Going back to school is always bittersweet because you do get to meet new people or see your old friends, especially if your school is in a totally new city or country. But, on the flipside, you also have to stop being the couch potato, that I know I, personally, become. Or, you just have to factor in books to party with too. There’s always some waterworks involved if you have shifted countries and there is freedom, responsibility, too, included in this step.
For me, home was India. It’s vibrant color, the plethora of languages spoken in different dialects, spicy food which gives you upset stomachs, office hour rushes, the evening traffic and its polluted air with equally scenic views.
That is my India which sent me here to further its grandeur and expose her people to lands unknown.
Seems quiet poetic, doesn’t it?
Well, it was the actual opposite the last few weeks before coming here to my new home in the beautiful St. Catharines and school at Brock University.
As I shut the final suitcase, the first days of my undergrad rushed in making me feel nostalgic and scared. The feeling I experienced when I reached Pune, a small city in India which housed my college, was similar but not totally the same as that feeling I felt coming to Canada. It was the first time that I had moved away and the first day was overwhelming. I think the difference was how I was surrounded by all Indians and few people from Thailand, UAE, Canada and Kenya.
You’ll definitely find me waxing eloquent about all the perks I have here: the transport, the independence, fresh air and the people!
The truth, as I have seen myself, is how people can change with their environment and be a whole new person which brings them closer to themselves – and I have felt that change in me. I have found myself surprised at how proactive I’ve personally become – and social as well. My mother always told me that every person has two homes, one where their loved ones are, where they’ve stayed their whole lives, and another which feels home, mentally. The latter keeps changing.
Your surroundings become you. I learnt that from travelling. To shortly describe: you’d always find me hanging around in my room with a book or watching a movie on weekends and not at the Niagara Falls doing fun things like bowling, clicking lots of pictures or walking till my legs hurt. Hence, couch potato.
What Canada gives you is opportunity –opportunity to be whoever you want, do whatever you want. That’s exactly what I got when I arrived here a month ago: fun, and lots of deadlines. There have been challenges which have test you and assignments which get you to really think and friends who better you every day.
Comparing India to Canada is comparing Kashmir to Niagara – it is full of incomprehensible beauty with diverse people akin to the various spices and sceneries from Hallmark Cards.
FProma Datta is a student from India studying at the Goodman School of Business at Brock University.