Saturday, 9 June 2012

So Far...

I'm trying not to be a Negative Nancy, but so far, things have been far from sunshine and roses in New Jersey. Everything went fairly well on the journey- my flight was in early, security was no problem, I got the bus into Manhattan, found my way to Penn Station, and got my train to New Jersey. By the time I got on the train, I was absolutely exhausted. Beyond exhausted. I was 5 hours ahead and I'd been up since 5am, which made that 12 midnight NJ time. So I wasn't feeling too great when I was faced with an altercation with an obnoxious guy on the train who told me I looked more like I should be lounging on the beach than being a lifeguard (good old chauvinism...) and despite me having been nothing but pleasant, he told me I had to "take off my attitude." Oh and then went on to criticise England and mock my accent. Gee, thanks.
There was a lovely man on the train, however, who helped me with my luggage and helped me find a taxi to Seaside Heights, and my taxi driver was so nice and we had a lovely talk. I even managed to find Nick who got me my keys for my apartment. Which was where everything unraveled.
I knew I'd be living in a house of international students, I knew that, what I didn't know was that they would all know each other (and two that didn't came together so they had each other), and would all speak languages other than English all the time. They also don't speak very good English and I find it incredibly hard to communicate with them, especially when I'm so tired. I feel like this is just a house that I stay in. I feel so uncomfortable and alone. I do have my own room though, which I wasn't expecting, and that's a huge plus, and also, as you can see, we have internet set up which was something I was worried about.
I spent last night walking up to the arcade, calling my dad and crying my eyes out. I know things will get better and I will make friends, but right now I feel alone in a new place and completely isolated. I'm scared I won't make any friends and that I will just hate this experience and feel like I've made a huge mistake. This was supposed to be an adventure and right now it just feels like a horrible decision. I'm so homesick it's unbelievable. I phoned my dad half a dozen times yesterday and I just wish I was back home where I never feel this lonely. I don't know where anything is yet and I don't know my way around the area and I just feel so uncomfortable in this house.
I know things will get better. I have my lifeguard training today and I know I'll make friends soon and I'll know my way around, and I'll know where I can get proper food that isn't fried or from the 7-11. But right now, I just feel rubbish. I'm hurt by having my accent mocked, to the point where I'm scared to speak to anyone because I feel like such an outsider and I just keep envisioning spending hours alone in my room in a house that I don't feel I belong in.
And I know when I first came to Minnesota my dad got the exact same phonecall of "I think I've made a mistake" and everything was fine and I loved it after a few days.
But right now, I just want to go home.

16 comments:

  1. Chin up sweetie! I am sure things will get better soon. New places always scare the bejeesus out of me too, especially since I find it tough to make friends. But it always works out. Always. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh little one! I feel for you, but as you say you felt like this last time and it all worked out okay. There are dickheads all over the world, its just such a shame you had to meet one so early on. 99.9% of people love an english accent so dont worry about one fool! Give the housemates time, nothing is easy when you are exhausted! Good luck with the training xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whatever you do, no matter how hard it is, do not stay in that room! I felt exactly the same when I had my work placement in London (not quite the same, I know) but I knew nobody and they all knew each other. Rather than forcing myself to go out there and socialise, I just hid in my room. It ended up being very awkward and uncomfortable living there.


    It might be hard to communicate with people who don't speak English well but if you just continue to try, they'll pick up some of the language and I'm sure you'll pick up some of theirs. Plus, you will meet loads new people at lifeguard training.
    Hang in there!Becky
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Reading this gave me flash backs to my first days studying abroad last summer, I know just how you feel the first few days are really scary! I especially hate the feeling of not knowing where to go to get food or where anything is. I hope everything gets better really soon! And most Americans lovee English accents so don't be afraid to talk to people because of that!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. As you said you know things will get better but I  really do feel for you and hope that you feel so much better soon. Jet lag also makes everything so much worse so know that that will also pass too. I really hope your lifeguard training goes well and that there are lots of friendly people there who DON'T mock your accent (how rude!). Let us know how you get on and know that all (at least I hope all) of your readers will be your online support group to help you get through the homesickness and loneliness until everything gets easier (which it will)! xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hang in there Charlotte!  You're going to have such an amazing time - the first few days are always the worst.  how long are you in NJ for?  I might appear on your doorstep one day! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh dear, I'm so sorry stuff isn't as amazing as you expected. It's easy to say you should just ignore it but when people are picking on you because of silly things like your accent it can be pretty difficult to turn the other cheek. The company who brought you over would have never chosen you if they didn't think you were 100% capable of doing it though, and you've managed living away from family/friends before. It is a shame that your flatmates aren't talking in english, but I'm sure they will get better, they wouldn't have gone to the US if they didn't want to improve (maybe you'll become super popular when they realise you are the best person to practise with). At the very least you have a bunch of super supportive readers to cheer you up. I hope you're first weekend gets a bit better xo

    ReplyDelete
  8. Stick with it lovely, everything seems harder when you're tired, once you've caught up on sleep everything will seem much better! You know you'll have a fabulous time, and it'll be a great experience, enjoy yourself :)
    Hope you're feeling better soon <3
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. You have jet lag!!!! DUH once you get sleep you will be fine!!! Also you have been complaing about missing the USA all year and now you are here so enjoy it! 

    ReplyDelete
  10. It'll be okay!  And plus, who needs friends, anyway?  No, I'm serious.  This is YOUR adventure.  You don't need other people to do that.  Go to your lifeguard job.  Have fun.  Explore NJ.  You're a big girl.  You're an  independent lady.  Who cares about the giant group of non-English speakers back at the house?  You didn't come back to America for them, or to hang around in a house all day.  You can to have fun!  And goddamnit, fun you will have.  Or else.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is MN Ashley.  Apparently, I've been away from blogging so long I've forgotten how to properly log-in so people actually know who the hell I am.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Trust me when I say something like 50% of New Jersey residents pride themselves on being jerks. New Jersey isn't all bad, but yeah, there are a lot more questionably unkind people than elsewhere in the US. (New Jersey has a reputation.) Don't worry about the people who are unkind. I mean, what does it matter? And the girls who don't speak great English, well... I mean, it's just where you live, right? Go to training, meet people, have fun, even if you're by yourself. I mean, heck, I spent most of my four years of college doing things alone and independently! Just go for it; you're there and those are the circumstances. You can do this! 

    ReplyDelete
  13. I already told you on twitter, but I'll say it again: I'm sure everything will turn out fine! You'll meet new friends and hopefully find some place to eat, haha :) Be proud of your British accent, I be the other people in your house are just jealous ;) The first days can be tough, but as you said, the same thing happened when you were in Minnesota last year and you felt way better after a few days, so don't worry! xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. my state stinks. That's why we call it dirty jersey. . .I'm very sorry you hate it, but most people who live here want to get out. . .I'm one of them.

    ReplyDelete