I took a break this weekend, which means that I spent most of it sleeping. I started working again on Sunday evening.
I am not able to find a house to move out into. I hope I can find one soon and shift.
The spring break is coming up. There are no plans for the break, it will be good, though, to not have to worry about classes and concentrate on the work.
These are a few of the things that I expected when I came to America, that did not work out.
1. I thought graduate student life will be the perfect balance between professional progress and personal development, in the form of reading good books, and watching new movies, all in a peaceful, beautiful environment.
The way it has turned out, there is just the work.
2. America does not work weekends, so I thought my hours would be fixed, or that I will have at least the weekends to myself, away from work.
The way it works, most submissions are due on monday, and so the weekend is always as busy if not busier than the other days.
3. I thought I will find the time to immerse myself in local culture and get to know people from diverse backgrounds, develop friends from various parts of the world.
But now I see that everybody is preoccupied with work, and there is something against making friends at school. Friends and people you study with are different. As for diversity, 90% of the graduate students in my department are either Indian or Chinese. The Chinese (not all) have a problem with English, which prevents friendship from growing.
4. I thought I will live in a neat clean house, with a regular comforting pattern of events.
I got room mates for whom, graduate life is just another 1.5 years, and so who cares about keeping the house clean? I can understand why they think that way, I used to think that way when I was at college, and stayed in a hostel.
5. I never prepared myself for the level of loneliness that I feel now. Eye-contact with strangers is to be avoided generally, and talking to strangers is not the best thing you can do. What can I do if I end up here with everyone being perfect strangers to begin with?
6. I thought I will be free of the high degree of public scrutiny of the kind we have in India. Where every Tom, Dick and Harry takes upon himself the duty to pass judgement on your actions, tastes and preferences. My roommates must be thinking I am a freak, just because the things I like and dislike are so different from theirs. This is not different from the way I used to feel in College, in fact, each time I leave my friends behind, it takes a long time before I find people I like. This is the reason I am still hopeful, perhaps, with time, I will find great friends again. I already have at least 2 people I like a lot, and who could be good friends.
Life in America without a car is abnormal.
Three things I positively LOVE about america :
1. The couches – they are SO comfortable.
2. The perpetual hot water in the faucets and shower.
3. The professionalism, and the way everybody takes their duties seriously, without having to be told. Everybody does their job properly, at least most of them do.
That said, I have to concentrate on work now. I am sure that one of these days, I will have a regular lifestyle, with a fixed schedule. I am not sure how long it will be before I have a companion by my side.
My cousin’s wife told me when we met in Trivandrum, “Oh, everybody takes pleasure in getting all the material things they want, like gadgets and toys, and after a time, when you have all you need, you will feel very lonely, because you will have no one to share it with. Everything becomes meaningless without a loving companion.” She was right. I was wrong in thinking that I will be contented to live alone, for a few years.