When GWU students think about the 28th of August, they all think about that miserable day that marks the end of summer vacation and the first day of classes. Well, I think about it that way too but it’s also the day I turned 20 years old. It’s not the special 21st birthday but for me it’s the beginning of the new phase of a young woman. It’s also special because it’s the first time I celebrated in the US away from my old friends and family. Celebrating my birthday before the start of the semester with my amazing new friends was the best way to start this upcoming year and especially this semester in GWU.
Sometimes I had that feeling that we’re just here for a summer vacation. But now it’s the end of orientation week and the start of why we’re here for: STUDIES (I always need to remind myself of that). The first week of classes ended very fast especially when I squeezed all my classes in a three days schedule. Unlike my other friends who found the studies in GWU really different than their home universities, I didn’t find much difference in the way the classes are taught since I was already studying in an American-based system university. What I wasn’t expecting is finishing the first chapters of all my courses in the first week of classes. Usually in my university, it’s called syllabus week and all what we do is chilling and getting to know each other. From here I realized that probably the classes are going to be harder than in my home university. I also liked the GWU professors and how they use their experiences in the field to explain the concepts of the chapters. And I’m ready to study in an American university like I’ve always dreamt of.
The Friday of this week was Eid Al Adha (Sacrifice Fest). Basically, it’s one the most important religious holiday for the Muslim community. Celebrating it for the first time away from my family was kind of hard. Fortunately, The Muslim Student Association in GWU organized a prayer in the university and we had pancakes and donuts’ brunch in Founding Farmers with everyone wearing traditional clothes from their home countries. It’s true that it didn’t feel like the celebration in my country with sheep barbecue… but it was a nice initiative from the MSA to make us feel home and I got the opportunity to get to know many people from my community.
We ended the long weekend with the Labor day. I didn’t get the chance to travel since I wanted to tour more the city so we went to a Caribbean fest. It was a very nice day since I got to try different types of food and dance to African and Caribbean music. I loved how multicultural Washington DC and how you can feel tropical in an island just in a fest next to the White house! 😀