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Humans of RC: She’s got the whole world in her heart, Carolyn Kitsock

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Written by Shamira James

Carolyn Kitsock is a junior from Lancaster, PA. Along with being a Communications major with a concentration in marketing, she is also on the RC women’s tennis team, an RA and a Chi Omega sister.

“I had always wanted to study abroad, and England interested me so much. I got to stay in Brighton which is only, like, an hour away from London. I fell in love with the city. It was so bright and vibrant, and the people were incredible. They were so relaxed, they just didn’t want to be a bother to anyone, like when my classmates would show up late for class, it wasn’t a big deal. They just apologized and we carried on. {Parts of society and their culture made it easy to fit in, but there were all these other things that were different.

The night life there isn’t like it is here. There aren’t basement frat parties, they have clubs and then they also have ‘flat parties’ which are just small apartment parties that are very lowkey and relaxed but still a really fun time. And then, even more so, just adapting to say certain things like ‘football’ instead of ‘soccer’ or ‘toilet’ instead of ‘bathroom’ or instead of saying ‘hey, what’s up?’ I’d have to say ‘hey, are you alright?’.

“I was really surprised at how much of our pop culture they watched and were interested in. Being from America, they all thought it was cool and I always got questions about life over here like, ‘is high school like the movies?’ and I thought that was weird, because in America we see those movies as obvious dramatic depictions of American life and not what high school could be like. Like, there are those relatable moments, but we still understand it’s not all true, but they were very much intrigued by the way they see America on TV. Even the music there was mainly songs I recognized. In the clubs they would play maybe 10 American songs and then maybe one British song I didn’t know.”

“Settling back in has been incredible. I chose this fall semester to go abroad so that I wouldn’t miss an entire [tennis] season. I also got to come back to all my RA friends, and I’m happy about that too, because it just would’ve been weird to come back to not be an RA again. The FOMO was bad in the beginning of the year, but once I got busy and started doing my own thing it got easier, but the worst was that I would still get the daily emails that would have the commons menu on it or events going on around campus, and that always got me a little.

I was happy with my choice to go away in the fall because the spring semester is major. All of the seniors leave, I’m playing tennis, it’s getting warmer outside so everyone is a little less tense – spring semester is the ultimate grind.”

“I think everyone should go abroad because it’s unlike an experience I’ve ever had. I don’t know if that opportunity would’ve come up ever again, for me to study these things in a different country and then on top of that, just learning these things with the lens and experience of being in another country with such a beautiful country. And, yes you’re leaving behind Roanoke, a place that we all love, but you’re getting a chance to take a break from the bubble we’re in and go out and explore. It’s cliché, but you find yourself going out there and it makes you appreciate it here and around the world so much more.”