First Year In America As An International Student
Start writing a post

An International Freshman; As If Being A Freshman In College Is Not Hard Enough

From homesickness to finding a new home, being an international student is rollercoaster your first year!

An International Freshman; As If Being A Freshman In College Is Not Hard Enough

As I enjoy my summer vacation before my second year at UCLA, I've caught myself reflecting on my first year of college. College is a rollercoaster for everyone, but being an international student comes with its own set of challenges. When I decided to move to UCLA which is 13,382km or 8,315 miles from home, was the best choice for me I also knew it would not be an easy one.

The first thing I missed was the food back home, while LA is a melting pot of cuisines and cultures, none of the food tasted like it did back home. It often was a pale imitation of home.

Then came the longing to be back with my family and despite the constant Skype sessions and phone calls, I felt like an outsider as I caught up with my family.

Like most freshmen, I longed for the familiarity and facilities back home. Having a roommate let alone two was a strange concept, it was not the same as sharing a room with siblings! Trying to navigate the complex rules that govern UCLA is even more daunting when your support system is halfway across the world.

Making friends was harder as well. However, cultural clubs and other such organizations are the best areas to find friends. With all the welcoming events during the first few weeks, the effects might be an overwhelmed mind, an ever-growing contact list and a rapidly increasing Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram friend requests. While you might not find your best friend in those weeks, you'll make friends with all sorts of people and have experiences you might have not normally had if you had stayed within your comfort zone.

From going to frat parties, to having your nachos trampled on at your first football game and dragging your drunk friends back to the dorms, my first few weeks were hectic and fun, to say the least. And in these experiences, you find people you enjoy spending time with, and eventually become your people. When classes begin, figuring out how to balance schoolwork and fun becomes an evolving juggling act that becomes second nature eventually.

Despite having my fears and trepidations when navigating the American college life, whether it be the tense political climate when it comes to immigration or the general insanity of bureaucracy when filing documents to get a job or services as an international student, moving to UCLA has to be the best decision I made so far.

I've had an exciting first year, made some incredible friends, met a few celebrities and had the opportunity to stretch my comfort zone farther than before. While my experience might not be the same as everyone else's, I believe it sums up many of our experiences as an international student. Crazy, sometimes melancholic but incredibly satisfying! The key is to find the Cristina to your Meridith, cause being alone is never the answer.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Ready or not, here come the holidays, friends, and if you're as obsessed with the spirit of the season as I am, you are much more ready than not. Thanks to Hallmark Channel's Monopoly game making it possible to celebrate all year long, you can be ready now, too!

Keep Reading... Show less
Stephanie Tango

The pandemic has been in our world for more than half of 2020 and people are still acting stupid. If anything, they're getting stupider. They think that the virus is gone. It's not. Stop going to frat parties. Stop trying to go places without a mask. I wish things were normal, too. They're not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Kai Parlett

In the summer of 2017, 20 type 1 diabetics completed a 10-week 4,000+ mile bike ride from New York to California. They biked against the advice of doctors, family, and friends. Many were skeptical that people with diabetes could complete such a physically challenging trip without putting themselves in danger due to their disease.

Keep Reading... Show less

That's right, you heard that correctly: Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich called off their engagement after the couple originally announced their engagement in July after beginning to date in March.

Keep Reading... Show less

Demi Lovato's Called-Off Engagement Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Our Time In Relationships

While this may be another hardship she sadly has to endure, I know she will find a way to inspire and help others through it.


I am heartbroken.

Keep Reading... Show less

We all love a good ol' sappy Christmas movie and this year, the Hallmark Channel is finally giving us what we want: diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Seasonal Depression Is Real And It Deserves Our Attention

Check in on your friends throughout the winter season, it can be brutal.


As we transition seasons and enter the last few months of the year, some are feeling grand about this natural shift. But that doesn't mean everyone is thrilled that the weather is cooling down — it's important to extend your knowledge to the phenomenon that is seasonal depression.

The lack of sunlight during the later seasons of the year, beginning with autumn, triggers a state of depression for about 15% of the population. This results in the lack of serotonin provided by the sun, causing it to be hard for some to do a lot of the things that would normally be deemed simple tasks to do during the earlier times in the year like getting out of bed, showering, going to work/school, etc. A major difference is an intense need for sleep similar to a hibernation effect.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

September Is Suicide Awareness Month, But Mental H​ealth Is An Everyday Discussion

Mental illnesses deserve our attention 365 days a year.


September is Suicide Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to raise awareness, further educate yourself, and remember the reality that mental illnesses present. Yet it's critical to understand that suicide awareness is not an annual Instagram hashtag to use and forget. Actively advocating for mental health resources, progress in education, and a broken stigma is an everyday ask — an activity that we can each participate in.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments