Why did I really move to the states?

I dont know. What made me wanna move all the way from little Norway to California to study? To be honest, it could have been NYC or Miami which was other places I was looking at. But I choose California cause my Brazilian friend Diego told me California was the ultimate college state. It was as simple as that.

But why USC? I came here when I was 16 to watch a USC football game and I remember driving pass the university and the row (the street where the fraternities and sororities are located) and it looked just like the movies. The college spirit was so visible that it gave me goosebumps and I got that insticitve feeling inside me telling me that this was right.

10155575_10152336945359605_1980129340386378334_nBut couldnt I just have stayed in Norway and gotten an education there? I was tired. Tired of cold winters, a life that was just always the same, and I honestly felt a bit different from everyone else. Everyone wanted to become lawyers and psychologists, and I choose something completely different like Communication and entrepenourship.

I needed something new in my life, and I also had an urging feeling of wanting to escape a bit of the past.

When you have had the same friends for several years it becomes difficult to change because they already have you in this tiny little box, which makes changing hard cause it will disrupt their image of you. But I felt the need to meet new people to discover myself again.

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Did it help? Yes. I did find new sides to myself. By traveling and moving here I have discovered that I am honest at heart, loyal, trustworthy, nice as a person, have a big and open heart, is an excelent small talker, can recognize peoples faces easily, that I am smart (honestly I spent almost 13 years of my life thinking I was stupid cause I am terrible with math and couldnt learn to read before I was 7.. )I also discovered that I am very unpatient and that my sarcasm is not a universal type of humor.

Traveling has allowed me to rediscover myself. It has let me see myself through the eyes of another culture, I have grown strong principles that I try my best to always stand by. It has made me better, and also made me into a more complete human being. Moving to the states has allowed me to grow and opened my eyes and soul. And that is the reason why I moved to the states: Cause I wanted to spire and grow.

chris

Moving Away From Your Friends

I wanna address how it is to move away from your friends at home cause I get a lot of email regarding it.

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Yea, its hard. Especially in the beginning. During my first year I missed my friends so much I was talking to them almost every day, and if I was not doing that then I was telling my new friends in the States about my friends back at home. In other words: If I was not talking to them, I was talking about them.

However, even though I love all my friends back home, I can honestly say that I have lost contact with a lot of them. First of all I am a bad at keeping in touch with people Facebook stresses me out, especially in the beginning cause Norway is 9 hours ahead and I ended up having 24 hours of non stop communication with friends at home and friends here. It just became too much and I had to cut down. Secondly, I ran out of stuff to talk to them about. I would try to explain boy problems or school stuff to them, but for people who have never even visited me and seen how I live and what I do every day it becomes hard because they simply cant relate. Moreover, I cant relate to them anymore.

A big gap grows between you cause you never see eachother and because your life has become so different. But mostly the gap also comes from the fact that you are growing into different people. What we do, what we experience, and the people we meet influence us more than we think. I have never regretted moving to the states and I do really appreciate all the people I have met and made friends with cause I feel they have all made me into a better person. But having all these new experiences with places and people have made me grow, and thereby changed me. I am no longer the same person I was when I first moved here, and I cant expect my friends to be the same people either.

We change, and that is totally normal and okay, but because of it and the distance a gap grows between us. Relationships are built upon experiences. Those long nights chatting with your best friend during a slumber party, or that fun trip you guys had, and that “one time at bandcamp”.. All of those fun and close experiences you guys had binds you together and the glue becomes “oh! do you remember that one time..”. Its experiences you can relate to and talk about, but once you no longer have that the glue weakens and a gap begins to grow.

Its natural, and it will most likely happen. But you will meet new people that are equally as nice, fun, smart and amazing as your best friends back home. Dont ever forget your old friends and all the fun you had with them, but acknowledge the fact that moving abroad will forever change your relationships.

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Christine

 

CABO BY NIGHT

Cabo by night.. is maybe not equally as fun as Mango Deck during the day, BUT it can be fun if you are ready to drink questionable shots, dance with drunk teenagers, fight with taxi drivers, hook up with randoms and stand hours in line to actually get your shots..

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I recommend buying JustColleges pass for 100 dollars so that you get to cut the lines at the clubs.

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The place to be is Squid Row, but go to Mandala next door and use your JustColleges drink tickets to avoid stading hours in line at squid row (Seriously that place has 5 bars or so but the line is never ending) OR bring a flask!

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Squid Row is fun, but you do a lot of walking around. Try getting one of those balconys that you see in the picture above. It allows you to dance with your friends without having creeper guys come up to you and try to seduce you with their horrible dancemoves (seriously Americans.. Grinding is not dancing..).

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Remember to have tone of fun with your friends. Cabo go by sooo quickly and when you get back you will sit on facebook for three days straight checking everyones cabo albums and openly wish you were there.

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Check out the Nowhere bar too! Fun place with crazy songs. I went a little insane with my moves when California girls came on..

xoxox

Christine

Mango Deck CABO

Hey my dearest!

So here are some more updates on all the fun I had in Cabo! Ill try to explain specifics a little better.

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The place to be during the day is Mango Deck. A huge day bar at the beach. It has about 4 different bar areas and the line is equally long everywhere.. (buy your drinks at the other bar two bars down.. Cheaper and sometimes they have 10 for 10$ shots.)

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Other things to do than stand in line waiting to use either your bankcard or you JustColleges drink tickets, is to mingle with the same people you see at your college every Thuresday night, but this time you are in cabo AND thats TOTALLY different..

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But seriously, this is so much fun actually! Have a few shots, build a sand castle, cover a innocent/passed out person with sand and take a picture, have a water fight in the ocean, buy a henna tatoo or try to get the cheapest headband from one of the sellers that constantly push their products in your face, and try to have as much fun the few days you are there!

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Struggles of a International Student

I just have to point out this hilarious article on buzzfeed!

I recognize myself in so many of them! Seriously I have been drinking for years and now you are telling me I cant drink legally anymore?? And the constant search of a green card husband and always asking friends “Can I get deported for this?”… its a struggle being international student and you would think I would end after a few years, but believe me the struggle continues…

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My British friend Eve and me

Heres my list of struggles:

Paperworkssss..: Seriously.. is all these documents necessary? Do I really need a 120, a visa, fill out hundreds of documents disclaiming my right to my own life.. also you want me to get an apartment and a car.. but you wont give me a social security number?..

Identification: In Norway we have our ids on the back of over debit card (in the us, our debit card suddenly turns into a credit card of mysterious reasons..), so wherever we go we dont have an id. Therefore my solution have been taking my passport our every time I wanna go to our local college bar.. or even get a money order at CVS (a piece of value paper international students pay their rent and sorority with).

Checks: Like.. what the hell is this? A third world country? who uses checks anymore? It was so confusing the first time I had to pay my apartment rent with a check. I think Europe stopped using those in the 80s..

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Getting my green card guys! .. no I am not; just have presents at my sorority

Distances: “omg. its soo far”.. no its just your LAZY LA legs that dont like to put one foot infront of the other and MOVE. A walk thats longer than 5 minutes is considered a hike, and the car is considered the only method of transportation. Stairs are also unheard off, and in my apartment complex I see people take the elevator down 1 floor to go to the gym (this is not normal guys.. heard about leg day?)

Food: No it is not normal to have desserts or something sweet after dinner every day.. (okay I know they do this other places than Europe, but in the rural country of Norway, sugar was considered luxury during WW2 and a lot of our grandparents/parents grew up believing chocolate war only meant for Saturdays)

Also the food size is just ridiculous. I actually tossed out my dinner plates here cause they were seriously bigger than my head.

 

Being a international student has its perks and its downsides, and I always run into funny and awkward situations where the most ordinary things for americans just sound so weird to me. The other day I noticed accustomed I had gotten to americans pregame: 6 shots in 30 min before you go out, compared to a bottle of wine during a 4 hours long pregame in Europe.

Its an adjustment, but its a fun one, even tho it can be quit frustrating at times.

Good luck guys.. you will need it!

Christine

 

 

 

 

Delta Gamma Founders Day

Yesterday was Delta Gammas founders day! That ment walking up at 9 am after a pretty long saturday night to go to the rooftop bar at The Standard hotel in Downtown. Despite being overly tired, we all had such a good time in the sun eating brunch and listening to speeches about our founding sister.

here are the picture:

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How to rush in college

Rushing for me was extreme! Coming from little Norway I was so lost during the whole process; I even managed to sign up too late and almost had to miss the whole thing hadent it been for a white lie about the application not working (blabla) and a very sweet sorority girl who got me in.

DG

I think that for international students rushing is something we only see on film and TV shows where everything is exaggerated and overdone. But I will tell you one thing: those hair-flipping overexcited blond, tan, white teeth sorority girls you see on TV they do all exist.

day 1: We went through registration which I almost missed since I hadent signed up. But there was a quick meeting about sorority, alcohol policy, security, etc. Then we were given groups and let to go.

day 2 to 4: We met in the groups we were assigned (i was group 13.. and what they  call an Ad On because I registered late so I knew that non of the sorority had done any background check on me like they often do for girls they view as potential members). The first day we had three houses we had to talk to.

You stand with your group outside the sorority house and the girls in the sorority come out and sing and flip their hair for you. The hair flip looks kinda crazy and I was seriously concerned for their necks! But anayways, after some hairflipping you go into the house and one girl takes your hand and find a spot for you to sit down and have a talk. I had a normal conversations (Miley cyrus and the summer was hot topics) with all the girls i spoke to during the three days of conversations but some girls are also asked about their community service hours and very formal stuff.

We had three days of conversation days. I remember it being ridiculously hot outside so a few girls fainted during the 5 hours a day you run around from house to house all dressed up in heels and cute outfits. You barely had time to eat between the houses as they where all scheduled to be only 10 minutes apart and some houses where running late so you had to run for the next one in your heels and all.

I very quickly had my favorites which was Kappa, DG, Alpha Phi and Pi Phi. I think I liked them because the conversation went smoother and I got the feeling they wanted me.

After the last conversation day you have to run back to you group leader and pick 7 of your top houses. Then the next day you have to wake up early and meet up with your group leader which hands you a little piece of colored paper with those houses who invited you back for house tour. If one of the seven houses you chose the day before drops you because they did not believe you would fit in you will be invited back into one of the other houses that listed you. I got all the houses I listed, but I was most excited to see all my top 4 there.

Day 5: Day five is house tours which means that you are invited back into the house and are allowed to see other parts of the house than you saw the first day. These days felt even hotter and I actually ran home during my one hour break to shower (!) and redo my make up. House tours are more fun than conversation days as you get to see the house.

First there are some more hairflipping by the sorority girls before you go in in alphabetical order (this is because they had matched you up with someone). I remember most of the girls that gave me house tours was international students aswell because they want to match you up with someone they believe you would like. A lot of the girls I met during house tours are still girls I hang out with today so they do a good job on matching you!

After day 5 you rush back to your group leader who asks you to choose your top 4. At this point my favorites where Kappa, DG, ADPi (mostly because my roommate is in this house), and Pi Phi.

Day 6: This is slideshow day, but first you have to meet up with your group leader to see which houses invited you back. At this point I was so nervous that I barely managed to look a my little pink peace of paper, but also this time I got all the houses I wanted!

I had my first house at 11 so I went back for a few more hours of sleep. Then I met up with my groups. Again it was dripping hot outside! A few girls fainted and I felt dizzy myself at a point because sometimes some of the sororities are a bit behind schedule so you therefore have to stand outside all dressed up, super stressed in the burning sun and wait for them to come out and get you.

During Slideshow day you get to see a slideshow or video of fun events the sorority have done. Its a way for them to show you that they are all nice, fun and cute girls. Slideshow days are less stressful as you get to sit down the entire time while watching a short little video, hear the girls sing and you even get food and drinks.

Then end of the day you meet up with your group adviser for the last time to choose your top two. I had to call my roommate and let her know I would be dropping her house. I really wanted to be in a house with her, but I quickly got the feeling that her house was not for me, and I also felt that the other houses wanted me more. So this time I choose Kappa and DG.

day 7: same process as before, you wake up early and meet up with your advisers to get to know which houses you got. It took me a few minutes to gather up the courage to even look at my slip. It is incridible how invested you get into this. You try so hard to make the houses you want like you and not getting invited back can feel like such a stab in the heart, almost like a breakup. Coming in as a international student it was totally unexpected for me that I would care this much about getting the houses I wanted. I luckily again was invited back to my top houses.

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day seven is preference day (because this is your preference houses). This is the more formal part of the recruitment process and you have to dress up very nice in heels and cocktail dresses. They have one girl from each house come out and walk you in. You get to sit down for a little meal while they have speeches, performances and entertainment for you. To me this part was a bit extreme as one of my top houses literally looked like they were having a wedding! The houses was decorated beautifully and everything was planned down to the very last details with food and everything.

Right after this you have to stand in line to electronically select your number 1 choice. There was maybe 100 girls in line when I got there as almost 700 girls are rushing! I choose DG as my first because it was a house that I really liked from the beginning and I felt I got really well along with the girls!

Evening day 7: this is when you get to find out which house you got into. All the sororities pick around 70 girls out of 1000 potential members so the competition is hard! At USC you meet up in the evening with your group members in jeans and a white shirt. At the same time you are handed a bid card which says which house you got into. Every girl around me would turn their card and start screaming, while some girls seemed less happy as they might not have gotten their top choice. This was perhaps the peak of my nervousness during rush. I started at the back of my card to gather up the courage to have a look. One of my group leaders looked at me and smiled: “You will be happy” she said, and I knew at that moment I had gotten into DG so I turned the card quickly and with proud letters it said: Welcome to Delta Gamma! I screamed! I felt so ridicules! But also so incredible happy!

1236606_10151689721984051_546419889_n After finding out which house you get into we at USC do the House Run where you run from campus to the row where your new sorority is. A long the way fraternity boys (which you have not been allowed to speak to during rush) have gathered to welcome the new girls. Its looks insane as 700 overly excited girls run all sweaty toward their house.

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At DG I had all my new sisters waiting for me with gifts and hugs, and it felt great to meet all of them and finally know that the week of rush hell was over!

 

 

 

What 2013 taught me

Jardin I love those end of the year lists everyone makes. Its a fun way to remember the year that has gone by and also see if there was any valuable lessons that I can take with me into the new year.

1: Try to live in a different city: Of course I am talking about this summer when I lived in Paris! Despite seriously having some of the worst moments in my life while I was there, I still met some amazing people that I still keep in touch with, and I seriously learned that idea of not caring too much about school.  A grade freak like me would before Paris have cried myself to sleep over a bad grade, but in Paris I learned that skipping the last 4 hours of class to sit at cafees with my friends were far more valuable than any grade! (I will make that lesson nr 2)

3: There is always a way: Gash I am back discussing Paris(france) again, BUT when I nearly missed my flight in Nice I did everything in my power to get on that plane, even though that meant hitchhiking with a complete stranger on the back of a motorcycle… When thing dosent go your way, you are obliged to do anything in your power to make it go your way. It is not over before the plane leaves the ground (literary).Antoniette

4: Beauty arises from chaos: I wrote an essay about hip hop and Blues and learned the connection that musical styles often grow out of social struggles. Blues from minstrel and slavery, and hip hop from the Bronx in the 70s. I think its an important message as life often fall down upon us and we sometimes struggle to see where our next step will be, and its therefore important to remember that better things can aspire out of the muddle we sometimes get our self into.

5: Sororities are OKAY! I taught I would be stuck with a bunch of airheads, but I ended up being stuck with 250 amazing, smart and successful women! Sororities have their stereotypes, and although a lot of them are confirmed I have kinda changed my view on the stereotypes. That smiling blond overly excited girl is now me and for all the right reasons as being part of a sorority has taught me about smiling, and appreciating things a bit more. And I seriously understand why they are all so excited because being part of a group makes the fun even more fun. its kinda like giggling over silly things with your best friend, but now you have 250 of them.

DG6: A smile can get you far, and not smiling saves you a lot energy..: A smile can brighten any day and I love walking into my sorority and always see somone smiling and asking how my day was. I also saw the importance of smiling when we visited an elderly center up in hollywood and one lady started crying because she just loved the christmas joy we spread (and the cookies). Smiles send so much love so remember to smile. On the other side not smiling keeps the freaks off you. gash some people cant take no for an answer, and therefore looking like a mad cow solves the issue as no one dares to approach you!

7: Learn to forgive…

8: College is possibly the best time of your life: this one speaks for itself, if not just google it.

1441287_652741371445359_411421617_n9: Take the opportunities you are given: I have really practiced the YES word this year. Said yes to a free trip to miami, free stay in cannes, yes to paris, yes to joining a sorority, yes to being a model at oslo fashion week, yes to new friends, yes to vegas, yes to free stay in SF, sooo much yes

10: have fun. Fridays are not meant for the library. Go out

11: be the person you want to be remembered as: being in college with so many young people it often happens that someone passes away at a too early age. I remember reading about one usc student who died tragically in Cabo last springbreak, and it struck me how such an amazing person he sounded like. He will definitely be remembered as a great guy. And off of that I think its important to remember that we dont live forever so therefore appreciate the moments we are given with people that you love and who loves you, and try to emphasize the good qualities within you so that people remember you as genuine good, (and not as a bitch to likes to control everyones life)

12: have a schedule that works for you. I like to sleep 12 hours every day.. and i therefore have a schedule that helps me with that.

 

 

Tips for utenlandsstudenter

1: Prisforskjeller: Som nordmann lever du ganske bra i andre land fordi alt er så dyrt i Norge i forhold. Derfor blir de 200 kr på en taxi-tur inn til byen regnet som billig, inntil du faktisk tar en titt på kontoen din og oppdager at den ENE taxituren er blitt til 20 og den sammenslåtte prisen en helt annen.

Det er så veldig lett å tro man kan leve som kongelig fordi man plutselig er i utlandet, men husk at du fortsatt har et lån og stipend å forholde deg til og at du som utlandsstudent bare får utbetalt EN gang i halvåret. Tell meteren på dopapiret, handle på salg og undersøk hvor du får billigst mat. Det tar tid å venne seg til en annen pris på en livsstil så ikke la deg lure.

2: Facebook: Meld deg inn i grupper relatert til skolen din. På denne måten kan du bli kjent med eller bare se hvem du faktisk skal gå på skole med. Det er også lettere å finne noen å bo med på denne måten.

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3: Sånn som på film: jeg tror det er lett å tenke at college eller universitet skal bli slik vi har sett på film og tv. Og det første som kommer til å slå deg er at alle ser betraktelig ynger ut enn på tv. I usa er de bare 18 når de begynner på college, du som nordmann er 19 eller 20 og kulturelt mye mer voksen enn de du begynner på skole med. Dette kommer av en annen kultur rett og slett. Grøftefylla som du holdt på med på ungdomsskolen og videregående er standard første året på college, og mange unge prøver alkohol for første gang.

Men selv om de kanskje ikke er HELT slik du så for deg så vil du oppdage at når du er ferdig med skolen og ting faktisk var ganske likt sånn som på TV.. Etter å ha snublet deg gjennom en fireårig amerikansk bachelor vil du oppdage at du plutselig har blitt del av en college kultur, en liten boble som beskytter deg mot omverdenen og når du står der med graduation hatten på hodet og diplomet i hånden vil du plutselig se ting litt annerledes. Du skjønner det når du står der 😉

4: Ta deg tid: Som nevnt over så vil du plutselig en dag stå på gradution podiet og høre navnet ditt bli lest opp for avgangsklassen din. Du har gledet deg til denne dagen gjennom alle de fire årene, men så er du plutselig der. Det heter seg at det ikke er destinasjonen som er målet med reisen, det er det du opplever frem til du når det. Ta deg tid og nyt den studietiden du har nå. Det haster ikke å vokse opp, karakterer betyr ikke all verden og du kommer til å angre hvis de eneste minnene du kan mimre om er de mangfoldige timene du tilbragte innerst inne i kroken på biblioteket. Du kommer i mål en gang, men frem til da så haster det ikke.

5: tid til skole også: Selv om du skal nyte studietiden så må også studier passe inn. Det er ingen nytelse å stryke på eksamen, eller få en dårlig karakter så finn et balansepunkt der du får til begge deler.

Lykke til

Christine