Not to sound cliche but moving countries, states and living completely independently is massive and you do learn a lot about yourself and grow as a person.
There’s small things you learn like how to do your own laundry, grocery shopping etc. But I’ve learned how to book a holiday and travel by myself without the help of my parents – as we flew from Orlando airport to Newark after our vacation to Disneyworld! That to me was a big thing and stressful as I’ve always had my family to help me around the airport.
You also grow up a lot and realise some things aren’t worth getting hung up on. Don’t say anything and move on because if you get caught up on all the small things it will ruin your time in America. Unfortunately I had to learn this the hard way for a time. It can be irritating living, working and socialising with the same people every day for 8 months – everyone gets cranky eventually! So what helped me get through that is to make friends outside of work. They can also show you different places to hang out as in Florida everyone from all the local country clubs will go to the same place every week. For the clubs around West Palm Beach it’ll be Roxy’s, Dirty Martini, Pawn Shop and Renegades.
Personally I hate being grouped as a J-1 Butler kid as it means that if other people make mistakes your name is included through default. The best advice I can give is to stay professional, don’t gossip (it can be hard but trust me!) and stay true to yourself. I never do things I’m not comfortable with but it is good to push your boundaries and try new things because the culture here is so different to home. I’ve just moved to Connecticut and now listen to Latino music, I’ve tried salsa dancing and I’m trying to learn a little Spanish and French because it’s the languages my new colleagues speak. In Glasgow I wouldn’t have this opportunity so I’m trying to make the most out of this experience!