On hearing the British speak like Americans

I’m halfway into my program. Every day I wake up, look outside my window, and imagine Marry Poppins dancing on the rooftops of the buildings next to me. In reality, I’m groggily preparing for my 8:30 a.m. English class, and I want to punch myself for choosing to take two English classes while studying abroad.

Balancing fun and a slightly abbreviated College of William and Mary workload is a challenge to say the least. Every night I remind myself that in a few years from now, I will care less about how much this trip killed my GPA and care more about the memories I made here. And that is when I begin getting ready for a night in Cambridge.

School and work nights do not stop this little city from enjoying a night at the clubs. The most popular night to go out is a Wednesday, and although I hate myself for the decision in the morning, I make the most incredible memories.

Before coming to Cambridge, I expected a little sleepy English town, with cute shops and restaurants and a few pubs to make the weekends interesting. I was in complete shock when I did a quick Google search my first night here and found more than five different nightclubs, with themed party nights every night of the week. The thought of returning to overrated fraternity parties and the College Delly makes me want to cry.

It’s through these escapades that I meet the coolest people, and learn the most fascinating things about life in England. Besides the obvious differences between America and the United Kingdom — the accents and their adorable use of “Cheerio!”— the young people I’ve met at Cambridge have a common mocking attitude towards Americans.

One thing I regularly enjoy is asking British people to talk in American accents. They simply put the word “like” between every other word, and throw in a “yo.” The other night, I complimented a woman on her jumpsuit and told her that I love jumpsuits and not many girls in America wear them. She aggressively replied, “Of course they don’t. America is 10 years behind in fashion.”

I also discovered that the colleges within Cambridge have mixers similar to what the College’s fraternities and sororities do. A common party theme is to wear a color that signifies your relationship status: Red for taken, green for single, yellow for it’s complicated. I guess that makes things a lot easier for the British boys.

Besides these trivial excitements, our group has gone on some amazing trips. On the first weekend, we traveled to London for a literary tour and a production of War Horse, as well as Greenwich for a visit to the Maritime museum and a boat ride into London. The second weekend was an overnight trip to Bath, England.

This trip, while filled with the beauty of Stonehenge, the Royal Crescent and the Roman Baths, was unfortunately filled with my first overnight stay at hostel and a four-hour bus ride with no air conditioning. Memories.

I would continue to write more, but I need to get started on my second 6-page essay so I can go to Lola Lo’s “Jager Rocks”-themed party on Wednesday.


  1. Jumpsuits were big in America during World War II, so perhaps there is a misperception about who’s behind… or given the particular fit of the jumpsuit, who’s behind might be Pippa-obvious.


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