After the Honeymoon

Vera Iwankiw
October 29, 2013

Last week was the stress-filled midterm’s week. I had two tests and two essays due. I have more essays due in successive weeks. I spent most of my time in my room writing and studying as opposed to exploring last weekend.

The intensity of midterms has inspired me to write about what I miss from America. America is all about comfort and ease, and while I love Europe, freaking out about finals made me realize that I miss certain comforts and regularities, as listed below:

  • Right of way- I know I have probably complained about this already, but I feel as if my life is in constant danger when crossing the street. I almost got ran over by a bus when I supposedly had the “green man”. Constant vigilance is needed in London.
  • Water fountains- Asking for tap water automatically marks me as an American, but I would really appreciate somewhere to fill up my water bottle. I don’t understand how people stay hydrated properly here.
  • Ranch- I can put ranch on everything at home- pizza, chicken fingers, veggies, you name it. There is no ranch here and every other salad dressing kind of tastes like mayo.
  • Smiling people- When walking down the street, no body smiles at anyone else. Maybe it is because I am from the Midwest, but I expect at least a quick smile or head nod.
  • American dollars- It sounds silly, but having to think in pounds can sometimes just be exhausting. Also, every time I travel, I feel like I am using a different currency, and it is sometimes hard to keep track.

This list does not mean that I am not enjoying myself here- I really am! There are just certain things I really miss about America and being stressed ignited my desire for the familiar.

It is also about half way through the program, so I think it is totally natural to start feeling a little homesick. I even looked it up, this is normal. We are all past the “honeymoon” phase of study abroad; things are not as new and exciting as they used to be. But no worries, I am traveling to Scotland and Ireland in the next two weekends, and I’m sure that will banish all melancholy thoughts!

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Vera Iwankiw

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I was born and raised in Chicago, where I grew up learning about my Ukrainian culture and language. I currently attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and am studying Human Development with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. I play on the university&rsquo;s club water polo team and synchronized swimming team and am active in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I have traveled internationally to Ukraine, Canada, and Mexico for vacation and Cape Town, South Africa for a service learning trip. In the future, I hope to continue my studies in law school, with the hope of one day practicing as a family law or child advocate lawyer.</span></p>

2013 Fall
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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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