How to Survive an American Cafeteria

Cafeterias: some people love them and some people love to hate them. Some students can’t imagine feeding themselves because Mom has always been there and they can’t imagine anyone cooking as well as she does. Whether you are looking to stay healthy or starting to feel homesick, hopefully these tips can be helpful for you.

Running out of time…
You just had 3 classes, a meeting with a professor, a group project, and a trip to the bank. Time for cooking has quickly disappeared. Cafeterias prepare food for you, and this makes a big difference in a busy schedule! Most American cafeterias have different stations where you can get various types of food. A salad station with lettuce, raw vegetables, cooked eggs, and other toppings are commonly found. A grill station might have burgers, french fries, chicken or other ready made items. A station with rotating menu items that change every day and consist of vegetables and meats prepared in different ways. Many cafeterias also have a station where you can select raw ingredients and have a chef quickly cook your selection to pair with noodles or rice.

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“Have you been stressed lately?”

The nurse practitioner handed me a box of tissues as she broke the terrible news to me that there was nothing wrong with my heart.
“Have you been stressed lately?” I told her no, as if that were the craziest thing I’d ever heard. After a series of more specific questions, she no longer gave me the option to diagnose myself.
“You’re stressed. What you’ve been experiencing are physical manifestations of anxiety.”
As I reached for a tissue, I marveled at her forethought. Clearly, this kind of conversation was not a first for her.
Next thing I knew, there was a piece of paper in my hands, and as I skimmed it, the phrases, “breath out for 8 seconds” … “prayer” … “yoga and exercise” … and “no caffeine” leapt off the page.
The racing heartbeat, uncontrollable shaking, numb limbs and shortness of breath indicative of a panic attack came over me 3 times over the course of a couple months before that nurse helped me realize that’s what was happening. I have never felt so fragile as I did in the aftermath of that discovery.

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Reverse Culture Shock

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can never go home again.”? Of course, you may travel to your home country after having been away, but your “home” will not be the same place you left. Just as you have changed from your experiences abroad, your home has changed as well. To prepare yourself for your return to you home, it is helpful to think about culture shock.

Culture shock is a phrase to describe a sense of confusion, anxiety, and uncertainty people sometimes feel when they move from one culture to another. Certainly, we expect it when we go somewhere completely new. We may not expect it when we return to the place we grew up after being away for some time. According to author Lisa Espineli Chinn, there are four phases we experience in culture shock. o our surprise, when we return home, we experience the phases again. We call this reverse culture shock.

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Getting a Driver’s License

You made it all the way to the United States. You made it to a new state, new city, new university campus. You probably used multiple modes of transportation to get there: airplane, train, bus, and uber.

Now that you’re here, it may be easy for you to get around using public transportation, like buses or trains. Or maybe your campus has everything you could possibly need, so you don’t travel off campus. But many U.S. cities lack proper public transportation so not having a car limits what you are able to do. Which leads to the question: How do I get a driver’s license in the U.S.?

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A Starter’s Guide to Making the Most of Your Time

Time. It is a valuable resource that we often feel we are running out of. “If only I had more time!” How often do you find yourself saying or thinking that? While you want to get a good education in the U.S., you also want to have an experience that goes beyond your classroom or lab. You want to explore all that your University, city, and other states have to offer. You want to make great friends. Perhaps you would like to take part in more of what Bridges has to offer…if only you had the time, right?

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Credit Cards: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

What exactly is a credit card it? Contrary to popular belief, credit cards are not free money. You can’t just swipe it to buy that new couch for your apartment and then walk away none the poorer. Instead, think of credit cards as being a short term loan. So if you want to buy that couch for your apartment, but it costs more than you can pay right now, the credit card company will loan you the money when you swipe the card. Then, at the end of the month, you have to pay them back in the form of a credit card bill. In light of this, these are something you should know before you get your first credit card.

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