It is tough to be a premed student. All your time is eaten away by your studies. It is a real commitment to become a doctor. Years and years of your life must be devoted to your career. Knowing this, I try to have as much fun as I can in college which means attending a party or two now and them. Since I am from a foreign country, I had to get used to the customs in America when it comes to socializing. I am not that comfortable with going out on my own unescorted. It is perfectly acceptable, of course, but it took a while for me to accept it. In Beirut, from where I come, you do not venture out, even to a relative’s house, without an escort. I don’t want to mention this to my college friends who might find it unliberating and odd. As a result, emotionally I have a difficult time. I don’t want to explain myself.
Because of my traditional upbringing, it is a major step forward for me to go to a party on my own. I am not making a judgment about American ways. I am simply pointing out some cultural differences. Since I don’t reject the local way of life, I am forcing myself to try something new. It is not an issue of personal safety as you might think but of what is acceptable for young women.
I attended a very nice party recently without any problems. I recognized a few people from school and it was easy to strike up a conversation. There was not rampant drinking or misbehavior of any sort. I know better than to go to that sort of event. I felt at home in that I dressed like the other American girls in casual clothing. I chose a long sleeve embellished top and jeans—not the torn kind. I don’t go that far, maybe another time. I always believed that parties were special dress up occasions. Not in the U.S. Since the attire is so simple, you resort to makeup to denote an evening soiree, as I call it. The women in my country love eyeliner and mascara. I went all out and used a special mascara for eyelash extensions to create Eyelashes to Die For. While false, they look so real and they really make you look different. They line the upper lid and create more definition and depth. I am told that they make me look exotic. I get this all the time. I consider it a compliment.
America seems obsessed with makeup. Witness the dozens of mascara ads that run constantly on TV. It says something about American culture, in this regard it is not that different from Beirut. Women worldwide want to look glamourous and attractive. If it takes a few coats of mascara and even false eyelashes, then so be it. It is fun to do and there are so many choices of style from short and thick to long and spidery. Mascara adds volume—the finishing touch.