I am a TV shows person. I like crime dramas, medical dramas, South African soapies, paranormal dramas, comedy… you name it! I am not saying I am an expert in everything related to TV shows, but I can hold together conversations on what is happening across different dramas and series. So, if I told you that I have not watched anything these past four weeks? What would you think? That I’m lying of course, but I am not. It is true, much to my shame. And it is going to change from here on out.
From the first day in America, from the time I arrived at the airport and saw my hostess holding up a banner with my name on it, to the first morning of October when I sat down at my desk to work, I had not thought about TV. Not even once. It startled me. I remember how I felt overwhelmed from the moment I set foot on U.S. soil. The buildings were beautiful, the roads unbelievably clean, the houses neat and tidy and my school looked like something that came to life from a National Geographic site or a Harry Potter movie. I was stunned by the beauty found in everything. I was also stunned by how fast everything was, and how everyone who passed by me in the streets seemed to have somewhere important to be. I was in America, the land where dreams come true.
Then came Orientation week. I cannot remember how many people I introduced myself to or the number of icebreakers I had to answer. I was overwhelmed by new faces and new accents. I had to think of answers to questions that had never crossed my mind.
“I detect an accent, where are you from?”
“How do I get my hair to look like yours?”
“Is that a scarf wrapped around your head? It looks so cool!”
I threw myself into my readings, papers and assignments as I tried to keep up and stop myself from feeling rusty. My life revolved around classes, the library and the dining hall, only going back to my room to chat to my roommates and get some sleep. It was hard to get deadlines and emails out of my mind. The first day of October was so cold that I decided to stay in and read in my much warmer room. As I sat at that desk and stared at my laptop, I realized that this was the first time in four weeks I had felt like I had nothing to do. I immediately thought about TV shows and spent the a good chunk of the rest of that Sunday afternoon watching a few shows. I had forgotten over the course of four weeks what it felt like simply to relax and not think about schoolwork. Never again.
Nokukhanya Ncube is a first year USAP student from Bulawayo who is studying at Wellesley College. She attended John Tallach High School.