It seems like my days of being a tourist in this country are numbered. I now have to make this country my home (at least for the next four years) and find ways I can embrace all the changes I am facing, and it is clear that the sooner I do that, the better my chances are of living happily.
It is true that every adventure comes with its own challenges. I am now at that stage where the excitement ( the honeymoon stage) of the first days is diminishing. I now have to deal with reality, that my life here will not be the same as when I used to live in my country. I would like to share some of the changes I am facing.
I must admit that it has been challenging to adapt to life here, mostly because of the small changes. Well…maybe because I am converting the money I spend here to my country’s currency when I am buying something, which makes everything too expensive…but mostly I just miss home. I miss hanging out with my friends and family at home. And mostly, I miss my mum’s cooking.
Things like how parents treat their children are different here. It’s interesting how parents easily allow their kids to have majors like music and art here. I am not saying that these are bad majors, but it is interesting for me, mostly because I can not manage to recall parents in my country that allow their kids to major in that. The most favored majors are engineering, business, law, and medicine –– or you won’t find a job. I even remember, when I was a kid, my Dad used to introduce me to his friends like “This is my son. He is going to be a lawyer.” He mentioned what I wanted to study before even telling them my name!
The other problem is that the weather here changes very fast. One minute there is sunshine and in the next 10 minutes, the sun disappears and it becomes freezing cold. I now have to use the weather apps –– which were not very useful in my country, because the weather stays the same most of the time. Most of the time, I go outside and find that it’s colder than I expected. Then, I have to go back to my room to dress again.
I must admit, though, that despite all the changes I am facing, most of my friends have been very helpful. My friends are always excited to explain to me how things work. Whether I am asking about the Harry Potter week, Halloween or asking why American football takes four hours instead of an hour and a half (one might also doubt my understanding skills, because, despite the efforts of my friends to explain how American football works multiple times, the only thing I know about the game is the touchdown).
But the important lesson I have learned is that seeking help when I am confused about things never hurts. Most people I have met are more willing to help than they seem. It is only a matter of taking the effort to go out and seek help when I need it. Therefore, I am encouraging you, my fellow first-year students, to seek help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask your professor or your advisors even what may seem like silly questions. They are more than happy to help. I have seen this through my quick stops into my different professors’ office hours. These visits have always proved vital to me. It is very important to seek help in time, because “a stitch in time saves nine.”