Halloween is my favorite holiday, next to Christmas. I love dressing up and going trick or treating, carving pumpkins and bingeing on candy corn till I’m sick. Coming to Edinburgh though, I heard that Halloween wasn’t really a big deal in the UK, much to my disappointment. I learned later that it depends more on where in Scotland you are though. My flatmate told me the other day that in Glasgow, which is about an hour’s drive from Edinburgh, Halloween is even bigger than Christmas. Whatttt?! I still don’t really know what that means though. This part of the city, at least, isn’t very trick or treat friendly- most of the buildings are just student flats, uni buildings and restaurants, none of which advertised any sort of trick or treating. What sucks the most though is…. they don’t have candy corn here!!! ):
i can’t tell you how sad this made me. :
on the bright side though, I spent Friday night of that weekend hanging out with my flatmates and a couple friends in our kitchen. We didn’t go out, but we decided to dress up for fun anyway. Lacking the motivation or will to actually go out and buy a costume… I just went with the resources I had and came up with a totoro costume! (: The resemblence is striking yeah? :P
Sure, it was technically a bit early to be celebrating Halloween, since it was only the 29th, but in the end we were all too busy catching up with coursework on Sunday to go out and celebrate. I spent most of Friday eating candy and chocolate anyway… so I suppose that makes up for it. :P
Starting college can be a big transition. You’re moving to a new place, starting a new school and classes, and faced with making new friends in an unfamiliar environment. And, of course, there’s that whole “becoming an adult” thing. But, you’re also leaving a lot behind. Every new beginning means that an old chapter must come to an end. Leaving behind our friends at home may seem difficult, especially if they’re going to be a long distance away from you during the school year. Something I made sure to do was to spend a lot of time with them during the summer after high school. Of course, going to college doesn’t mean you’ll never see your friends again, or that you will no longer be friends with them. Good friendships will last if you put effort into them. It may seem hard initially. Coming into Caltech, it’s a sharp adjustment and many are caught up in the excitement of Orientation, Rotation, and starting classes. It may be hard to remember to check your phone frequently and to make time for phone calls and such. Rest assured that if you have other friends going to college, they’re probably going to go through similar things you will. In this transition period, it can feel like you’re going to immediately lose touch with people that mean a lot to you.
Let’s face it: the US loves being just a little different from everyone else. The obvious example? Units of measurement. As an international student from Canada, even I have no clue what’s going on half the time when my friends talk to me and use these weird nonsensical units. And I’ve literally lived on the border between Canada and the States for all my life. After a year here, I’ve finally got a sense of how the two systems of measurement compare and how you can more easily get your bearings with these weird units.
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!