When you think of people studying abroad you only see them posing with Big Ben, you see their selfies in class and you see them cooking Indian food with a bunch of Indian people, but those are just photo montages, not the whole truth.
The check-ins you see at the airport when they pack their bags for the first time, don’t show you the full story.
It doesn’t show you the apprehension, the nervous butterflies and the sinking feeling of leaving everything familiar on this side of the ocean. They don’t click pictures of their first day in class when they’re trying really hard to fit in and find people to connect with. They also won’t document the countless trips to Tesco, Seven Eleven and Wallmart, because they left out toilet paper, or grocery.
“You learn to eat alone at restaurants and watch movies alone in cinema. You learn that you don’t need to depend on people for most things”. ~ Quote from a Quora user
You see them posting nice Indian food with a decent looking Roti, but you don’t see the number of burnt trials lying in their trash can.
They won’t tell you about the time they came back from class, dropped their bags on the floor, all excited to discuss their first day, only to realize their moms were not available at their beck and call. They won’t blog about the time they fell sick and had to go by themselves to the chemist, with no pampering whatsoever.
“You learn that everyone who lives there can run to their siblings, best friends from primary school if they want to. Meanwhile only your computer is waiting for you in your room.” ~ Quote from a Quora user
They’ve carried pepper spray in their bag more times than they’ve carried a hairbrush.
They’ve seen the unapproving glances, they’ve heard racial slurs, They know what it felt like to not fit in, until they learned to find a place for themselves. They’ve surrounded themselves with friends who are a second family, they’ve set up an apartment all on their own, which they now call home.
“I was in constant fear when I was there staying by myself in the two storey flat, even though the door are locked.” ~ Quote from a Quora user
They’ve taken decisions before we’ve even chosen a major, they’re counting their savings while some of us were blowing our pocket money.
It’s been an uphill battle and sometimes it runs you to the ground, but they’ve managed to grow up, to become responsible for themselves, to understand the world outside of a safe cocoon. They’ve come out resilient and strong.
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go. ~ T.S. Eliot