Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Name is Gin: An Introduction

I stick out my hand to say hello. "My name's Jen," I say.

The girl across the hall smiles. "Nice to meet you, Gin," she drawls back at me.

That's how my college saga began.

My name is, in fact, Jen, and I'm a Boston girl starting my sophomore year at the University of Oklahoma. After a full two semesters of living halfway across the country, I have enough stories about being a stranger in a strange land to at least fill a solid college brochure. Looking back on when I was first coming to college, I wish I had known what to expect (and what was a myth) about going to school in such a different place. And that's where you come in.

This blog is for anyone who's thinking about going to school far away from home, anyone who wants to be amused by a kid wandering confused through a different state, or anyone who happens to come upon it. Here are the things that I've discovered, been surprised by, relieved by, or terrified by. Hopefully by reading them, you'll be a little more prepared for your own travels.

Of course, since I have a particular flying-south-for-the-school-year perspective, lots will have to do with looking at Oklahoma through the eyes of Boston. Take, for example, my name. The Oklahoma accent can't pronounce "eh," so I'm "Gin" and I eat "limmons." Being accidentally equated with alcohol (though not the way you might expect as a college student!) is something that lets me know I'm back in the land of college football and cicadas.

But most of the things I have to say will apply to you. How will you get home for the holidays? What will the people be like? Is culture shock real? How will I find food like back home? Am I actually going to miss the people I knew at home, or the ones I meet here?

Stick around, and I'll tell you what I know! You can judge for yourself whether or not being Gin is a good thing.