When you go to a new place, whether it’s a new city/new school/new country, everyone needs to make some adjustments with the new things they’re naturally faced with. There may be things that bother you, but still, you try to adjust to them.
Beginning college is an adjustment for everyone, but being in a different culture and country presents some different challenges. So I thought about it. What are the top things that are new for me — both the exciting ones and not so exciting ones? Here it goes:
1. Greetings. “Hi, how are you? I am great. Thanks. How are you?” … and maybe you are going to get the answer or maybe not. This whole greeting thing is something that I was never used to. Back home, (Bangladesh. If you have not read my first blog, then please do!) whenever we ask how you are, it means actually we want to know how you are doing.
2. Bland food. Foods that are made without many spices are the main reason I think I feel lost at least for one hour a day. Being a vegetarian, it’s even harder. There are special days when our dining hall does serve different foods that make both the international and domestic students feel a bit more at home, and I realize they have to cook for all the students, not just a portion of them. In the new Center for Student Life, there are also other new menu options. I think all the students should check them out (or maybe find a friend who will make you some food with Chinese chili paste, which is hot and full of taste.)
3. Silverware. In Bangladesh, we eat with hands and use forks and knives very rarely. I miss using my hands. Sometimes I’ll just start using my hands to eat. If that bothers you, please let me know.
4. Digitally drowning. Blackboard, digital book, and tons of emails — these are things I never used while I was in school or high school. I had to use email when I worked in a production house and for applying to different universities, but checking email/Blackboard for everything from a change of classroom to giving replies to professors is something I never had to do. Sometimes I get so many emails that I don’t think I can even read each one of them. So if somehow I have missed your email, let me tell you this: I haven’t done it intentionally! I am trying to get used to it. Hopefully, by the end of this month, I will do better than I am doing right now.
5. Professors. So far, they are extremely friendly, nice, understanding and kind. Back at home, conversations with professors are normally restricted to textbooks and academics, with few exceptions. Here, my professors and advisors, are some of my greatest allies. From having dinner at their house to talking about the latest episode of “Game of Thrones,” I’m enjoying getting to know them.
6. Weather. Findlay’s climate is very different from my Dhaka. Every time I say, “Hey, it’s really cold today.” My American friends remind me that it’s not even winter yet. It’s true. But winter is coming and I am not prepared for it. I have never seen snow and I am equally terrified and excited for it to happen.
7. Money. By nature, I am a person who spends a lot even though she doesn’t have that much. In my country, a taka (the basic unit of Bangladeshi currency) is really small. One taka is equal to .012 US dollars. But one dollar equals almost 82 takas. So I am spending money like it’s nothing and getting broke. Things are really expensive here. Let me give you a small example. From Columbus to Findlay the taxi fare is between $250 to $300 — that’s almost 24,600 takas! Yes, I am not joking! This is something I am really trying to accept.
So, let me know – what are the things you are trying to adjust to? If I come up with some new things, maybe I will do an “Adjustments, Part II.” So please share your story through the comments section.