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  • maygrehan

Study Abroad and not much else

Happy March everyone,

It’s my birthday month so I’m writing this while in New Orleans, Louisiana. I’ll write more about this trip in the next blog post :)


February has seen me complete a whole lot of assessments. My favourite topics to work on were focused on social justice issues like Juvenile Life without Parole, and learning more about minority populations in the USA. Very interesting stuff. I came abroad mostly so I could say that I lived in America- but heck yeah I’ve really enjoyed learning about social work and criminal justice here too. Double win.

I’m part of an acapella group at GVSU called Groove. I fricken love it. It’s such an American thing. I saw Idea of North perform a lot in high school but acapella is definitely not mainstream in Australia. The first performance I did with the group was for the Presidents Ball. I got to wear a gorgeous hot pink gown and got a free ticket and food for performing too. My second performance with the group was singing the American National Anthem at a Grand Rapids Gold Basketball game. It was awesome! I definitely felt like an imposter - but they couldn’t tell. Everytime I perform or rehearse with the group, I totally nerd out. Annual goal achieved. The other major event in February saw our group compete in the ACCAs. There was choreo and it was right at the start of March so I wasn’t apart of the performance but I got to go and film our group. There were ten groups from different universities and it was very ‘Pitch Perfect’. The team that got through to the next round were phenomenal. They did cheerleader lifts and made percussion with their hands. Stellar performance.

The second hobby most sucking up my time is the musical. I mentioned it in my last post but now I will expand. I am playing Paulette in Legally Blonde the Musical. An absolute cracker of a character. I get to belt out some nice mezzo stuff, pull faces and be funny. The majority of the cast are fresh faced individuals who say a lot of new lingo. When you did good, “you ate that up”, when you’re working on something, “you’re cooking” and if you love something, “you f*** with it”. Other overused vernacular includes ‘mid’ meaning average, and ‘bet’ which means I agree (i think). I’m not using the lingo yet but maybe it will catch on. The choreo is easy (thank god) and I’m only in my scenes so I’m still pretty on top of everything. We shall see if that lasts after spring break.

Finally I am the finance advisor for a student organisation titled Uniting Nations. We focus on creating opportunities between international and domestic students to forge friendships and exchange cultures. It has been a trial by fire at every turn but I’m still in it. We have hosted a few low key events which have had more than twenty people turn out. My favourite event so far however was that I rented a minivan out and took a few students to another university to see their cultural performance show titled Rangeela. One member said “I will remember this for the rest of my life”. It was really touching. Organising the thing was a real fiasco so to get feedback like that was incredible. Our next big event is an International Pool party. I am excited and exhausted to plan it- but just like the last, it will all be worthwhile.

I can’t remember the films I watched this month but I’m back reading books. I finished Britney’s memoir ‘The Woman in Me’ and it’s barely scathing. The stuff about JT is on one page and was totally blown out of proportion. It was interesting reading about the conservatorship and upsetting to read about how fame turned the family into manipulative and controlling people. Unfortunately it’s not rare, there are so many celebrities that had/ have huge issues with family members that their riches have provided for that end in big law disputes. The other book was called ‘The Swimmers’. It started out cookie and fun but ended pretty sad. It was really about a mother with dementia and end of life stuff. It was a recommended 2024 book and a really quick read, if something like that floats your boat.

And that’s the update for February. I’ve got two months left of my exchange before I do another American roadtrip and  then my brother and I may be doing two weeks in China (visa pending).

Thanks for reading,

Xx May

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