I know my article is usually just a load of ramblings based around the fact that I’m not American. I don’t mean to write the same stuff every other week and bore you as a result. However, the cultural differences I experience on a daily basis naturally permeate my consciousness and influence my thoughts and actions around campus. So please understand that I only write about the differences I experience because they intrigue and inspire me. And often the most simplistic ones are the most interesting.
Family is a word that has grown to encompass a huge variety of complex groups of people. For me, it’s always been relatively simple. My parents have always, to my knowledge, been happy and loving. My sister and I have had ups and downs at various points, but that’s what siblings are supposed to do, right?
I feel like the average college student in America is closer with their family than the typical university student in England. I’m not sure exactly why, but for the most part, there’s something different in the way I see my peers here interact with their parents. It isn’t something that’s typically done in England, but Facebook posts for Mother’s and Father’s Days and parents’ birthdays stand out to me as a really interesting public display of affection. I’ve never seen any of my friends in England do anything like this. Don’t get me wrong though, I love it. The ability to publicly declare your love and appreciation for your family without being mocked is something that I’m glad people seem to have grown into. I definitely realise how much I took my family for granted when I lived at home now that I’m away. Skyping is essential for us to stay in touch, but having my parents come to stay is so much better.
My family just flew back to London last Monday night, having spent two weeks in and around San Antonio. Naturally, I was excited to see them and they were buzzing to see more of the campus that I call my home. My family had seen Trinity before, during August last year, but they had never seen it in action before. This place is so vividly active during the semester that you really can’t say you’ve been here until you’ve walked around campus and interacted with an engaged student body. They tried to fully engage with their new Texan surrounding. Hearing my Mum pronounce “tacos” as TAH-Koss was pretty funny. My Dad actually asked me if it was H-E-B or “Heb.” It was nice to not be the awkwardly unknowledgeable foreign guy for once. My sister was disappointed that the cups were blue, not red, at one social gathering she attended, but your accents made up for it. She spent most of her teenage years watching shows like “Friday Night Lights” and “The O.C.,” so this experience was pretty much her dream come true.
The main reason for my family coming over at this time of the year was that it coincided with the start of the soccer season. In case you’re unaware, we’re 5-0 and up to #1 and #2 in the nation in two different polls. Not too shabby. My family was finally able to sit in the stands and watch my teammates and I compete live rather than having to stay up till stupid o’clock in England to watch on a sometimes unreliable stream. It meant the world to me to have them here supporting us, and they were equally excited to experience an American college soccer game day for the first time.
Furthermore, they were able to travel with us to Dallas and see the city for the first time. My parents loved Dallas. The Perot Museum was their favourite, but we also enjoyed a night out at the FC Dallas versus NYCFC game. Aside from getting to mercilessly boo Frank Lampard, something that had been a long-standing ambition of mine, the best part of the game was the national anthem. You guys love your song so much it tickles me. Dallas fans shouting out “STARS” on the two occasions during the song that the word is said, in homage to their hometown NHL team, will never fail to make me laugh. Coupled with that, were the over-exuberant fireworks. I’ve literally never seen the English national anthem “God Save The Queen” accompanied by anything even remotely approaching a couple of flashing lights let alone huge explosions in the sky. My family couldn’t quite believe it either. It was a great bonding experience for us.
I just have to say thanks to everyone who did meet my family and was so nice and welcoming to them. They absolutely love it here. It’s so much easier for them to allow me to be 5000 miles from home when they come here and experience exactly why I love Trinity so much. You guys are the best.
So there’s another column of me talking about myself. I’m sorry. I promise I’m trying to write something more high-brow and interesting… I’m just not sure it’ll read well in my accent.