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    Moving To The U.S.: Expectations Vs Reality

    Blame Hollywood.

    by ,

    Family – Expectations:

    ABC / CBS / Via

    A mom, a dad, at least four children, two dogs, a well maintained lawn and a big garage.

    As misguided by: The Brady Bunch, 7th Heaven, Full House, Malcom in the Middle, Brothers and Sisters, Parenthood...

    Family – Reality:

    There are just as many family structures and dynamics as there are families in the US. And that's not always reflected on TV and media.

    Work – Expectations:

    Walt Disney Studios /
    20th century fox /

    Extremely corporate, high pressure, high-paced, glamorous, and very important. It also requires being able to run through traffic with several cups of coffee in your hands.

    As misguided by: The Proposal, The Devil Wears Prada, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and pretty much any movie set in a big city work environment.

    Work – Reality:

    Not always the case.

    Food – Expectations:

    NBC / Via

    Pancakes for breakfast, burger for lunch and grilled cheese for dinner. And everyone eats at a diner.

    As misguided by: Seinfeld, Pulp Fiction, When Harry Met Sally...

    Food – Reality:

    Well, there are a lot of diners. But there are also other aspects of ~American food~ you'll grow to love, like barbecues, lobster rolls, and Thanksgiving food.

    Love/dating – Expectations:

    HBO / Via

    America is a cesspool of love and sex where literally hundreds of people are waiting to ask you out at any spontaneous moment in your life.

    As misguided by: Sex and the City, The Mindy Project, and literally any RomCom.

    Love/dating – Reality:

    Lol. Good luck!

    Traveling – Expectations:

    Paramount / Via

    You'll travel the country in vintage convertibles, with all your best friends, singing along the entire way, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.

    As misguided by: Crossroads, Thelma and Louise, Friends, The Hangover, Almost Famous...

    Traveling – Reality:

    If you're lucky enough to have a car, or cool friends who have parents who'll let you drive a car, you'll spend most of your time sleeping, arguing, and desperately looking for a good radio channel.

    Now, if you DON'T have a car, there's Greyhound. It'll take you almost everywhere. You'll just have to sit next a sweaty, smelly man who just LOVES air-drumming.

    Fashion – Expectations:

    Either they're over-dressed for no reason, or they're hillbillies.

    As misguided by: Half of American TV that features perfectly put-together people, and the other half trashy reality TV.

    Fashion – Reality:

    There's obviously a diversity of trends and formalities nationwide, but the one unifying and mystifying American trend seems to be yoga pants. They can be high and low fashion, dressed up or down.

    High school – Expectations:

    Paramount / Via

    Everyone's neatly separated into a clique. There is a hierarchy and cliques don't interact.

    As misguided by: The Breakfast Club, Heathers, Mean Girls, Clueless, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The OC, My So-Called Life...

    High school – Reality:


    Sure β€” cliques can naturally form to interests, and some stereotypical, but there is so much mobility and interactions between them, because of course, lol. Blame Hollywood.

    College – Expectations:

    Warner Bros.

    Nonstop partying, a lot of solo red cups, life-endangering drunk chaos, bodies flying off balcony: a horny human zoo.

    As misguided by: Legally Blonde, Animal House, Old School, Neighbors, Project X...

    College – Reality:

    While debauchery is integral to an American college experience, the mantra is usually "work hard, party hard". You pay too much not to make the most of it.

    Fears – Expectations:

    Oreon Pictures / Via

    There is a serial killer lurking at every street corner, waiting for you, armed with a gun and really bad mommy issues.

    As misguided by: The Silence of the Lambs, Seven, Zodiac, Criminal Minds, American Psycho, Dexter, and about a hundred other movies and TV shows.

    Fears – Reality:

    Haven't encountered a serial killer... yet, but anticipating your medical bill when you're not insured is pretty scary.

    The American Dream – Expectations:

    NBC / Via

    America is the place where everyone can make it rain.

    The American Dream – Reality:

    NBC / Via

    Difficult but still possible. Anything is possible in this country. Like Ron Swanson once said: "The whole point of this country is if you want to eat garbage, balloon up to 600 pounds and die of a heart attack at 43, you can. To me, that is beautiful."

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