My first 2 weeks have been so relaxing. No stress, nothing to do, doing whatever I wanted to.
On one of the first days I went to the mall to go shopping. It was kinda to expect, but everything was way cheaper than in Austria (or Europe at all). For example a real polo shirt in Austria costs at least around 80€ (89$), which is compared with America (at least here in Raleigh) very expensive because I saw some here with a prize around 30$ (26€). However the quality is probably also worse than in Europe. There was also an "Abercrombie & Fitch" store, where I bought a lot of clothes. After that I went to typical American stores like "Starbucks" or "Dunkin Donuts". Later on I went to a gym, where my host family has signed me up. I ´have not really had a lot of time to go there, but at least after the season I want to start going there often.
On August the 23rd, my host mother came in my room and asked me, if I want to go on the 24th to the lake with her work colleague, her son and some friends (just by myself). I was a honestly a little bit surprised about that because I was not sure if it'´s a good idea to do something with strangers. But I remembered the words which somebody told me a few weeks before: "You only have one exchange!"., so I said yes.
I was nervous on the next day because as I said, it's kinda weird to do something with a group of strangers in which you don't know anybody. But as soon as I came into the car of Ivys (host mother) colleague, I felt very confidently about the day. She was pretty nice and her son called Zach as well. They're originally from the Philippines and told me some things about their culture. The lake was 45 minutes away ish and after this time, I met the others. They were all very nice to me and we had a lot of fun. It was quite hot outside, everybody brought some snacks and food to do a barbecue and oh my gosh, the water in the lake was so warm!!
The day after was my birthday. Unfortunately my host-parents had to work, so I spent most of the day with relaxing and communicating to my family and friends in Austria. At the evening we went to an arcade, which was kinda weird for me because there is nobody in Austria who is celebrating his birthday in a way like this. Although it felt kinda childish, I decided to do the best out of the situation. I met my friend Simon from Denmark and a girl called Grace (who was also at the lake) there. In spite of that it felt like a 12th birthday, we had a lot of fun tho. We played mini golf, go-cart, baseball and some indoor games.
What you should know is that Simon and I are both addicted to soccer, so of course we both wanted to join the soccer team necessarily! On the 26th we had a meeting in our school called "Wakefield Highschool", where we had to choose our classes (I love this system!!). There have been so many interesting classes, so that is was difficult to decide which ones I wanted to take. The teacher who had the job to help us in case we would have had any questions, told me that I must choose eight classes. I was surprised about that because I heard that we are just going to have four classes each semester and I am attending the school just for the first one. I took the following classes:
- Weight training
- AP Psychology
- Sports Medicine
- American History
- Sports & Entertainment marketing
- German (to get the experience how other countries study our language; how the view to our language from another perspective is)
- Essentials for College math
I was really looking forward because some of them were brand new for me and sounded pretty interesting. However there was a mistake, the school thought that I am going to be here for the whole year and it was correct what I heart. In this school every student has just four classes each semester, but has also different classes in the second one. That is very unusual for me because in Austria you can not really choose your classes and you have mostly the same classes for years. Honestly I prefer the American system because you focus more on your classes because you have them everyday.
The day after it was very important for me. I did a tryout for the high school soccer team and I literally had to fight for this chance. A couple of days before, I have written an email to the school to ask for a tryout. They answered me that the tryouts have already been and that I could try a different sport. But everybody who knows me knows, that I am not a person who gives up immediately. So I went to the school and talk to the head coach of the school and he said that it is probably not possible for me to join the team, but he gave me the telephone number of one of the soccer coaches. So I texted him and he told me that I can come to practice in the afternoon and I was very grateful for that. I was the first one of the pitch and waited excitedly for the others. After a while there have been two groups on the field warming-up. On the left side have been the older looking and taller ones & on the right half the a little bit younger looking ones. My decision at this moment was probably one of the best I've ever had. Because I decided to go left, which was called the "Varsity" team, which is the much better one. I acted quite shy on this day and felt flashed because the "way of playing soccer" is different than in Europe, but I was very excited though. Nevertheless I did a good job in my opinion on this day, what influenced that I made the team. My friend Simon from Denmark is unfortunately playing in the worse team which is called "Junior Varsity". That was kinda disappointing for both of us because we have been really looking forward to play together in a team.
Well, those were the most important parts of my first 2 weeks in Raleigh and I apologize that you had to wait for such a long time. But I have a really great, but also busy time at the moment and didn't have the possibility to write. However I will try to write about my first day at school, my first football game, my soccer career and much more as soon as possible!
Thanks for reading!!!