The program has come to an end. The feelings I had were so ambiguous. On the one hand I thought of home as a place where I belong, on the other hand it was an amazing experience of living, studying, having fun and taking in sights with 19 peers and 2 chaperones in a country that appeared to be a completely different world for me.
Realization that it is more likely that you will never meet these amazing people again and the chances of visiting the US are not that high leads to anxiety. Looking on the bright side, I would say that this trip helped me pushing the boundaries of my mindset. Now I am ready to launch the most ambitious projects I have. Background in Media Literacy and skills acquired during Media Camp in Champlain College showed me that I can do far more and far better things that I thought I could. Whilst I was in America, people around me did their best to reach out to me. They encouraged me to improve myself by leaps and bounds.
I think I have got the idea, now I can do it on my own. On my way back I was thinking that maybe it is time for me to make a switch, to have a fresh start, to become someone I have never thought I could. Now I have enough courage and ambitions to do it my way.
It is said that every end is a new beginning. So right after the program I am planning to start working on my interactive series. To be honest, I will start right after telling everyone interested about the trip and the program. Seriously, I am thinking of creating a Power Point presentation, cause usually it takes not less than 3 hours. Too much things to tell about. I can not omit anything due to the fact the everything seems to be so crucial.
What shocked me the most, people in America can freely share their dim view about the government on any media they have access to. They do not have taboo topics. Every issue should be discussed. They accept their problems and try to find a solution. To demonstrate that, in some restrooms in Boston I found “stop the overdose” kit. I reckon drug abuse problem in Russia is as striking as in the U.S. but we don’t take any steps to improve the situation we would rather turn the blind eye on the problem, whereas Americans are obsessed with the idea of safety.
Notwithstanding this positive aspect it might have a negative impact. Sometimes too much emphasis is put on a problem. I have nothing against LGBTQ movement and the Pride but annoying saturation of it in every corner of the street, in churches, in every store, museum and factory is troubling. There are more vital problems out there that are worth taking into consideration. For instance, global warming or littering.
The same thing with body positivity. The idea itself is great. On the pictures you can see some good examples of demonstrating body positivity that results in normalizing self-esteem among teenagers. But Americans tend to bring it to an inadequate level that can be even harmful for one’s health. Are you stout? They would say it is fine even if it causes health problems.
Talking about obsession, Americans are into politics and sports in Boston with their Red Socks baseball team in particular. Politics is literally everywhere even at Teddy Bear Factory.
I was blown away with amount and behavior of squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks in commons, parks even in the street. But there is always a dark side. Roaches and rats in Washington drove some girls mad.
There are a lot of homeless people in the streets, but they are perceived differently. These are just people who had a bad fortune. I would argue that owing to the fact that most of them seem to be either addicted to drugs and alcohol or mental disordered. Maybe both. However, no one treats them like a rubbish.
I was taken aback with their breathtaking libraries. The most astonishing is the fact that people visit it a lot.
Besides Americans are thrill seekers. Visiting Six Flags was my first time of getting afraid on attractions.
Americans do not usually have a lot of road signs. Everything is written in plain English so do not even think about driving a car if you doubt your command of English.
Regarding the law system, I would say it is bizarre and most of the times Americans suffer from it. You are not allowed to buy alcoholic beverages if you are under 21 but you can drive the car at the age of 16. Want to buy a gun? Sure, you can do it if you are 18 years old. Instead of nipping the problem in a bud and amending the law they just keep fighting with school shooting by increasing security measures. This gun policy is probably the only thing that prevented me from visiting Bronx (NY district known for being a place of birth of Hip-Hop).
Before a finish I would like to deteriorate two biases about the U.S.A. People tend to believe that you will not find healthy food here, it not true, there are plenty of organic food options, but be ready to pay pretty penny for it. And my favorite, Americans do use idioms in their every day speech. Which is amazing because it proves that I studied it not in vain.
Educationwise, though I entered this program I am not a journalist so it will be hard to implement the knowledge I obtained. But in a way Media Literacy, reporting, shooting and editing will somehow be of use.
Regarding, studying in the U.S. I would say it is unaffordable. Tuition fee is so high that American students spend half of their lives paying the dept. That is beyond my understanding.
To draw the line, I would probably repeat myself: “America is neither better nor worse. It is just different”. I am grateful for the opportunity to get acquainted with this completely different world.
P.S. and one more thing never ever order potato at a restaurant J