August 9th, 2018, I left New York orientation at about 11 in the morning and was headed to the airport with a couple of other exchange students. To be honest, I wasn’t really that excited about meeting my host family. I remember sitting in the plane and telling myself “Well, let’s just get this year over with…”
It all changed when I walked out of my gate and saw a big sign: “Welcome to Colorado, Andrea”. Just seeing that made my day better. We hugged, I got my suitcases and we were off to dinner. The thing I was afraid of the most was that I wouldn’t be able to understand what they are saying or that I wouldn't have anything to say to them back. If any of you worry about that, then rest assured. If you don’t understand, they will gladly repeat it. I have been in America for over a month now and sometimes I still ask them three times if they can repeat it before I finally understand it. If you are a shy person and don’t feel like you have much to tell them at the beginning and you mostly just nod and smile then I have to tell you, the initial shyness will pass pretty quickly. Maybe way too quickly. And you will soon feel completely comfortable around them.
I arrived at my host family’s house on Thursday evening, so when we got home I pretty much went straight to bed. Since both of my host parents had to work on Friday I spent the next day with my host brother, who just drove me around the town. I unpacked, and, in the evening, we watched some baseball. Not that I really understood it back then, but since baseball is a really big deal in our family and we watch it almost every evening I understood the rules pretty quickly. Saturday evening, we went on a boat and Sunday I met my host mom’s part of the family and we went four wheeling together. I have never been four wheeling before in my life and I have to say, it was a lot of fun!
My first day of school was Monday. Since I’m not involved in any fall sport I didn’t know anybody except for my host brother, but we don’t have any classes together. It was, at least for me, terrifying. Nonetheless it all went okay. Except for the fact that I got lost literally every break. But honestly asking for directions to the classroom is a pretty good way how to start talking to people and if you mention being an exchange student people start being really interested in you. I even had a girl coming late to her class, because she wanted to help me get to my class at the other side of the school. So don't be afraid to talk to people. Most of the kids are super nice!
First couple of days might be stressful and you might feel sad and even homesick I just want you to remember that even if you have a bad day it will get better! It always does. Good days are nice, but it’s the bad days that are here to push us. And if you ever struggle with something or you just need someone to talk to, you can always text me on my Instagram @andy._._
So, all in all. My first impressions of the states are awesome. I honestly love it here! I have already tried so many new things, met so many new people and Colorado feels like a home to me now. Of course it hasn't been all good, but the decision to go on an exchange has been one of the best ones I could have ever made in my life.