All I had to do was focus on that positive aspect and connect it to every fiber of my being and soon I would find myself acing all situations that came my way


The smell of sizzling sausages on barbeques, the feel of summer wind through your hair, the ocean breeze all around and the total freedom of thought, expression and procrastination. Catching up on favorite shows and binge watching them. Isn’t that what college life in the Middle East means?

Sitting in Pune, here I was waiting eagerly and anxiously for my first day as a freshman in my university, the next day. Eagerly because I was finally doing a course that interested me and spoke to me. The bundle of pre-university nerves just wouldn’t go away. There were butterflies in my stomach.

Once you get past university preparation, things get a little more complicated. What if you can’t make any friends? What if your teachers are boring? What if you show up late for your first class? Worries begin to plague your mind and keep you awake at night, only adding to the stress already burdening you. You join every social media account, are on three different groups on Facebook, and have a hundred people added on WhatsApp but still feel overwhelmingly lonely. You look for warmth and not just company.

The day was finally here. I entered with immense culture shock vibes from everywhere. Millions of thoughts went over my mind. I was asked to sit in the class and people started crowding each other’s tables in order to socialize. I started speaking to some people and realized how some were quite surprised over my Arab accent. They wanted to know more about the place, which I considered home. That was great because it made me feel connected to them and I was finally open to a lot of people.

The first class was Media Content Review where an episode from the famous Planet Earth Series was screened; and that was the moment when I realized this is the institute I want to be in. The thought of a place which gives you exposure not through books alone but experience, thrilled me even more and I couldn’t wait to get on with this program. We did speak with our mentors from second year where they told us this wasn’t a cakewalk. They too left hints that once we would get used to our new environment, it would be amazing. After that we soon went for the lunch break, then had another class and headed back.

I headed back to the hotel and it did not feel like I was a freshman. I had this feeling but I didn’t know what it felt. But for a start, I was happy that I belonged to a classroom where some people shared the common interest as I, writing. In high school, I was sick of listening to my peers complaining about writing. It’s refreshing to be around people who were enthusiastic about what I am enthusiastic about.

My parents left the same day but they left with a thought. They mentioned that every freshman was going to struggle with something or the other, it could be grades, or family, or money, or anything in between. Amidst the high stress levels, there’s certainly some excitement bubbling through the minds of every freshman. All I had to do was focus on that positive aspect and connect it to every fiber of my being and soon I would find myself acing all situations that came my way.


Article by: Sanya Kapoor (Batch of 2019)

Photograph by: Akhil Reddy (Batch of 2019)