As you can probably imagine from the picture above, it’s freezing here. It’s about minus 8 at the moment and somehow, that’s considered an ‘okay day’ here in Whitewater. I must admit though, I am getting used to the cold, I can bare it in one pair of leggings now, instead of three.
I know my home uni told me I’d get homesick and want to leave, but I didn’t expect it to be such a strong feeling as I had when I first got here. When I was in my hotels it was alright, it was like a holiday, but as soon as I moved into my dorms, was all alone and knew nobody – the feeling sank in and I wanted to leave that day, that second. Then we had orientation, and I made some friends. Now that I have friends and people to hang out with it’s not such a bad place to be. I haven’t had many classes yet, but I’m sure once they start up it’ll be even better. I’m waiting for the new feeling to end so that I can finally say ‘I live here’.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me why the hell I came to Wisconsin from Australia, especially to the small town of Whitewater, but I think I made the right decision because it feels more like a community here. Everyone is nice to everyone, it’s a short walk to whatever you need, and there seems to be no kind of segregation of people that I would sometimes see in Australia. I’m starting to really like living here.
That part of Wisconsin is really beautiful, and you’re weathering the worst of it, both in climatic and emotional sense, up front, to it will get better and better.
I think you’re going to get a really intimate view of the US, something you wouldn’t get if you just flew into NYC, LA and Vegas. Wisconsin is such a mix of US culture and politics, one of the places that can really surprise you. I know that when I was living in Missouri and Indiana, we looked to Wisconsin as a sane and fun place, someplace you’d load the family into the car and drive for a weekend away, if you can believe it.
But your observations on homesickness are pretty spot on. It can be so overwhelming when it first hits, like you just fell into a new world and want to get the hell out of it! I remember thinking I was getting depressed, like clinically, and playing hours of solitaire on my laptop (the only game I had on that machine). Eventually, I got so that I liked it so much I had reverse culture shock on the way home, getting just as depressed (the irony…).
January 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm