Brits in America: Christmas in New York helps to ease the homesickness

Bonnie's latest blog finds her hunting out beans on toast and British chocolate in order to dispel feelings of homesickness

December 12 2017
Brits in America: Christmas in New York

As​ ​my​ ​first​ ​semester​ ​in​ ​New​ ​York​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​a​ ​close,​ ​I​ ​can’t​ ​say​ ​I’m​ ​not​ ​a​ ​little​ ​bit​ ​excited about​ ​returning​ ​home​ ​for​ ​winter​ break.​ ​As​ ​fun​ ​and​ ​unconventional​ ​as​ ​my​ ​university experience​ ​has​ ​been​ ​so​ ​far,​ I'm eager to return to the normality of Scotland.​ ​The hectic​ ​city​ ​life​ ​​over​ ​the​ ​past​ ​four​ ​months​ ​has​ ​left​ ​me​ ​longing​ ​for​ ​the peacefulness​ ​​of​ ​home.

Moving​ ​3,000​ ​miles​ ​across​ ​the​ ​world​ ​is​ ​no​​t ​easy​,​ al​though​​ ​New York​ ​City​ ​is​ ​a good​ ​distraction​ ​when​ ​​feelings​ ​of​ ​homesickness​ ​hit.​ ​Many​ ​of​ ​my friends​ ​here​ ​are also​ ​from​ ​the​ ​UK,​ ​so​ ​having​ ​others​ ​who​ ​feel​ ​the​ ​same​ ​way​ ​is a great help.​ ​Cravings​ ​for​ ​beans​ ​on​ ​toast​ ​and​ ​British chocolate​ ​occur​ ​for​ ​us​ ​all​ ​and to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​community​ ​that​ ​understand​s ​these​ ​hankerings​ ​is​ ​helpful.

Follow the rest of Bonnie's journey here

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Brits in America: changing perceptions of women-only universities
Brits in America: New York, New York
Brits in America: why the liberal arts works for indecisiveness

I​ ​recently​ ​surprised​ ​one​ ​of​ ​my​ ​closest​ ​friends​ ​with​ ​a​ ​birthday​ ​trip​ ​to​ ​a​ ​British restaurant​ ​with​ ​beans​ ​on​ ​toast,​ ​bangers​ ​and​ ​mash​ ​and​ ​sticky​ ​toffee​ ​pudding​ ​on​ ​the​ ​menu and our feelings​ ​of​ ​homesickness​ ​dramatically​ ​diminished.​ ​Next​ ​door​ ​to​ ​the​ ​restaurant​ ​was​ ​a​ ​classic British​ ​chip​ ​shop.​ While immersed​ ​in​ ​US​ ​culture,​ ​it’s​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​forget​ ​about​ ​the​ ​comforts​ ​of​ ​home, so​ ​making these​ trips to British restaurants or​ ​spending​ ​a​ ​little​ ​extra on​ ​British​ ​snacks​ ​is​ ​sometimes​ ​all​ ​that​ ​is​ ​needed.

As​ ​the​ ​days​ ​get​ ​darker​ ​and​ ​New​ ​York’s​ ​first​ ​snowfall​ ​of​ ​the​ ​year​ ​is​ ​soon​ ​expected,​ ​experiencing Christmas​ ​in​ ​the​ ​city​ ​is​ ​another​ ​aspect​ ​of​ ​life​ ​so​ ​different​ ​from​ ​home.​ ​Just​ ​like​ ​the​ ​movies, New​ ​York​ ​neighbourhoods​ ​are​ ​already​ ​decked​ ​out​ ​in​ ​coloured​ ​lights​ ​and​ ​festive​ ​decorations. One​ ​night​ ​a​ ​friend​ ​and​ ​I​ ​walked​ ​all​ ​the​ ​way​ ​from​ ​campus​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Rockefeller​ ​Centre​ ​to​ ​see​ ​the​ ​famous​ ​tree.​

​Christmas​ ​markets​ ​and​ ​ice​ ​rinks​ ​are​ ​also​ ​dotted​ ​all​ ​over​ ​the city ​and​ ​have​ ​been​ ​another​ ​great​ ​distraction​ ​from​ ​both​ ​the​ ​stresses​ ​of​ exams​ ​and​ ​feelings​ ​of homesickness.​ ​Most​ ​recently,​ ​Columbia​ ​had​ ​its​ ​annual​ ​tree​ ​lighting​ ​ceremony,​ ​a​ ​tradition​ ​where thousands​ ​of​ ​students​ ​gather​ ​to​ ​start​​ ​the​ ​seasonal​ ​festivities.​ ​The​ ​trees​ ​that​ ​line​ ​the college​ ​walk under​ ​Columbia’s​ ​main​ ​gates​ ​give​ ​the​ ​campus​ a ​festive ​vibe.

The​ ​spontaneous,​ ​stressful,​ ​sometimes​ ​implausible​ ​nature​ ​of​ ​my​ ​first​ ​semester​ ​has​ ​left​ ​me​ ready to come​ ​home but also excited to see what is in store for my next semester.​ ​

Read more: How to deal with homesickness at university

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