Seven years back, when I first decided to study abroad, I was not thinking about how amazing career options would be after my Master’s. I was motivated by the stagnancy of my life, by the inflexible society that seemed more concerned with the opinions of everyone but me. I wanted to stretch myself and it just did not seem possible here, a place where middle class kids are forced to follow a certain set of guidelines. So, I thought to myself, “study abroad”.

Skipping the processes (and an accident, and few months of bed rest), I ended up abroad for further studies.

 

Starting life in a new environment was a tad bit scary in the beginning. But, I slowly got acquainted with people, found my ropes and lived a different life. This life, mind you, was not what I envisioned it to be. It was not fancy, fun or easy. I was a student without my parent’s money to support me in a foreign land and wow! It was hard! And sucked monkey’s balls.

But, BUT, I learnt some of my life’s important lessons in those few years. Things that our society and parents were not able to teach: Humility, punctuality, respect for people and the value of not having money. Yep. You heard that right. The value of not having money. The highs and lows of life teach you a lot of interesting things, I found out.

 

I would not go so far as to say that everyone would feel the same way I did about studies abroad. I mean, we are all individuals with different circumstances and expectations after all. And, once you move from the student-phase to career-phase, things change pretty dramatically, for better. With career comes money and with money comes the ability to explore life in that country. And, many people I knew liked this life. Freedom agrees with a lot of people, you see.

And that brings me to the crux of the matter. Freedom. The oh so sweet freedom. Freedom to experience new things without judgement, to question beliefs, to walk on the roads late night, to dress however you please, to be open about your sexual orientation, and most importantly, stretch yourself and fall in love with life.

 


Harsha  Thakkallapally

“By Article 19, I declare myself Homo Sapien Sapien Sugar”