Life is one big adventure. Like any other adventure, it is never smooth, there are bumps & obstacles that stands in your way. But these obstacles exist for a reason, to drive you forward, to give you a purpose in life. Coming to IU Bloomington was not the easiest path I could have taken. In fact, it’s one of the most challenging, but it’s a path that will benefit me the most, & choosing it is one of the best decisions I ever made.
From the moment I waved goodbye to my friends & family at the airport, I knew my life was going to change. During my 22 hour flight to the states, dozens of questions flooded my mind. What is life like over there? How will I go about my everyday life alone in a foreign country? How can I overcome loneliness? Am I even cut out for this? Yes, studying in a place that is thousands of miles away from your home may sound scary at first, but it’s an experience that we can only get once in a life time.
When I arrived the campus, I received a very warm welcome by the RPS staffs & my RA. They brought me to my dorm room which was not too shabby & much better than I expected. Throughout the week of orientation, I met many new friends from different cultural & social backgrounds, I learned vital new things about surviving in college. From then on, I knew that things will change for the better.
On the day I attended my first college class, it finally hit me. I’m in college! I’m no longer the little brat who creates the mess for my parents to clean. I’m an independent adult now. It’s time to leave all of the bad habits from high school behind & move forward. Being in college also means that you are one step closer to achieving your dream job. I was introduced to many great resources to help me in my finding career of choice . For example, there is the career service center as well as the many career fairs that are frequently held on the campus.
Before I can get that far, I needed prove myself worthy. I needed to study hard & get the grades. But of course, it’s much easier said than done. Never underestimate any subject in college. Everyone of them is challenging in their own ways. Thankfully, there are the academic support centers to help us out. The professors & TAs themselves too are more than willing to answer any questions during their office hours or via email.
But academics isn’t the only thing I cared about in college, I also wanted to take my college life as an opportunity to make new friends. I often hear about stereotypes claiming living in a single room is “anti-social” or “boring”. Well, as a student who lives in a single room in Ashton hall, I can safely tell you that this stereotype is completely inaccurate. I share a floor with approx. 30 other people & they are some of the coolest people I have ever known in my life & we became so close that they became my second family. Of course, the dorm isn’t the only place we can make new friends. So I joined various clubs in college. Joining these clubs not only expanded my network of friends, it also taught me crucial knowledge & skills that we don’t usually learn in class.
Like any other college student, homesickness soon hit me. Now matter how strong & independent you are, you will miss your home, your family & you friends. I often Skype with my family back home. I still keep in touch with my friends through the help of social media. Plus, whenever I crave some of the food from my home country, I just make a shopping trip at a nearby international market, or have dinner at an ethnic restaurant.
To summarize things up, yes studying at IU has it’s own pros & cons, but hey, nothing is perfect right? What is important is going to college itself. It is a big achievement & I’m glad that I got the opportunity to go to such a great & prestigious college & I am proud to be a Hoosier!
Victor Nicholas Gan
International Student from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Class of 2018