Crossing the pond

Junior Connell Metcalf moves to U.S. from England.


Courtesy of Connell Metcalf

Connell takes a picture at Webley Stadium at an FA Cup Final football match.

Imagine moving to another country in August to start school just a few days later. Imagine coming into a place where you know no one and are moving to a completely different environment. That’s what junior Connell Metcalf had to do when his dad moved jobs from England to the United States. 

He started his life in a little town outside of England. 

“I was born just on the outskirts of London, in a place called Risler,” said Metcalf. 

Metcalf moved to the United States in August, a few weeks before school started because of his dad’s work. 

“My dad, he was in the British Airforce, the RAF, and he had a job out here, so me and my family moved out here with him. He works for NGA (National Geospatial Agency), which has an office in St. Louis,” said Metcalf.

Currently their family plan is to stay in the States for the next three years, except Metcalf could stay longer if he chooses. Currently he is enrolled as a junior here at Parkway South, where he ran cross-country, and is going to run track for the school. 

“I do cross-country, and I am going to do track. I like it, it is good fun, and I like running,” said Metcalf. 

He said cross-country also helped him to make friends, like junior Robert Manganiello. 

“At the beginning of the season, he just showed up one day and really that’s it. He is a decent person,” said Manganiello. 

Everyone has their own stereotypes for different countries. Metcalf got to encounter these stereotypes/the truth for the first time. 

“Most of my stereotypes have held true; everything is bigger like roads, big cars, like people are driving monster trucks on the streets. Again the food is so much bigger. School stereotypes have kinda held true, obviously in Europe you wear uniforms, and here you can come in whatever you want. School has pretty much stayed the same but there are a few things that are different. What surprised me the most, was the mailboxes, outside the houses, I thought they were just in films, and yellow school buses, I thought they were just in films,” said Metcalf.

Along the lines of school, Metcalf said that U.S. Government has to be the hardest class for him here at South.

“It’s got to be Government, because we don’t even do British government back in the U.K, and coming over here to figure out the U.S one is tough,” said Metcalf. 

As Metcalf has Drew Jennings for U.S. Government class, and Jennings said he agrees that it would be hard to come to the U.S to learn government. 

“I think the hardest part was his lack of U.S. history. It would be hard to go to a new county and take a class about their government that includes a deep study of the history surrounding the creation of the country. How many of you would feel comfortable talking about the legacy of Oliver Cornwell? Or the causes of the recent pushes for Scottish independence? Brexit perhaps?,” said Jennings. 

Although Jennings did say there are some similarities between the two governments. 

“The judges in Britain wear wigs, they have a Prime Minister instead of President, and they have the royal family as their co-heads of state. Other than that our governments are pretty similar,” said Jennings.

Although moving to a new country can be stressful, there are some fun new experiences that Metcalf has encountered like new foods. 

“ My favorite food has got to be a big steak, and my least favorite is probably sliders from White Castle,” said Metcalf. 

Speaking of food, Metcalf experienced his first Thanksgiving, just a few weeks ago. 

“My first Thanksgiving in the states was strange, not like anything I have ever done before. I went around to some of my friends’ houses to eat, talk, and watch football but I really enjoyed it and had a good time. It was just a lot of fun before Christmas, and I can’t wait for Thanksgiving next year,” said Metcalf.

Living in the United States for as long as Metcalf has, he has found things he enjoys and things he misses from back home.

“My favorite part about the States is probably not having to wear a uniform to school, it’s so nice. My least favorite part is probably not being able to go to the pub for a drink, because you can go to the pub at 17 in Britain, and here you have to wait until you’re 21, where I am currently 17,” said Metcalf.