17 Things About American Colleges British Kids Will Never Experience At Uni

It really is a Party in the USA.


The extravagant campuses

FSU Campus / Via giphy.com

While Britain does have some expansive campuses, American colleges definitely take the cake. Their campuses are like mini-cities with actual roads, gyms, parks, and even fast-food restaurants scattered about! I guess size really does matter… 


Sporting culture

West Virginia University

American colleges don’t joke when it comes to sports. Game days are like a national event where the entire town gathers wearing the college colours and chanting game songs. Not to mention the cheerleaders, mascots, and tailgating parties! British unis could never. 


School spirit

Youngstown State University / Via giphy.com

Americans take their patriotism to a whole other level and that definitely extends to their colleges. You can guarantee that students wear their college merch around town with pride. As much as I loved my university, you would sooner see cats fly than catch me walking down the street in a uni hoodie. 


Epic house parties


There are house parties, and then there are American college house parties. In the US, the legal drinking age is 21, meaning that the full club experience is off-limits to the majority of students. Instead, they put all their energy into house parties and they look pretty epic. Don’t get me wrong, Brits love a good house party too, but the kegs and red solo cups just hit different.


Beer Pong


You watch any US college movie and you can guarantee that beer pong will make an appearance. We have our drinking games here too but none arguably as iconic as beer pong!  


Spring break

ABC / Via giphy.com

I have every college movie ever to thank for the Spring Break-related FOMO. While British unis generally have a longer Easter holiday than American colleges, the iconic Spring Break blowout definitely takes the cake. I’d choose pool parties in Mexico over a reading week in England any day.  


Fraternities and sororities


Unfortunately, those attending university in Britain will never get to experience the life of a frat bro or a sorority sister. Yes, we have societies but let’s face it, History, Netball, and Quidditch Club can’t really compete with Greek life. The massive houses, the matching outfits, the crazy parties – we were robbed.


Secret societies


Now I know not every Tom, Dick, and Harry would have had the pleasure of being invited to a secret society but the fact that they exist in American colleges (according to Gossip Girl, Dear White People, and other shows I have studied religiously) is pretty damn exciting. 


Keeping your academic options open

ABC / Via giphy.com

The beauty of American colleges is that you’re not forced to settle on one subject early on. In most cases, you study a range of subjects before you choose your major down the line (which sounds like a wet dream for the indecisive among us). British unis, on the other hand, encourage you to have a one-track mind from the jump


Getting credit for the most random classes

20th Century Fox

In the US there is a much wider range of subjects to choose from, some of which are unconventional, to say the least. Think bakery science, tree climbing, Lady Gaga studies, and even yoga. I would trade the downward-facing dog for traditional studies any day.


Four-year degrees

NBC / Via giphy.com

In American colleges, four-year degrees are the norm. While longer degrees definitely exist in Britain, the majority of courses only last for three years. And for those of us that wanted to avoid the adulting phase of our lives as long as humanly possible, that extra year would’ve come in very handy. 


Road trips

Apple / CBS

Okay, technically we can do this in the UK but a road trip to Hull isn’t quite the same as a road trip to the Grand Canyon, let’s be honest. 


Halloween ragers

Paramount Pictures

Halloween is to America as The Great British Bake Off is to the UK – a big fucking deal. In the States, it’s quite possibly the event of the year. There are parties scheduled all day every day for the duration of the Halloween period, and they are second to none. At British unis, however, it’s just another excuse to get drunk and miss lectures the following day.


The best fancy dress


…Not to mention their commitment to fancy dress, which definitely puts us to shame. Whether it be a Halloween event or a themed birthday party, US undergrads definitely go all out when it comes to their costumes. Meanwhile, sifting through old clothes and praying for a DIY miracle is as fancy as fancy dress gets for us Brits. 


Saying that you went to ‘college’


I couldn’t tell you the actual difference between ‘university’ and ‘college’ but I can tell you that ‘college’ sounds way cooler. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.


Having a roommate


Sharing a dorm room is the quintessential American college experience and while bonds are supposedly created that last a lifetime, I’m more than happy to have missed out on this one. Trying to drown out the sound of your roommate’s midnight antics is a solid no from me. 


Having to pay over $35K a year to study


It’s bad over here too, but Sallie Mae really woke up and chose violence. 

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