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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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!

🙂

 

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?…

🙂

It’s okay not to have it all PerfecT!

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People are unhappy, no matter what you give them, they’ll be unhappy. Each one of us once – for sure – has faced a time where we wanted to have things done the perfect way but somehow couldn’t and we blamed either our own incapabilities or the someone else’s for that. I am one amongst them, in fact on the top list. I have had uncountable number of days that didn’t go according to my wish and I ended up with grudges and bad moments. It took me time to realize, that’s okay.

It is okay to have a bad day, it is okay not to have something you wanted, it is okay to have a task unfinished, a deadline missed and I don’t know what more..We live in a World which is and can never be perfect, no day, no weather, no job, no situation, nothing is perfect. We are the biggest example of imperfection. From our childhood, we learn to do things without making mistakes, getting the best out of the situation and growing as a perfect person. But it isn’t that simple (in fact impossible). We always do mistakes – sometimes repeat the same ones again and again, we leave situation in a bad state – sometimes without even realizing it, and we do not grow into a better person. Rather a lunatic, searching for something not existing.

Life is beautiful. Yes, it is and it is worth mentioning a trillion times and more. Be thankful you’re not the person in Gaza or in Syria who is scared to death of bomb attacks. Be thankful you’re not the person begging on streets in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh who cannot even afford to eat once a day. Be thankful you’re not the person in a hospital dying of a chronic disease leaving your family behind. Be thankful rather than being sad of not having something accomplished. It isn’t the end of the World.

Tomorrow is a new day, a new opportunity to get your things back in shape and get started, today is the day to relax, recall and being thankful for things you’ve enjoyed,

tomorrow is a new hope to get stuff under your control and get your strength to a next level, today is a day to rejuvenate from the battles you’ve won,

tomorrow is day to stand up and rise and conquer the World for your happiness and peace, today is the day to be thankful that you’re still alive and can still bring a smile on your face!

🙂

 

..and the life got stable!

It wasn’t long ago, when I had just finished my secondary school and was thinking deeply about choosing the major to continue my senior secondary education. It was complicated for me because this would decide my future. Well, hell yeah…The Future. A very lame joke I’ve been listening to while growing up was – ‘after this decision of your life, your life’s gonna better and stable’. Well, another hell yeah…Stable Life. Once, the school was done, I had to take engineering entrance exam and then of course the 4 yrs of Bachelors, followed with a couple of company entrance exams and interviews. And trust me, none of that looked ”Stable” or ”better”. Each time, I was struggling to get into a position where I had to struggle even harder. The interesting part is that until now, I’d not found the stability I was being told I’d found soon. Later I did my masters, got graduated, and today I am here, writing this blog hoping it’d make – at least – a bit of sense for the readers.

The interesting thing that I experienced in the last couple of years of life was the – stability. It isn’t unusual when people tend to love to be stable in almost every aspect of their lives. A stable field of study, job, marriage, kids and their lives and until the day they die. And, indeed, it is the stability that makes us feel not insecure about the random things happening around us. But, just because we close our eyes doesn’t make the surroundings dark. Things cannot be certain, they’re not meant to be. No matter how often we try to take control over stuff, we can never control them. And this is where, the lame joke turns into a delightful lesson.

It is not the life that becomes better but it is us who become stronger, more immune to fight the odds and win the even. It is not the life that become stable but us, who decide what to think over and what to avoid without worrying and moving on. The education we do, probably doesn’t help us in our job profiles or work but its learning does.  Life was, it is and it will be unstable, there will be unexpected ups and downs, number of good and bad moments to tear us apart, moments where we will question ourself and our judgment and decisions but, this is how it is supposed to be lived. But, this is what life is all about. It couldn’t have been better.

A better and stable life is not the life but it is you who is leading the life. Have you ever heard that a ship that made its own way to the shore, probably not. Because it isn’t the boat that is good it is the helmsman who brings the ship in a stable condition to hold and make it to the shore. And, here it is you to get your life-ship on a stable position to have a great and better journey ahead!

 

🙂