God I miss spilling out my thoughts and feelings here. It's just that sometimes I feel like it's not all important for people to know what's going on in my life. But I thought I could maybe share some experiences, however unimportant it may be.
I know there are some juniors who read this blog once in a while, and I thought I could maybe share how it's like to be studying in a different country hehe.
As some of you might know, I'm currently studying at University of Michigan, USA. I am sincerely thankful to have gotten the chance to continue my higher studies here; this has been a lifelong goal for me, and I just feel so blessed. After the arduous process of applying to universities and the anxiety of waiting to get accepted, I feel so so so so thankful to have gotten accepted to a good university. It's honestly still quite unbelievable that I'm here!
I'm staying with 2 other people. We rented a house off campus since on campus housing is way expensive. So we looked for the house before we arrived here. Looking for the house was NOT easy. We were relatively late in looking for off campus houses and a lot of them were already taken, thus we got a house that was further away from campus (about 15-20 minutes of walking). Taking the bus only takes 5-10 minutes but it's still not a very ideal location cause we're sometimes stranded on campus till late at night (studying and stuffs) and it's pretty scary going back home alone late at night.
The classes here are amazing. There is just so much to choose from, and you can definitely find something that would interest you. We have to satisfy some requirements here. For example, we have to take classes that'll satisfy Quantitative Reasoning requirements - which are classes such as math or physics. My housemate's taking astrobiology to satisfy that requirement. And some other requirements are race & ethnicity, first year writing etc. And the classes have to satisfy some distributions, meaning you HAVE to take natural science, social science and humanities classes. There are some other requirements and it may be complicated (I doubt you understood the whole paragraph anyway), but bottom line is that they really want you to explore a lot of areas here and find something that you really love.
This semester, I'm taking Israel/Palestine Through The Ages, Calculus 2, Ancient Languages & Scripts and Chinese. Though the assignments really mess me up sometimes, I really love all my classes (maybe less love for Calculus though). I don't feel this burden I used to feel back at school when I had to go to class I hated (cough Bahasa Melayu cough Physics). So it's just really nice to actually look forward to classes.
Looking for food here is not a big problem, there's always vegetarian food, fish, and quite a number of halal restaurants. So I'm not deprived of food and eating maggi every single day, thank God.
Since my allowance is not much, and the cost of living here is quite expensive (400$ per person for an apartment is considered cheap here mind you), I've started working at the dining hall to earn some extra money. I get 9$ per hour which is definitely a lot. Some people might ask why I'd need the extra money anyway, but really. It'd be a waste if you couldn't spend your money here. Especially on clothes shopping and travelling.
Studying here is just wonderful, really. But no matter how wonderful it is, I really do miss home. I do get homesick sometimes and I get somewhat depressed. But it's a small sacrifice I have to make. You win and lose in life.
And what I've been dying to say is, thank you. Thank you to all the people in my life who have always supported and been there for me. The people who taught me invaluable lessons and have made me the person I am today. While Michigan is not as prestigious as Harvard, Yale, Brown and others, it ranked number 17 in The Times University Ranking and never in all my life have I thought that I could be studying in a top 20 university. It's just unbelievable.