Being a Happy – Student – Abroad!

It indeed takes a lot of efforts and will power to leave your hometown, country, culture, friends-family and everything else behind and move abroad. Be it a country that has people speaking your language or some completely different language, it is a big task to get used to the things, lifestyle, climate, culture and many things alike. Even if, one gets use to all that, it is a big question of being happy.

Hi people, if you are new to my Blog, I am Nikita and you are reading about my experience living abroad. A couple of years ago, I left India, to come and study abroad in Germany, a land full of beautiful people and landscapes but, at the same time completely strange to me. Since, I came to study here, it was clear that I had to manage a lot of things simultaneously with my studies. Over a period of time I realized that I am not happy and this is affecting my studies and more importantly my own life and people around. So, I decided to ponder over it and make some changes that helped me a lot in re-gaining my happiness and brought me satisfaction. So in this blog, I am going to share a couple of things that I tried and you may try doing to have a happy life abroad, specially if you are a student.

1. Avoid Procrastination

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Moving to different country can be very often overwhelming. Specially for students who come abroad to study, since each one of us has our own bag full of dreams, expectations and aspirations. As a result, when the lectures begin and some exercises or tasks are given to be done, we tend to overlook and just enjoy the new environment. It is not wrong to try settle down first and then indulge into academic tasks but, if it consumes too much time then it might backfire during your examination time. You will either be stressed due to not understanding the lecture, since you missed solving the exercises or because you do not have enough points to take the exam. In either of the case, try not to procrastinate the academic tasks, whatsoever. If you are a person and like to enjoy life, then try making a schedule where a certain set of hours is dedicated to your academics. It will not only help you understand the lecture but, help getting a good score and you feel great about starting your new study journey abroad.

2. Stop Over-thinking

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I cannot stress it more enough. It is common to over think things, make them complicated and give simple issues more time than they actually should be given. Over-thinking can result to serious problems like stress. Often we tend to over-think things like would I be able to finish my course here? will I get a job or how much would I earn, will I be able to make true friends etc. etc. Sooner or later this stress increases and it becomes difficult to handle. In worst case, it can cause depression. Some of the best ways to avoid falling into an over-thinking circle is to understand what is causing it. For example, if you are stressed because the study pattern of the univ. is different and difficult to what you’re used to, you can talk to some of the native students from that country and ask them how they manage it. You may later sit in a quiet place like library and make a time-table that can help you manage your semester plan. One thing that each of us needs to know is, things take time and doing your best is the best you can do. Moreover, it is though good to think about your job but, in the very first few semesters, it would just add worries and might distract you from your main goal, which is finishing your course with good grades first.

3. Communicate with your old friendsphone

There is nothing better than having a chat with an old friend. No matter how far you go, a simple chat with a close friend relieves all stress and rejuvenates you. When you go abroad, it is possible that a change of place changes your lifestyle thereby, changing your opinions. You might feel like a new person and not like the old you. As a result, you may think your friends would perhaps not like you or hate you since you’ve undergone so much change. However, this is not the case. True friends, no matter what, don’t judge you in fact if they see the change in you, they would appreciate it if it is for the good or rather criticize if it is bad. In either of case, you will get true criticisms which will make you feel grateful to your friends. If you, unfortunately, have not made friends in the new place yet, you know that you still have your friends back home who are always there for you and thus you will be thankful for having them in your life.

4. Do Not Fit In For Others

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It is a common tendency to try to fit in. As many say, in Rome – do as the Romans do, is though a good say but, in certain situations it might affect you and your happiness in a negative way. Countries differ from each other in many aspects. If you are like me who comes from a country like India to country like Germany, there are more than dozens of unknown peculiarities that could overwhelm you for the first few months like: language, culture, lifestyle, cuisine etc. It usually takes time to get used to so many things. When you are new, you should not try to fit as soon as possible from the peer pressure of what others must think of you but, give yourself time and let things take their own coarse. The best way is to accept these peculiarities and later with time understand them. If you then like them, you can choose to fit in or just let it be as it is. E.g. if you like German food, you can cook \& eat German meals everyday but, to eat German meals just because you want to fit in in the society, is not the best way for the later-run. Doing this would make you uncomfortable at the beginning and with time you will only feel unhappy and dissatisfied.

5. Eat Junk

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All these things that result in unhappy state of mind end up making you consume all the junk food which is, categorically, causing health issues in the later run. It is usual that many of us tend of consume too much pizza, burgers, chips or chocolates when sad, stressed or depressed. Or for some of us the appetite is completely shut down. In the former case, consuming large amount of sugar or fat filled food aids in inhibiting brain in production of stress hormones in the beginning but, with time it can cause you weight-gain and serious health issues. As a consequence, you don’t only get sick but, your studies get affected too. So, the best to avoid all this is to follow simple life rules that do not lead you to this point. However, I know, it is easier said than done. Therefore, in case you feel stressed or unhappy try applying these rules and observe the change. If still things don’t work out, may be you missed on to something that is essential in your life and is influencing you in one way or the other.

 

”Being happy is a choice you make, by understanding your own self but, this time a bit better than before!”

– The Happy Hoot

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I am No More an Indian!

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I may be wear Jeans and a T but, my body would still kurta,
I may be eat bread, butter and cheese but, my stomach would always crave for daal roti,
I may be work during Holi but, my spirit will always be playing with colors,
I may be no lit diyas on Diwali but, my soul is lit with lights around,
I may be not visit my country every year but, my heart is still the galli I lived,
I may be speak English now but, my mind only responds to Hindi,
I may be call elders by their name now but, my head always bows to respect them,
I may be have more of whites and grey in my wardrobe but, my neck still feels the colorful duppatta around it,
I may be don’t pray each morning but, my tongue keeps humming jai shree krishna,
I may be say hello often but, my hands still join as in Namaste,
I may be enjoy beer festival but, my eyes still miss the Sankrant and the free kites in the sky,
I may be drink a glass of wine or two but, my throat still loves the Roohafza,

I may be living in Germany, in a foreign land, away from my country, people and the beautiful culture but, I am not away from my love, my motherland, my nation, my India. Because, I might be outside India but, India is still inside me, and will stay forever!

🙂

 

Just Go, Travel!

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If I ever get to meet my younger self, I will tell her to #Travel.

Go out
Go weird
Go wild
Get thrilled
Get inspired
Get going
Discover the world
Let it change you
Let you change it a bit
Discover yourself
Challenge yourself
Just do it
Be it night
or a day
Just slay
Live in the moment
Get crazy
Get unplanned
Do something amazing
 idiotic
Funny
Reach out to cultures
To people
To species
Experience
Explore
Wander
Create memories
Create happiness
Just travel
And let things take their course
Don’t limit let yourself free
Live re-live re-create
🙂

My Experience with Racism!

I am brown, which is one of the many ways of telling how I look. And it is okay to define me or tell someone that she’s brown or dark colored. What is not OK is, thinking, believing or treating me mediocre and your own self superior than me!

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This blog has been for very long time, on my mind, and I honestly don’t know why and for what I’ve been waiting and how come I hadn’t penned it down. But, finally, here I am #brownskin, #skincolor, #lifeingermany, #racism!

Somehow, while watching some clips on YouTube, I came across this incident where a couple of months ago, an Indian student was rejected an internship proposal by a German univ. prof. and the reason was believed to be the racist attitude of the professor.

Well, before I say anything, I’d like to clarify, as it is essential for quite a few, the real definition behind racism. Racism is basically,

Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

To that end, I am brown, which is one of the many ways of telling how I look. And it is okay to define me or tell someone that she’s brown. What is not OK is: thinking, believing or treating me mediocre and your own self superior than me!

Sticking to this definition and essence of the word racism, I am, right now, very pleased to share my story of racism with you all. I came to Germany in March 2013. I came here as a stranger, I didn’t know anyone, literally no one before I stepped in to Kaiserslautern. I was picked up by a German student, working in an organization from my university that aids international students with their arrivals and loads of other issues throughout their studies. Directly after my pick-up, I was taken to my apartment (which was also booked by this organization’s help). After I signed my contract and settled my stuff, I was brought to the university, where I called my family to inform that I’ve reached safely. I was given a quick tour and told to come next day in office hours to do formalities related to VISA, bank and much more. Well, why am I telling you that? And how does it even help? It helps. Though I don’t believe in *the first impression being the last impression* thing, my first impression about Germany and its people can be defined in two words :: #welcoming and #pleasant.

But OK, slowly those initial days passed, I had lesser contact with the international organization and more contacts with other students, professors and management people. The students include, naturally, both German and internationals. It took me 5 semesters to complete my masters, during which I did two side jobs (to support myself financially and also to learn more than lecture material). During this phase of jobs, which lasted for almost 3 semesters, I often had interactions not only with German professors but, the non-professors like secretary and other PhD students or working students in the department. And to my surprise, none of them, ever gave me an impression or I should re-frame, never did I ever experience any sort of uncomfortable or racist vibe from them. I, in fact, for most of the time, was with problems not being able to understand or solve a task was always helped and motivated not to give up. Remember, #welcoming and #pleasant!

Of course, university is not where you spend all your time. I lived in student apartment, where there was one care-taker for all the rooms. This place was more like a normal apartment, just different because you had to follow certain rules like, don’t be too loud, else you could be answering police (just kidding😁). For a lot of my friends and acquaintances, this guy was annoying and a bit strange and happen to dislike internationals. Well, I had more than a dozen of encounter with this guy, and I never, not even once felt what I’ve been told. Instead, he’d been pretty helpful and understanding, though straight forward, when it came to following rules. So, I am again back to #pleasant and #welcoming! So far so good,

In 2016, soon after my MS, I began with my PhD in the same university, but this time in a different department. I’ve been working there since 2 years now, and till date, I have never, I know it is pretty boring to be repetitive, but honestly, I haven’t had one moment of feeling where I have been mis-judged, thought of inferior, mis-treated, or whatever you’d frame as racist behavior. Now, coincidence can happen once, twice or last 3 times, but forever, no. I still stand with my #pleasant and #welcoming hashtags!

Having said that, I have absolutely made experiences where old people in buses or supermarkets look at me, but never in a way that makes me uncomfortable. It is normal, I come from Jaipur-a tourist town, and I can clearly remember myself a couple of years back in India, when I always used to look at tourists with tangled hair, shorts, slippers in 40°C trying to get a taxi or a guide. These people who look at me, don’t judge me, or at least, I never felt discomfort, nor they make faces looking at me nor they tell me to get out nor have they ever misbehaved with me. The last they expect me is to, talk in German because for most the working class, English isn’t a language. that brings them to a comfort zone, rather some of them are shy. And so am I, while talking in German, but if ever I have tried even in the worst grammar, pronunciation or whatever speaking to them in German, I’ve felt welcomed and helped. And, I am, right now, very pleased to share that I have never faced racism in Germany.

And for sure, this doesn’t invalidate or imply that the people those who have faced any sort of physical, verbal or visual form racism are lying. Unfortunate things happen, everywhere around the world. What I am trying to do is share my personal experience, and elucidate that we can’t define a country or its people based on this unfortunate happenings, rather look out for positive experiences, and not be the reason for them!

🙂

 

Be Strong Against The World!

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When I was 22, I was living away from my family in a city to prepare for IELTS and GRE. Since my classes ran from morning 8 to evening 6, I did not had much time to cook for myself. One evening, I was walking home with my roommate at 8’o clock with packed dinner in my hand when suddenly, a teenage boy, on a bicycle pressed my breast and went away. Well, I wasn’t as calm as I am writing this right now. I was shocked, and so was my friend. For first few minutes, I could not even realize what the hell just happened? I am walking literally parallel to houses where families live, where streets are lit up, where people are evening walking and someone just touched my breast. The very next day, same time, same street, same friend, same packed dinner, and the same guy came, on the same bicycle and touched the same breast and ran. Well, yeah s*** happens. And this time, it chose me!

Watch Video :: Here!

This story taught me one thing::

You either learn to fight for yourself, or accept what happens with you. And I am not the latter type, so I learned to defend myself!

 

Of course, I bring my procrastinating characteristic with me. I did not do anything since that day until last weekend when the FitnessStudio/GymUniFIT in my University offered an intensive Selbsverteidgungkurs für Frauen – self defense (SD) course for females.

This course, yet intensive, was a pretty good kick start in bringing the dark and bitter truth of our society that :: unfortunately, we live in a World or society where we, the people, are not as nice as we are suppose to be or should be, and thus sometimes some of the bad ones amongst us try to harm the others. And of course, when someone’s trying to harm you, you can’t simply let them harm you. Right? You need to protect yourself by standing for yourself, fighting and defending yourself. This is where, SD kicks in.

So here’s a summarized recap of all what I learned from my harassment experience and the SD course.

 

1. What is Self-Defense?

Well, if you ask me, it is about defending myself. Now the question is against what? Then I’d say, against someone attacking me, molesting me, harassing me, or someone trying to intrude into my personal space without my permission or approval.

According to my sources, which is wikipedia of course, it says,

Self-defense (self-defence in many varieties of English) is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm.

 

2. Why & when do we need SD?

Now unfortunately, we need to protect ourselves and our own private personal zone (physically and mentally) that just belongs to us. Anyone, literally any one trying to do any harm to you or enter that zone, needs to be handled sincerely and extensively.

 

3. How do you SD?

Well,

Rule #1 :: Try to avoid the situation of SD as much as you can. It might sound stupid, but it is like it is. If it is, at all, possible to avoid a situation where you know you might end up in danger or physical/mental harm, avoid the situation. If while walking you get a feeling that someone’s trying to follow you or some particular pathway is dark and doesn’t have many people, just take another way to walk home.

Rule #2 :: Always be alert. In this age of mobile phones and insta,fb,twitter, try not to keep yourself busy by looking at your screen but, be attentive whenever you’re out. Don’t be paranoid of course, but make sure you’re aware of your surroundings.

Rule #3 :: If unfortunately you end up in a situation where you’re attacked or molested, shout! Be loud, and shout or yell as loud as you can. Try to get people’s attention towards you so that they know you’re not in this situation on oyur own will. Some might even come and try to help immediately or the attacker might be shocked from your voice and give up.

Rule #4 :: Don’t panic. I know it is easier said than done, but do not panic. In the incident of any attack/molestation or someone grabbing, try to be calm, collect your strength and focus on how you can get rid of the trap. Use your heel to hit on attackers feet, or attack on genitals or eyes. These areas from forehead till the neck and from the lower waist region until feet are primary areas to attack. If you’re not physically strong enough then try spit, shout and run.

Rule #5 :: Always, inform police. After any incident, no matter what the aftermath is, you’re safe or not, the attacker ran away, etc etc always inform the police, they need to know you were in a situation in a certain area. So at least they’re alerted.

Rule #6 :: Get yourself registered in a SD course or any sort of training art like Martial art of Jiu-Jitsu not because you might end up in a situation where you would have to defend yourself but, because you might help someone else in need.

So, no matter who you are, a girl or a boy, a lady or a man, a kid or a teenager, you gotta stand for yourself. It isn’t enough to have a sit back relax attitude because nothing hasn’t happened to you and it won’t. You never know.

 

It is always good to prepare yourself for the best but it is even more better to be ready for the worst!

so much to win and so little to lose..

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We’ve got so much to win and so little to lose,
there’s much more to life than just a booze,

you can keep things straight or complicated as hell,
whose close to you and whose fake is hard to tell,

why bother when you’ve got so much to improve in yourself,
Oh, I forgot, grass is greener the other side and you’ve got little on your shelf,

you’re alone or you’re lonely are absolutely different things,
you’ve always got a choice better than a couple of drinks,

smiling to hide pain is what we’ve often chosen,
don’t forget you might create against yourself your own trojan,

loving who hates is not trap,
between just existing and living life is a huge gap,

lie to yourself and you’ll never be content,
filters in pictures hiding the real you is now the new trend,

cool to have countless followers on insta to press like your post,
real life no one says Hi, as if you’re a walking ghost,

get out of your own shell and live this life,
cut more cakes than once a year and stay alive,

we’ve got so much to win and so little to lose,
there’s much more to life than just a booze…

🙂

Can you?

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Don’t look back because that is what is gone,
look ahead because it is yet to come,

don’t curse for things you couldn’t do,
you cannot control everything can you?,

don’t bother your soul for the bad that has happened by mistake,
no one is perfect even the best directors have to have more than one take,

don’t be too sad for things haven’t according to your wish,
sometimes things must happen the other way to have you try a new fish,

don’t try get things right each time you begin your work,
you loose nothing in it and not every salary comes with a perk,

don’t be scared trying new stuff out in your life,
you fell a lot before you could walk properly and thrive,

don’t ignore the haters around you they’ll teach how things change,
be careful however because your life is not theirs to arrange,

don’t forget to cry each time you fall in your attempts that you could succeed,
get up then, clean your tears and begin new trials in your beautiful life indeed,

don’t only focus on achievements because failures help you,
you grab them along because there’s a lot you gotta do,

don’t look back because that is what is gone,
look ahead because it is yet to come,

don’t curse for things you couldn’t do,
you cannot control everything can you?…

🙂