Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag De eerste week
2 september 2014
De eerste week
First I want to let you know that I will write my blog in english so my non-dutch friends can read it too. Also want to apologize in advance for grammar errors or poorly written sentences. I'm not a great writer.
So this is my first week in Gainesville. I've been here now for twelve days. It is hard to really tell what it feels like to experience everything I am experiencing right now. It's first of all so overwhelming to take everything in, concerning your senses. Everything looks, feels, smells, hears and tastes different. This impacts you in other ways then you might expect. It is fascinating to see how you are influenced by all of it.
I'll start at the beginning, as some of you might know I really don't like flying, but I had a great flight and the whole journey to Gainesville went without any difficulties. I landed in Orlando and a taxi to downtown Orlando took me to my bus heading to Gainesville. Once arrived in Gainesville, I was very tired, my sweet (international) navigator Torri picked me up and I stayed at her place the first night. The next day we went to get breakfast and bought some stuff at target. It's funny to see the different food options you'll get here. You can get some sort of fries for breakfast or waffles with a lot of whip cream and super sweet syrup. Also everybody is really friendly and polite to each other. It really differs from the Netherlands. Everybody says sorry and thank you for every little thing to each other. Also people (you don't know really well) greet you with how are you instead of just a hello. After Torri, who was a great help, dropped me of at my apartment and I was alone in my room organizing all my stuff I felt like I didn't know anymore why I wanted to go to Florida in the first place and leave all my friends and family at home. My roommate was very nice though and we went to the gym, pool and shopping groceries. These were nice distractions and helped me to stay quite calm. The amount of fastfoodrestaurants here is by the way surprising, just as the fact that artificial fat food is way cheaper than fruit and vegetables. It annoyed me at first but I found a nice grocery store with normal food.
The next day, wednesday evening I had an introduction for all the international students, this is where I got to know all the dutch students. Apparently we are with a lot this year. I think we are with 13 in total of which 9 were at the meeting and the others we randomly run into at the street or in a bar. I was so glad I found some dutch students because they made me feel more at home immediately. We started a group app and plans were made quickly.
Me and a dutch girl I met here, Marenne, met the next day to get ourselves a bike. We biked around the campus which is very green and beautiful. All the buildings are quite new and very big. It was nice to bike, a little reminder of home.
Me and some dutch, international and american students have been going out a couple of times, to (salsa) bars, backyard parties and parties at students' houses. To me it's funny that some bars also have an outside part. So while it is already late in the evening (people go out here earlier and bars close at 2) it is still warm so you'll wear shorts and a top, you can dance while looking at the stars and you'll see lightning in the distance, because there are thunderstorms here every day. It gives me some sort of magical feeling. I already love it. Also the music is different, a lot of bars play hiphop/rap/dubstep music. It's fun though.
Then on monday school started. The first week is a drop/add week so you can change your courses if you want to. Eventually we could pick every course we wanted to even if they were already full thanks to our guy Jeff from the psychology office. So the courses I will be taking here are: psychology and law, political psychology, comparative psychology (animal behavior) and a class from the department of religion just for fun. I'm really excited about these classes and so glad I could just pick whichever course I liked.
I've already done so many cool things next to partying and meeting new people. We went to the football game this saturday, the stadium is immense big and the energy you feel when everybody is so excited especially the ten seconds the game was actually playing. Because of the heavy rain and thunder the game was canceled after waiting for three hours. I had a great night though because of everyone I spend that evening with and just being in Gainesville.
Next to the game and partying we've also already went to St Augustine beach, snorkeling at a beautiful cave filled with ice cold water, we had our first tailgate, spend a lot of time at the pool, went to the mall and there is still so much more to do. We are going to Orlando someday soon, organize a poolparty, go to the Bahamas a week before thanksgiving on a cruise, Memphis, Ginnie springs, hiking, camping and many more.
It's so cool to just bike around here, feeling you get used to the sun and temperature of 40 degrees celsius, the language, the way the environment looks, the small cultural differences and all the nice people. Also I've never met so many people in such a short time and everybody is really nice.
Although it's an emotional and physical roller coaster and it's all so overwhelming and there are more differences then I'd expected, it's so cool to get the opportunity to do this, I enjoy every day and the whole experience just makes you conscious, you learn new things about yourself and others and just makes you feel alive!
2 september 2014 07:21 | Door: Hanna minzingazijlstra
Hoi rennie, mooi om te lezen. Je kan al heel goed Engels . Wat heb je al veel meegemaakt in een week. Geweldig! Hier alles goed. Ben heel benieuwd naar de volgende verslagen . Heel veel plezier. Liefs van je tante Hanna
2 september 2014 08:27 | Door: Jeltine
Haa Rennie, Wat leuk dat je deze blog bij gaat houden! En wat heb je inderdaad al veel meegemaakt! Ik ben blij dat je al zo goed te plek bent en allemaal mensen kent. Fijn om straks ook aan de studie te gaan. Heel veel succes en het komt helemaal goed. Liefs van Jeltine
2 september 2014 09:05 | Door: Lyza
Stoer hoor! Ben jaloers! Lekker genieten daar!!
3 september 2014 16:26 | Door: Heit
Prachtig geschreven hoor.
Dit ga je nooit meer vergeten.
Onbetaalbaar deze ervaring!
7 september 2014 09:59 | Door: samantha
Waaah Ren de Bahamas! Geniet maar lekker daar wauw :) :)