Within the first week of arriving on campus, groups were already well established within the international community. I was lucky to be in one that would later be nicknamed ‘The Breakfast Club.’ I think the name I think originally stemmed from the fact we developed the routine of eating breakfast together, haha how original. So, believe it or not, before tonight I had never seen the classic movie, The Breakfast Club. And I absolutely LOVED it. Clearly because of the self-given group nickname ‘The Breakfast Club,’ I begin thinking of our group of friends as characters in the movie. That triggered a plethora of comparisons and I just thought I should share a couple, so here goes:
Although none of us fit perfectly into the roles of the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess, or the criminal, in university, we are grouped by our major rather than the typical high school stereotypes. There are so many different interests within our group. You have the English major, animation major, film major, history major, psychology and criminology major, the theatre major turned dancer, and the economics and finance major. These labels, in a way, define who we are, what we aspire to be and, to an extent, who we hangout with during our time here and especially back home. The people in your classes tend to be the people you talk to as well as the people you study with and develop relationships with. Period.
Though, instead of classification by degree choice, we are are most commonly defined by our nationalities during our time here at Edge Hill. Our backgrounds, cultures, traditions and accents (ha) we bring from our homelands are what define us. Instead of being known as the ‘nerds’ or ‘jocks’ we are known as the Americans and the Brazilians. That is who we are and there is nothing that can be done to change it. We think through the filters of our backgrounds, how we were raised and where we are from. [My thoughts through an American filter: I will forever think that people here are driving on the wrong side of the road. I will never stop wondering why there are no public restrooms and no trashcans. I will always chuckle to myself when I hear ‘fink’ instead of ‘think.’ I will always say ‘how are you?’ rather than ‘you alright?’ Lastly and most importantly, I will never agree with the concept of paying to use the toilet.] Anyhow, within our group, we have three members from Michigan, one from South Carolina, one from Colorado, one from Oklahoma, one from Israel, and one from Germany. If you look at the entire international group of students there is even more diversity. I have met folks who are here studying from Guatemala, Italy, France, Brazil, China, Ireland, England, Spain, Korea, Mexico, Sri Lanka and places ALL over the US. This got me thinking about how this study abroad experience, although we are here 100% willingly, can be compared to the Saturday detention in the movie. Like the students who would have never associated with each other otherwise, there are so many different people from all over the globe with so many different interests and backgrounds who would have never met if it weren’t for our time here at Edge Hill. Thanks to this experience, I get to be friends with aspiring teachers, doctors, actresses, lawyers and artists from all over the globe. We are all bound together and at the very least share one thing in common, despite our differences. The fact that we were blessed with the opportunity to study in freaking England and travel to places we may never have visited otherwise.
One scene that really kind of got me thinking was when Brian asked if everyone would say hi to him in the hallway when they’re all back at school. Most said no (other than Allison). The kids think that once their lives go ‘back to the normal,’ they will no longer acknowledge one another, even after significant bonds were made between the characters. He then says that he would never do that to them because he considers them friends. When we go back home, we can either get caught up with our ‘back to normal’ routines, each go our separate ways and never speak again, or we can, and I hope we do, continue to stay in touch and in each other’s lives. This experience is something that we will have in common forever. Inevitably, nostalgia is in every single one of our futures and we are the only ones that can relate to one another. This group of people, even the other foreigners here at the same time, experiencing the same activities, are the only ones that will EVER truly understand what you mean when you talk about, the sweaters at the market, the crazy KFC, Ruff woods and the overly friendly ducks on campus. It would absolutely break my heart if we never spoke again after leaving. Therefore, my promise to each of you is “don’t you, forget about me” and I won’t forget about you:) Sorry, I had to have that somewhere.
So here’s to The Breakfast Club staying in touch! Cheers! xxx