I enter my classroom trying to avoid any eye contact as possible. I sit at the third row possibly because I am too hesitant to walk around the class. Precisely, I do not want to be seen; I am nervous. So nervous I could hear my heartbeat!
We start with introducing ourselves. My turn comes. I stand up. “My name is Pratikshya Subedi and I am from Nepal”. My professors would ask me why I had come to India and precisely at Christ. My answer would simply be, “I heard education at Christ is the best”. We had many Ice-Breaking Sessions where I had to talk about Nepal and about why I chose Christ University.
Kurtha is our dress code.
Honestly, I had the worst first week of college experience. If you ask me why, I suppose my answer will not make any sense to any of you reading this. The reason was “age difference”. Yes. Age difference between me and my classmates. I was formally graduated in the year 2016 and I already have about three years of working experience. So, you can imagine how old I was in comparison to my so-called-classmates! I would go back and question myself why did I ever come here. I used to be the youngest within my friend circle, workspace and here, I am the oldest. I could not believe how at this very young age they can pursue post-graduation. At their age I had finished my graduation and I was looking for a job. The whole week or let’s say the whole month was so frustrating. It took me a while to cope up with the new environment at college and, also, at my PG (paying guest) accommodation because of the super-spicy food that we, Nepalese, are not used to. It was really difficult for me to face the challenges of this new life in Bangalore. I wanted to come back to my country. I was feeling low and was all alone. I had nobody to give me support in any form. I was so alone!
The worst was yet to come. On the very second day of college one of our professors gave an assignment and me, being an International Student, had to give a presentation. As if the assignment was not enough!
There are certain people who believe I am an extrovert. Reality is that I actually fall in between. Ambivert may be? I don’t know. But I always knew I am a mixture of both, intro and extrovert. So, for me to speak in front of a huge mass was a big problem. Add to that, I still had to get a laptop for myself. Luckily, Christ Library is open till late 8:30-9 in the evening. I would stay back from my class hour to do my assignment.
The Day for the presentation arrives. I could only wish the class would get cancelled anyhow and I do not have to present anything. Life is not a fairy tale! I go in front of the class, stand there with a paper in my hand. All 100 pairs of eyes only looking at me. I try to look at my friends only, but I have a habit of looking around. I could not keep my eyes fixed at one place.
I start my presentation. I see everybody staring at me. I panic. My hand which was holding the paper started trembling in fear. There were people trying to comfort me with their warmest possible smiles. My professor asked me to pause. He spoke a few words about motivation and as if I got motivated, I eventually started again. This time with some amount of confidence. And I got over it. After my presentation one boy asked me a question. I answered because I knew it. I went back to my seat with my face feeling like it is burning.
My Political Theory Professor is another person who helped me be more confident. It is true that I have never liked when in every class he used to pick me up to answer. He would say, “You, Madam from Nepal, what do you think about this? Why? How?”. I did not like when once he personally made me read my answer, which was supposed to be based on our opinion, in front of the class. I argued with him that I was not comfortable, and I would rather show it to him. Him being the professor, did not listen! Again, I go in front and read my answer. Thanks God, people liked it.
Every Wednesday, we have to write about the current affairs of the country allotted to us. During my first semester I had to write about North Korea. On Sundays we have to submit our news (written by us of course based on the news broadcasted) and on Wednesdays to present the news. Currently, for the 2nd semester, I am working on Turkey. That way I gradually began to nurture confidence in myself and every time I pushed myself to speak better.
Then we have CIA (Continuous Internal Assessment) twice a semester. It gets very hectic. Altogether we have three CIAs. The first and the third assessment are assignment-based while the second one is a Mid-Semester Examination. Here, for CIA 1 and 3, students are chosen for a particular subject presentation. In the new semester, that is, the 2ndsemester, I had to make a presentation on Brexit, which I had never followed the news before. Luckily, I got assistance from Helen Mom. She provided me with some reading materials. I also took help from one of my classmates. I prepared it pretty well.
On the day of the presentation, I was really scared. Yet again, I was feeling butterflies in my stomach. One goes. Next goes. And some more people go. My turn arrives. I started with the history of the European Union and talked about the challenges when my professor stopped me and started asking questions. I answered every question that he asked. “Very good”, he said and everybody in the class applauded. My friend sitting next to me was praising me for my confidence and quick answers. I was pretty much satisfied with my own performance. And, that time I knew for sure that going through this ordeal was going to help me so much in my future.
Class photo where our class Master of Arts in International Studies and History (MAIS) were taken at another Christ College, Kengeri Campus for orientation.
Of lately, I have realized how Christ University has taught me how to grow. At first, I was sceptical about the University, my classmates, and even my struggle for existence per se! However, everything needs its own time to get settled. I am surrounded by the best people I could ever ask for. All my professors are no less than the world’s greatest teachers.
They say: “everything happens for a reason”. They are right. We just need to take one step at a time, stay positive and always have somebody who can support you, encourage you and, most importantly, listen to you! With full support of Helen Mom and SEA, my brothers and sisters from SEA Home, my family, my friends back in Nepal, I have been able to come this far. Yet I still have to move on and reach my destination. Phew! I have plenty of well-wishers. I cannot ask for more!
Left:DAKSH- Ethnic Day because Christ has students from all over India and around the globe. Here, it is a day to represent one’s country, culture through dress.
Right: I had participated in Indo-Korean fest (VA) where I had my stall representing both countries’ staple food, basically food culture.