Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

Kenyon-Exeter: Reverse Culture Shock

Kate Lindsay
December 17, 2013

I was warned about reverse culture shock at my first ever meeting for the Kenyon-Exeter program, long before I had sent in any applications or packed any bags. I knew this would be true. I get culture shock just going back and forth between Kenyon and my home in Pennsylvania--who knows what two countries is going to do to me. 

Being abroad, I started missing weird things about America. It's important to note that, before I left, I didn't think there was going to be anything I missed about America at all. I hate the loud people in the supermarkets and the lack of respect for people and how the local McDonalds makes the entire shopping center smell like fries. But after as little as a week, I missed SNL, I missed taking the Megabus to New York City, and I missed decent burgers.

This all culminated to the point that I was racing home for winter break, excited to sit in my bed with my cats and eat JIF peanut butter. But, three days in, I'm back to feeling that weird out-of-place-ness I felt at the beginning of term.

I miss Paperchase and Waterstones. Not necessarily their products, but wandering through them, and the knowledge that they were just down the road. I miss grabbing a Costa before class. I miss how everyone comes together so easily--for Christmas, for charity, for music. I'd say I miss the chocolate, but I've brought some of that home with me.

I'm very happy to be home. I love my dogs and my bed and sitting in front of the fire with my sister playing The Sims. But I keep calling "dollars" pounds, and can't get used to the idea that when I'm paying for something, there's no exchange rate plus international tax. I'm so excited that I have a month to frolic around the homeland, but I'm so grateful I get to go back.