Lesson Transcript

Alisha: Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. Today, I'm joined by…
Michael: Michael. Hello.
Alisha: And, today, we're going to be talking about the college experience in the United States. So, we're going to be sharing some things that we think are maybe very common if you attend the college in the United States. So, let's begin. Why don't we start with you, Michael? What is your first item?
Michael: First item is…four years. It's not too exciting to talk about but one of my friends from the UK was asking me about you know how long does it take, what's the typical amount of time, because, I guess, in the UK, and I'm sure this is different from wherever you are in the world, they do three years, something like that, for us, typically, your secondary education is high school. That's four years. So, grade 9, 10, 11, 12. You graduate around 18 years old, 17, 18. And then, you go to university and the degrees are--the most common is four years which is your bachelor's. Some people do two years for an associate's. And then, you can go on and get master's and that kind of varies how long you want to take, personally, how many majors, blah, blah, blah. But, I guess in the UK, it's typically three years.
Alisha: For university?
Michael: Yeah, for the average University time. Because their education in high school is different too.
Alisha: Oh, I actually don't know that.
Michael: Yeah, me either. Until just last week.
Alisha: Oh, okay. The first year, each year in college has a name and as well as in high school, too. So, the first year is called--or the students, the first-year students are called the freshmen. If you think about that word, "fresh," "man." So, "fresh" meaning, new, and "man," in this case, I'm just meaning people but man. So, the first year, there is this thing called the "the freshman fifteen" which maybe you've heard of. The freshman 15, I don't know if you know this one. Freshman 15, the "15" in freshman 15 refers to 15 pounds or pounds in terms of body weight. So, kind of a joke that you might hear if you go to a college in the US or maybe in another country, too, you have this. Freshmen move out of their parents' home and go to a school where they start eating cafeteria food anytime they like, they can get their own snacks, they're on their own, essentially, and the joke is that a freshman gain 15 pounds in their freshman year of college. Do you know about the freshman 15?
Michael: Yeah, I know it all too well. I gained the freshman 20 or something like that.
Alisha: You got the freshman 15? Ooh.
Michael: My problem is, I mean, partly, I think, the typical thing is because of the freedom. Your parents have a set meal, you have extracurricular activities.
Alisha: I actually lost weight in my first term of college. But then, after that, I changed things up a bit and then it was like, whoa. It goes just like a monster. I was looking at pictures last week or something like that. "Whoa!" Such a difference, actually, yeah. I had a bit of wealth just watching all the English in three minutes video, you'll get the idea, yeah. Okay, so, freshman 15, that's a common one. Alright, what's your next one?
Michael: So, this kind of relates to the freshman 15 is…to party, partying, party all the time.
Alisha: Party on Wayne.
Michael: Party on Garth. So, I mean you're free. In high school, a lot of people drink and go party but you have to keep it secret from your parents, you have to do the thing where you call and you say, "I'm going to stay at Alisha's house." And, Alisha's parents think she's staying at my house and we both go to a party where the parents are out of town. We have to be very secret but in college, anytime, there's always somebody who wants to party. And, there's always the bad influence who just doesn't care, they want to drop out. There's always a party if you seek it, it's there. So, with that, that's why I gained the freshman 15 is drinking a lot of calories.
Alisha: This leads actually perfectly into a slight variation. I wrote themed parties for one of my cards. Especially beyond the freshman year, so the second year of college is called sophomore, the students are called sophomores, third year, they're called juniors and fourth-year, seniors. So, in your sophomore, junior and senior year of college, typically, I would say, you move out of the dorm and into a house or an apartment and it is there in the freedom, beyond the college campus, that you can have themed parties. So, I'm betting that you have some stories. We had some themed parties. My friends and I, we did, of course, Halloween parties, we did those. We had a blacklight party one time where we placed all the lights in the house with black lights and everyone wore a white T-shirt and brought a highlighter, and then, we would draw things or write things on people's T-shirts. That was fun.
Michael: On your skin.
Alisha: Yeah, like that. Those are really fun. We did a camo, everybody had to wear camo at the party, that was a thing we did.
There's a very, very key thing that appears in beer pong which is this the red Solo cup. So, "Solo" is the brand of cup that is--if you've watched a movie that's set in college in the US, you will have seen the character at the party holding this red plastic cup. The brand is Solo and I don't know how it came to be that this was just the college cup but it is, it's just at every party, it's just cheap. And, I didn't know this until recently but there are lines on that red Solo, where the bottom line on the cup is the amount of a shot, a spirit shot. The next line up is one serving of wine, after that is a beer, I think. The lines actually have a meaning to them, apparently. I don't know if it's true. I read that recently, though, because I was looking for them.
Michael: My line was—
Alisha: I could not find them. I couldn't find him but, yes, that cup is "the college cup." The college cup of the college experience. Okay.
Michael: Experimenting is my next one because actually my favorite place to go, as far as clubs, are gay clubs. I love gay clubs and the first time I went to a gay club was in university. And, the whole atmosphere is just very accepting. I think probably because in the LGBT community, there's discrimination and so, there as a demographic, generally, very accepting, very laid-back. So, I could go there and just have fun. You can wear whatever you want, you can talk and dance to whoever, just a lot of fun. I think, in university, this is actually a phrase that my friends would always say and I don't know if this is an idiom or something or maybe just my friends, but, it's "college is about experiences." And, you always hear that and when someone's not sure they don't want to do something, "Hey, come on. College is about experiences. Let's go hike that mountain and experiment in many different ways." Did you have anything like this?
Alisha: I was honestly trying to think of something, some big change. I did start drinking in college, yes, but I really didn't do anything that was—honestly, I've never been like a super crazy, crazy person. I'll try new things like I'll try like new food or like oh I don't know I like going to interesting events or festivals or that kind of thing is fine. But, as far as making a drastic change to my appearance or anything like that, I really didn't.
Sororities and fraternities. A sorority is a group of girls who live together in one house and do things. I was not a member of a sorority so I don't really know details. Somebody, I'm sure, out there, probably knows more than me. Fraternities, on the other hand, are groups of men who live together. So, they're college-age women and college-age men who live together and they do things together. The image of a sorority or fraternity is that they're, at least my image, wealthy, kind of privileged kids, which is not even necessarily true. But, this is the image that appears in a lot of movies about college experiences in America or in the States.
Alright, very nice, very nice. It's interesting to compare our different experiences. Any final thoughts on college in the US.
Michael: That's it, yeah.
Alisha: If you have a chance, give it a try or study in any country outside your own. It's an interesting experience. So, as Michael said before, experimenting can be an interesting way to broaden your horizons, whatever that means for you.
Okay, that's all for us for today about the college experience in the USA. Thanks very much for watching and we will see you again soon. Bye.