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Party In The USA

 BY Born Confused

Madison, WI, USA.
“Eh? Where’s that?” you ask?? Look for the land of heavenly cheese on the map. Alright, I accept that it’s not the first place you would think of when considering studying abroad. But you should!
Because it is THE shit. Excuse the expression.
Actually, don’t.
It is a small city (although it is the capital of Wisconsin, the dairy state!), very beautiful and the center of action is mainly in and around the University of Wisconsin (where I am) and the people here are really nice and friendly.
To quote the article on Wikipedia:
“In 2010, Wisconsin was named the number three “party school” by Playboy magazine and number 12 by The Princeton Review. UW–Madison has long held a reputation for academics, political activism, and drinking; the last of these can be understood in the context of the state’s traditionally high level of alcohol consumption in general.”
Well, I’m guessing that needs no explanation!
So y’all must be thinking “Pooh, these Americans! Wooo!! We’re so smart and clever
WRONG. They could clobber us in any aspect of life.
Yep. People here work hard and party harder. And casually run miles in shorts in the cold wind while talking at the same time. This just amazes me. I can’t even run for 30 seconds! Let alone talk while doing it! “Wheeze wheeze, huff puff...dying...must stop...
Engineering College in India? Oh. My. God. We’re so far behind, we can’t even dream of catching up! (No, really!)
The system SUCKS. This blindly mugging up text books has to stop. NOW. God is witness to how I’m struggling with basic programming here because I have hardly any practice/experience and because I have developed this bad habit of spacing out in class over the past 2 years (Come on! Can you blame me?) As a matter of fact, I started writing this while I was sitting in class (second row) Tsk, tsk, I know. But I blame it on you, soul-sucking, zombie-making, spirit-crushing engineering college! But you guys sent me here, so for that I must thank you.
Because life in the USA - YEAHHH! This is the real deal!
It’s everything I wanted out of college life! I don’t care that I don’t get to eat idlis or whatever every day. I love it here and I want this for our country! I mean I don’t admire the culture much but some things are just perfect! And it has spoiled my habits now. I’m going to find fault with everything when I come back home! Things are so different here that sometimes the contrast really hits me. Let me explain.
America: 5 different types of cheese on your pizza. At least. And different kinds of cheese for different types of food. And you’ll even learn to name them.
India: Britannia/Amul.
America: You smile at the bus driver and thank them, hold doors open for people, wish them a good day whole heartedly and generally mind your P’s and Q’s. Oh and nobody honks. Ever.
India: Before you even know it, you would have been cussed and honked at by irate drivers on the road, leered at by random jerks, had the door slam in your face as you’re walking in and been given strange looks by people for smiling.
America: Professor turns up to class in shorts and flowery shirt. And whaddya know, he’s young AND cute! YES.
India: ‘Sir’ turns up to class in ugly shirt and he’s ancient. I really don’t have more to say.
America: Dude falls asleep in class and nobody cares. He starts snoring. The professor says, “Hey, it’s okay to sleep, but you’re snoring!”
India: “You! Get out of my class!” *throws chalk if deeply impassioned*
America: Dude spreads open paper and reads in class. The professor says politely, “Could you be a bit more discreet about reading the paper?” Dude: “Oh, sorry!”. Folds paper and continues to read.
India: “How dare you? Get out of my class!” *throws chalk for good measure*
America: Dude eats pizza in class and writes notes at the same time. Nobody cares!!!
India: “Get out of my class!” *chalk??*
America: You can write your assignments/exams/notes in a writing instrument of your choice (read pen/pencil of any color) and in any format. You can even scribble. No need to write in a weirdly formal way, no protocol. No need to draw margins! Imagine that!
India: “GET OUT!!
America: It’s normal for there to be a day when a street is shut down so people can get wasted all day and parade around.
India: Ahahaha! Probably a bad idea. I’ll leave it to your imagination.
America: Do what you want! Nobody really gives a flying rat’s ass. Nobody will judge you.
India: Beware the gossipmongers. Oh and the teachers too for some reason. Though why they should have any say in our lives, now that we’re adults, I simply cannot figure out.
Point is, this is what school should be like! Yes School, not College(I speak American now). Freedom from people giving you shit about everything.
Don’t snicker when you see a boy and a girl having a conversation or spending time together.
Don’t judge folks and label them as nerds or partiers. People aren’t stereotypes!
That guy who sleeps in class and/or drinks all weekend may have the brain of a genius and you would never know because you wrote him off. (Totally true. This dude slept through half the class sitting in the front row and then woke up and asked some really smart questions. No shit. I was like ‘Sheesh, I need to grow a brain’)
Everyone should feel free to be who they are. And not be constantly thinking about how people will react. Everyone should be allowed to grow intellectually in their own ways and not be bound by all these ridiculous rules and protocol and horrid, meaningless text books.
When you feel true freedom in a country in which you are a visitor rather than in your own country, then you know something is definitely......... fucked up. Pardon the expression.
Actually, don’t.
‘Born Confused” is a third year computer science engineering student currently on a study abroad program in Madison, WI, USA. She enjoys junk food, writing(to keep her brain from rotting), yelling ‘superfish’ at odd occasions and making fun of people who don’t know what ‘superfish’ is.’


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