20 memories every Irish person who went on a J1 will have

Every person who has gone a J1 will have these fond (and some not so fond) memories of their time across the pond.

1. Spending a night passed out in a random place
Whether on a beach, your boss’s couch, a kitchen floor or outside your front door because you forgot your keys again, this is something that we’ve all fallen victim too.


2. Started a chant while riding on the public transport
This is mostly one for the lads.


3. Had to explain to at least one American that leprechauns aren’t real.
Sadly, the majority of us have actually had to explain this unfortunate fact to some disappointed Americans. And feel a little guilty for shattering their existence, looking into their sad eyes as they discover that the ginger, dwarf-like mythical creatures actually don’t exist.


4. Forgetting to call your parents to tell them you’re still alive
Having your parents tear the head off you because you haven’t called in 5 days. Answering the phone either still drunk or hungover to shreds because of the time difference and trying to calm your worrying mother down is a mammoth task at the time.


5. Travelling over 3,000 miles only to shift someone in the same college class as you
Hopes are high when you fly out from The Emerald Isle, dying to taste some of the American cuisine. However it all goes south when you come home only after shifting some of the same people you share a lecture hall with back at college. Ah well…


6. Growing a sudden allegiance to an American sports team
We all like to participate in our local teams, however awful they may be. But hey, at least we bring a bit of atmosphere to the stadiums!


7. Receiving desperate care packages from your mammy at home
Having your mammy send over a care package full of Lyons Tea, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bars, and a family pack of glorious Tayto crisps because you’ve cleaned your bank account out after just 3 weeks in the US!


8. Having sunburn for 3 whole months
It doesn’t take us Irish long to get a nice even burn – 2 hours ought to do it for most! Then we immediately regret our poor decision while we beg our roommates to lube us up at night with some aloe vera to ease the pain. But we never learn our lesson do we? Still, it’s worth it after all that dead skin peels off and you arrive home with a glorious rich mahogany tan, showing off in front of your friends and family like the Greek goddess that you are. Boom!


9. Either totally tarnishing or massively boosting the Irish reputation abroad
It’s one or the other. We Irish are an infectious bunch and let’s face it, the Americans do already love us! However, every summer, we flee the American cities like a murderer away from the scene of a crime. Like human wrecking balls, we came, we saw, we conquered, then left. 90% of the time we do leave a great impression among the Americans, but there are a few who are left with a sour taste in their mouths.  And to those, the sincerest of apologies!


10. Putting on at least 2 stone in weight
Remember checking yourself out in the mirror and wondering where those love handles came from? Probably from all those 7/11 hot dogs, McDonald’s burgers and late night Taco Bell Burritos!


12. Totally resonating with the lyrics of The Corona’s San Diego Song
Yep, sure give it a listen now. The Coronas wrote this song while on their J1 in California’s beautiful San Diego. Don’t lie, you can TOTALLY identify with it, can’t you?

13. Having the super-human strength to drink 92 days in a row
It wasn’t easy, but you did it. It was no easy road but getting there in the end is ALMOST worth the several night’s spewing up into a bin, frequent blackouts, ultimate fear and near-liver failure. Almost. Although we can’t even fathom going through all that hell again!


14. Spoken more Irish than you ever have in your life
All those years learning Irish. You think you’ll never use it again and that you’ve completely forgotten it all, but you’re wrong. Stateside is where it all regurgitates out. It’s frequently used as a subtle reminder that you’re Irish and a great weapon for pulling members of the opposite sex. The beauty of As Gaeilge. “Tá é an-mhaith!” See? Still got it!


15. Getting  reprimanded by law enforcement
Whether doing something as ridiculous as walking through the street with a can in your hand or something more extreme like hopping over the counter in McDonald’s at 3am and starting to serve your friends, there’s been a few Irish who have been reprimanded by the police. Never a good idea.


16. Shared a house with 30 people
Good Lord, cramped is not the word. “Ah sure look, it’s only 3 months.” Going to sleep in a space the size of a medium mattress is not comfortable in the slightest, especially when you’re sharing it with someone else on those drunken nights. But you’ll never appreciate your own bed more than the day you arrive home from your J1.


17. Took the piss out of some gullible Americans
“You guys are lucky – electricity is a privilege we don’t have at home,” “the legal age of drinking for us is 12 years-old” or even “we don’t have Wednesdays in Ireland.”


18. Being technically “homeless” for a short period of time
That time you spent drifting from apartment to apartment with no summer house in sight. It was only a couple of days but it felt like a never-ending nightmare at the time!


19. Had to explain where Ireland is to an American
No it’s not in the UK, no it’s not beside Australia and NO it’s not “somewhere over at the west coast.” Without a map, you’ll be knackered trying to explain to an American where Ireland is actually located.


20. Adapted a slight American accent
Sometimes you just can’t help it.


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