Guest Post: Becoming An Intrepid Explorer

The twentieth century satirist William Bolitho once wrote ‘adventure must start with running away from home,’ and it is with this in mind that I intend to uproot myself in less than a week. I will be leaving my St Andrews comfort zone and going to the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, a place I have only ever visited on the World Wide Web.

Even while taking on the role of intrepid explorer I remain worried about a number of things. Adventuring, it seems, is a difficult task. Having spent the last year in a rented house with friends, I am anxious at the prospect of having a roommate (I am infamously messy). I can only hope that my roommate is famously tolerant or it is likely I will soon be hounded out of Landrum Hall on grounds of being a health and safety risk. Learning to tidy is probably the most important part of my preparation on the lead up to touching down at Dulles!

It is not only aspects of myself about which I worry, but the things I will leave behind too. I will miss my loved ones, afternoon tea and the enthusiasm with which Scottish people fry everything from spaghetti to chocolate bars.

However, these worries belie a much greater excitement for what I imagine will be one of the most socially and intellectually stimulating years of my life. Aspects of American college culture that are now alien to me, from sororities to football to Thanksgiving break, are things I am excited to get to know once I arrive.

There are of course certain things that have variously intrigued and confused me. Understanding how meal plans work, for example, took much longer than I imagine it should have. And after a year of haphazardly cooking for myself, mostly out of tins, packet-to-wok vegetables, and cake mix, I am definitely looking forward to re-entering the cafeteria system.

Moreover, the student organizations look fantastic and I can’t wait to immerse myself fully in Tribe life. I am hoping to forge links between societies at William & Mary and their St Andrean equivalents while I am in the States. Hopefully this will be a rewarding experience that will bring about as many challenges as triumphs and leave me a better-informed member of the Tribe community and beyond!

Nushy Rose is a third year International Relations study abroad student from the University of St Andrews. She lives in inner London and enjoys theatre, gigs, writing and reviewing. In her spare time Nushy dreams about becoming a poet and eats vast quantities of ice cream; all things considered, it is a very pleasant existence. She arrives in Williamsburg in just a few days.

About International W&M

The Reves Center for International Studies promotes, develops, and supports the global dimensions of learning, teaching, research, and community engagement at the College of William & Mary
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