University of Wisconsin–Madison

Snap Back to Reality

These last three weeks have flown by. Classes started and societies switched into full gear. I have finally hung up some decorations in my room, found some time to go for runs, and stopped getting lost on campus. So here are some updates:

There is a lot of history being made in South Africa right now, which is such a cool thing to experience firsthand. Protesting is happening on campuses all over the country. The protesting increased pretty quickly right when classes started, so I was playing catch up trying to understand what everything was about. From the conversations I’ve had with students, there is a call for equal treatment of Blacks and Whites – mainly in the University system. One main issue is whether or not there is a lack of housing on campus for Black students. Not a lot has been solved so far, but I feel like the students are making progress in getting their voices heard. Changes are being made here and I’m so lucky that I’m here to learn about it all. **

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UCT Campus protesting
UCT Campus protesting

My classes are freaking fascinating. And also really challenging. I’m expected to do a ton of reading each week and I’ve already had 2 papers due. My favorite class here is critical psychology. I legit leave every day with my mind completely blown. It gives me a totally different perspective of psychology as a whole, and especially psychology in America. I also enjoy my poverty, development, and globalization class. The professor is so knowledgeable and the readings give me a greater understanding of how globalization is affecting different countries. I think African Lang and Lit will be my most challenging class – which was kind of expected since reading isn’t fav thing in the world. But when reading = learning the history of slavery in South Africa + lying on a hammock + a view of Devil’s Peak, it’s really not too bad.

I’ve been spending a lot of my time after classes doing homework, but I’ve also found time to explore my amazing city. My favorite activities lately have been:

  • Full moon hike at Lion’s Head: We made it up to the summit just in time for the sunset, and stumbled back down by the light of the moon (badgers hehe) and some really crappy flashlights I found in my house. So freaking fracking beautiful dude.

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  • Beach: I’m trying to take advantage of the last bit of summer, so I have been exploring new beaches each week! My favorite so far has been Clifton Beach 3
  • Old Biscuit Mill: FOOOOOOOOD! This is like Cape Town’s version of the Farmer’s Market. I wandered around for two hours stuffing my face with the most delicious food I’ve had here. Last Saturday I tried this bacon/poached egg/potato pancake thing, macaroni and cheese balls, and a cappuccino smoothie.
  • SHAWCO: I chose to volunteer in the community of Manenberg with little buggers grades R-3. The kids are hilarious – the boys love playing catch and tag, and the girls love braiding our hair. I’m looking forward to really making connections with some of them as the weeks continue.
  • Wine Tasting: We visited the Constantia Glen vineyards and omg I felt like I was back in Wisconsin with all of the cheese I ate. Nummy nummy nummy. The views were even better than the food and wine, with never-ending rows of grapes and mountains in the distance.

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I am still working on finding a balance between being a student and being a tourist. There is so much stuff to do here but I also have plenty of school work to get done. There is still so much left to cross off on my bucket list – I feel like I am running out of time already!

** I encourage you to search #RhodesMustFall or #Shackville to get a better perspective of the protests going on at UCT!