A new semester at Iowa State

It’s a lazy Sunday morning, sipping coffee on the balcony, enjoying the pleasant weather after months of winter. The pleasant weather comes as a relief after two months of white winters. Six months here and I’m accustomed to the weather and a positive 15 degrees Celsius feels like summer. Back home the same temperature would have had me covered in layers of sweaters.

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View from my balcony

In a land thousand miles away from home, where the Fahrenheit reads the temperature scale and weighs in pounds. I don’t know the conversion calculations but somehow subconsciously have aligned with the local measurements. Being the foreigner here, I have picked up the accent. It is sometimes necessary to speak with an accent because people fail to understand what you want to explain. I learned about this from my job as a sales associate at the Iowa State University bookstore where I had to interact with the customers. Though the accent is not noticeable, it sounds funny sometimes. The job at the bookstore has taught me a few things, given me new friends and money for the monthly expenses.

I’ve left that job because I got an assistantship this semester. I’m a research assistant and have to work on a project with my major professor. During my undergrad years, research was not the focus of studies. Being a research assistant now, I get to do some research and also work on the thesis. It is at times overwhelming as life revolves only around studies. But it’s a new opportunity for me and am trying to make the most of it.

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The iconic Campanile during the snow

Travelling is one of the things I miss the most. To travel in the US of A, you either need a car or enough money for a plane. Trains and buses have sparse coverage which makes it difficult. Spring break is around the corner and I will hopefully travel to some place soon. But before that, being in grad school implies exams, assignments and homework. My new year resolution to swim few times a week has sunk in the pool because of the schedule. However, I hope to revive it from this week.

As I wonder on the six months that have passed, the events start recollecting slowly and I realize that the initial inhibitions of a new country with the new environment and new school is now replaced with the confidence of being independent. Sometimes, when I think about this, it seems surreal as the things that I had only imagined have shaped into reality.

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Into  the new semester

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