody just keeps to themselves and dresses how they want to without caring what other people may think.
Before coming here, I had never heard of the stereotype that the British come across “cold” upon first impression; but now I can understand why some people think that. When you’re in a large crowd it is pretty easy to “spot the American” because they will probably be the loudest & most outgoing ones in the group. I’ve noticed when meeting new people I think sometimes I scare them because I may be a little too outgoing and chipper than what they’re used to. Nonetheless, they are still very nice people, it just takes a little longer for them to warm up to you.
Then of course there’s the weather. I had been warned plenty of times before leaving for England to get ready for the rainy, gloomy & cloudy weather. I’m the type of person that loves sunshine, the beach & a bright blue sky-so being somewhere where I don’t get that as much has definitely been a transition. But I would have to say it’s not been as bad as I thought it may be. Yes, it does rain a lot in Manchester; and yes, it’s not just a quick shower (typically it may last a good portion of the day). But lately the weather has been super nice with a blue sky and sun! With all the gloominess just helps you to appreciate when the sun does shine.
Everybody I have met in Manchester has been nothing but nice to me. Before coming here, I had no idea what to expect, what the town was like, or even what the university would be like. It is way more diverse than I expected; it feels as though there are more international students rather than British students. It has been so incredible to interact with people from all over the world and get to experience things I wouldn’t be able to experience back home. It has been a challenge, but it has been very rewarding. I look forward to all the new and exciting adventures I will get to go on in these next 4 months!