Two years ago, when I first saw Lafayette it was not a love at first sight. I am a rising junior now, and in the past two years I have learnt to love Lafayette- and surprisingly it was not that hard to do so.

Coming to study abroad in USA obviously meant a lot of adaptations and changes. No matter how prepared I thought I was for the American culture, there were indeed a few initial cultural shocks- most of which came from my first year roommate. She was way too comfortable walking around naked in the room- a level of comfort I definitely had a hard time getting used to. Also on my second week in college I was “sexiled” (a term they use here when your roommate banishes you from your room when they have their gf/bf over), which then became a usual biweekly tradition. Fortunately for both of us, she moved into a single the next semester.

There were some changes I loved from the start: I love the fact that I can walk in with a steaming cup of coffee and a bagel into an early morning class- in fact if it weren’t for the caffeine rush, I (and half of my class) would have spent way more classes sleeping through them rather than being awake. I still cannot make it to the 8 ams on time. Unlike in Nepal, students here do not talk during the classes- and not because the teacher does not want them to, but because they don’t want to. In fact it is expected that you don’t take the adjacent seat to a person but the next one, allowing for some personal space. The system of education here is completely different from the “Nepali” system where your final exam counts for everything. So if you are the kind who actually does homework diligently, completes projects on time and attends classes regularly, you will float through the semesters pretty easily. But if you, like me, come from a high school where you basically didn’t have any homework, it is a lot of work to catch on to. Well one could always opt not to do it (which I tried- and it did not work out that well…big surprise there!!!), only to realize later that a major portion of your final grade is based upon attendance and homework alone.

The social aspect that intrigued me the most on college was the “Greek Life”. For a small college with hardly 2000 students, Lafayette is huge on Greek life with 6 sororities and 7 fraternities. During my sophomore year, I rushed for Tri-delta (one of the sororities and yes, they had legit interviews). Out of the 200 girls who tried for the membership, the 6 sororities selected around 100 girls to be a part of their exclusive group on the bidding day-(which is a grand ceremony with all the older members welcoming the new ones). And I was more than excited to receive the acceptance from Tri-delta; they called us the “Delta babies”.

For the time I was a part of it, we had a lot of social activities, fund raisers, different programs or typical girly nights. However, since most of the events are mandatory, I had to quit after the second semester.

The group of international students, ISA- is a huge part of my life here at Lafayette. Other than ISA, I am also a part of the Dance Crew, the newspaper, the Outdoors club and the Art Club. Unlike the general misconception, it’s not all about parties’ every day. My friends and I try to make the best of it. Some days are better than others- when we drive to NY or Philadelphia to just roam around the city or go bowling, or maybe even just for an outdoor dinner. Other days, we just laze around in the lounge, order a pizza and complain about the insane amount of work the professors have assigned us.

My past two years here have been great, and by now I am used to most of the stuff here. However there are some things that amuses me as much as they did the first time - like walking by the bikini clad girls sunbathing on the quad when on my way to classes or All College Day- where students rage since 5 am in the morning and walk drunk all day celebrating Lafayette’s game against the rival school, Lehigh.(and it does not matter whether we win or lose). And there are some things I will never get used to  like living by myself and getting over homesickness. Even though I love my life here, there are times I think I would just rather be home.