Maddie Wood- University of Missouri at Columbia
It’s been almost 3 weeks since I arrived here at Mizzou and honestly the time’s flown by! There are so many things that are different on this side of the pond, the weather being the most obvious example! Not only is it very cold in Missouri (lows of -16°C!), but it is also notorious for its unpredictable weather. I’ve never before been in an environment where the temperature fluctuates between -10°C to 12°C from day to day! Another notable difference is the residential life here. Having spent my first year in Manchester living in the OP Tower, moving into an American residence hall has been a little bit of a culture shock! Not only are the rooms significantly larger and much more modern, I also now have a roommate, which is a slightly bizarre experience for me as I haven’t had one since I was 9!
Although I haven’t yet had a chance to suss out the whole of campus yet, that parts that I have seen have amazed me. The campus itself and the University buildings look like they’re part of a movie set, especially when they’re under a blanket of snow as they were when we arrived. The University also boasts an impressive stadium park, which includes a football stadium (American football that is!) and a basketball stadium. We were lucky enough to experience a basketball game in the first week, which was surreal as we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were watching college-level sports, rather than a professional game. My favourite part of the campus, however, has to be the Recreational centre, which includes a cardio gym, 50m pool, indoor leisure pool (complete with saunas and a lazy river) and an indoor track, to name but a few of the things that you can find in there. I hate to say it, but Mizzou is really putting the Armitage Centre to shame!
The academic side of life here is also very different. We’re only on week 2 of the academic semester and I’m already finding myself swamped with readings, assignments and presentation preparation. This high workload is forgivable though as all four of my modules are incredibly interesting and engaging. My only major qualm with the American academic system is their belief that 8am lectures are a humane way of educating university students! I think it’ll take me a while to get used to a 7:00am alarm on Tuesdays and Thursdays!
On the whole my experience of America has been amazing so far, I’ve been lucky enough to have met some amazing people who made my 20th birthday really enjoyable, and I’m really looking forward to the next few months here at Mizzou!