I studied abroad this summer, ergo I’m better than you in every conceivable way


Humor columnist Alisha Kohli studied abroad this summer and returned as a changed person.

Alisha Kohli | Cavalier Daily

What’s up, peasants?! Long time no see. Yes, it HAS been a while. Why is that, you may ask? Well if you must know, I spent a month living out my days as a student in the sunny beach town of Brighton, England, where I became more cultured than any of you could ever dream of being. While you basic Americans were wasting your lives away in a bland, predominantly white Western country, I was doing literally the exact same thing on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean except around people with funny accents and a concerningly strong enthusiasm for drinking. I know it may be difficult, but please try to curb your jealousy — it doesn’t look good on you.

I had known for a while that I wanted to study abroad because I just felt that in order to ~find myself~ I had to experience life in another country. More importantly, I was not about to live through the hell that is Virginia’s scorching summer heat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having a hot girl summer, but that doesn’t mean I want to literally have the flesh burned off of my body. Besides, what else is a bored, angsty 19-year-old girl to do other than convince her parents to shell out thousands of dollars for her to attend what can only be described as a glorified summer camp? C’mon, sympathize with me, people! 

Despite my fascinating adventures abroad, the actual journey to England was quite harrowing. Due to inclement weather, all of my flights got canceled, and I had to rebook them for the next day. Then, when I finally did get on the plane, I had to fly coach (ew) and even worse, I had to ask a man (double ew) to help me put my carry-on in the overhead bin. I can’t explain how, but this single event most definitely set feminism back at least 100 years. Luckily, I had a lovely conversation with the middle-aged community theatre costume designer sitting next to me who said I seemed like a “very well-adjusted, intelligent young person.” Though completely untrue (context: an hour earlier, I was seriously contemplating dropping $30 on an iPhone dongle from the airport gift shop because I forgot mine), this comment really lifted my spirits.

Once I arrived at my new university, my glamourous excursions — oops, I mean glamorous, in case you simple Americans didn’t understand — began almost immediately. In my first week, I tried fish and chips, walked along the pier, and explored Brighton’s most happening clubs — this last one is where British people’s “concerningly strong enthusiasm for drinking” that I mentioned earlier became the most apparent. In addition to all the fabulous things I did that each and every one of you reading this should be jealous of, I also met some great people and even befriended a local Brit whose last name, ironically enough, was Ireland (you really can’t make this stuff up!). Thanks to her, I learned a bunch of English slang that I WILL continue saying when I come back to the University just to remind everyone that I did, in fact, study abroad this summer. 

Studying abroad was definitely ~life changing~, but don’t worry, I’m still just like all of you, my insignificant little readers. In fact, many of the experiences I had overseas weren’t too different from the tomfoolery that you aMeRiCaNs typically engage in. For example, in England, I too was losing the fight against nicotine addiction, but instead of hitting tacky juuls like you plebs, I was pushing the movement back in style by smoking hand-rolled cigarettes I obtained via a random man I met in a bar. To everyone reading this: please don’t tell my mom.

By the time I returned to the States, I was definitely wiser, worldlier and overall better than every single person I know. And even though my fundamental right to consume and purchase alcohol that I enjoyed so dearly while in the UK was stripped from me the second I stepped foot in Washington Dulles, I was happy to be back. There’s just something about the combination of having absolutely no faith in the integrity of any of your country’s public officials and knowing you can get Cook Out at 3 a.m. that makes America a wonderful place to come home to. Plus, now that I’m back, I get to start every other sentence with “when I was abroad this summer…” while everyone around me is forced to just sit there listening through gritted teeth. I can’t wait!

Alisha Kohli is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com.

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