Throughout my childhood, I wanted to go to a foreign university to get a masters degree. The day I got my acceptance letter I was filled with joy. My dreams had found their wings and I was to fly to the land of endless opportunities, USA. However after landing in the country of milk and honey, my happiness soon turned into a big disappointment. The excitement I had felt upon was engulfed by loneliness, cultural difference, and stress. I felt loneliness in terms of being away from my family. I faced a huge cultural shock in terms of the language barrier and food issues. Also, the course workload was huge and caused a lot of stress and anxiety. .
Hailing from a big joint family in India, where I was constantly surrounded by my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, it was very hard for me to live in an apartment all by myself. Evenings were mostly spent alone in my apartment completing my long lists of assignment. I had nobody to share my experience with or talk to. The winters were cold and I barely saw anybody out on the snow-covered streets. I felt very lonely and constantly questioned my decision to leave my country. Apart from loneliness, I was also dealing with cultural shock. The language and food habits were very different in this part of the world. .
Even though I was good in communicating in English, I found it very hard to understand the accent of my classmates and professors. And even they found it hard to understand my accent. As a result, I kept to myself and this compounded my loneliness. The food was also very different from what I was used to eating. As a vegetarian, my food options were very limited. And so I spent endless hours cooking food for myself. The time I could have spent socializing was spent in the kitchen making food for myself. The other thing that worried me was the method of education. It was very different from what I had received in India and this increased my stress.