“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain
I found this quote at the beginning of my exchange year and I realize more and more how true it is. You leave your entire life behind you: your family, friends and environment what you are used to. I am in the U.S. for over three months now and I can already say that it was the best decision I have ever made.
I am spending this year in Mississippi, in the South of the US. Mississippi, known as “the birthplace of America’s music.” Stars like Elvis Presley and Britney Spears were raised here. When I talked the first time with my host family and figured out that they love music as much as I do, I was so unbelievably happy. In my high school I am a part of the Marching Band, together with my brother who is one year older than I. I had already played the flute in Germany for 8 years. I had lessons, played in ensembles and an orchestra but we don’t have Marching Bands in Germany. It’s a whole new experience for me. During the Football Season we practiced every day during school and two times a week after school and played every Friday night at the game and performed during the halftime show. At the beginning it was pretty hard because I never played in a Marching Band before. I had to memorize my music and also my sets for the show. To put everything together was really hard but after a couple of games, I got used to it and figured out how much I enjoy it. I love to say: “Without the band it’s just a game, but with the band it’s a party”. During Spring Break we will travel together to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. We will march in a parade and spend a couple of days there.
Besides the Band, I am also a part of the Show Choir “Pioneer Sound” at my school. Back in Germany I love to sing in a normal choir and to dance and now I can put it together. I love it because it’s so different what I’m used to. We just performed in the program for the Veterans Day and in a couple of weeks we are having our Christmas Show. In my second semester I will be in the musical from our school. I can’t wait to experience to be a part of an American musical. Music was always my biggest hobby and I’m so glad that I can continue it during the exchange, but the amazing thing is that it’s in a completely different way. It’s an American way, which I would never have experienced without the exchange.
Written by Lotte from Germany