Hey! Shivani here!
I’m just penning a few tips that came handy for me when I shifted to Kerala after my 10th grade (Which basically means that I’m just like all of you who spent the first 16 years of my life in Kuwait and was a little apprehensive on how it would be to adjust to a sudden change of place). But let me tell you, honestly it’s not as scary as it seems! But there sure are a few things that could be kept in mind to prepare ourself a little better. Well, all of you who are leaving after your 12th, you’re all definitely a lot smarter than what I was when I left kuwait.
Mind you, kids there are studious and career oriented. They may have all the fun in the world but when it comes to study time, they don’t compromise either. So don’t get carried over by what you see on the face of it because for all you know, they may be spending the rest of the time planning their timetable. Personally I feel this works to our advantage because being around such a peer group will consciously or unconsciously make us push ourselves to do better.
I think we all know that competition in India is on a whole other level! (But we’re not bad either😋)
So all we need to do, is probably put a little more effort and work on ourselves in whatever field it is that we want to excel. Besides, DO NOT form any kind of complexes seeing your competition. We may face an additional task of adjusting but ultimately that very competition that we face should be a motivation or inspiration for us to improve ourselves to mark our place among the crowd.
3. Kuwait is a small place.
This is one of the primary reasons why I wanted to study in India. India provides so much exposure that Kuwait can just not provide regardless of all the competitions and events we take part in here. We may be the best in our school in Kuwait but when we reach there we may have to burst that bubble and work from scratch to create a name for ourselves because no one knows us there and the circumstances will definitely require us to do so unless we want to live in seclusion without venturing into any new arenas and just doing the bare minimum. So try to make the most out of the time there. Get involved in almost everything and absorb it all in as a learning experience.
4. Street smartness.
This is something that I had heard my parents say a lot to me before I left for India – that the children in India are street smart and they somehow have a knack to get things done and always have their way. So I was always watchful because I didn’t want to be oblivious and wind up exploited by any of my “friends”. However, not to worry, with time we get an idea of how to read people and I think life there teaches us things and this is just one such trick of the trade.
Make sure to be open to change and new experiences because the last thing we want is to be labelled as a “saayippu” or a “rich spoilt NRI brat”. While these are highly likely nicknames in the first few months while we are also just beginning to get accustomed to the new ways, the best thing to do is to not stick to those and quickly work our way back to join the group. But to be clear, this I say not in the sense of falling prey to peer pressure of any sense (individuality and defending your stance is obviously the priority). All I intend is for us not end up being the black sheep because as they say “when in Rome, be a Roman”. It may take more time than others for some to adjust, but don’t give up already. Just hang in there, hold on. We all have moments of weakness and we will get over it. It doesn’t mean that a new place or change is not meant for you. It probably just means you take more time to get out your cocoon, but don’t fret, soon this same new city will become your comfort zone.
5. “ The good/Bad company”
Let me tell you, after living almost all our life abroad I’m pretty sure we’ll always be inclined to surround ourselves with a cohort just like ourselves; similar interests, similar sense of humour – basically the people who you can relate with the most. But rest assured, DON’T! Because there’s so much we can learn from the different kind of people we get to meet in India. Unlike Kuwait, we will get the opportunity to personally meet and have one-on-one conversations with people from cultures and statuses very different from our own and they’re most likely to be our most fun yet educational encounters. So don’t straight up go looking for NRI friends to hang out with. Try mingling with the locals and you’ll undoubtedly notice how much they have to offer.
I am no adult to advice big life lessons but i just happened to experience this whole transition of suddenly shifting to another country a little earlier than some of you. So as I was in your shoes not too long ago, I am confident as to be able to provide some simple and relatable so called “tips”. They’re mostly just a few ways in which we can mould our minds on what to expect because I’m very sure everyone is being bombarded with lots of advices some of which may be stereotypes. Amidst all that, I don’t intend to add to it! So consider this just a friendly message to ease that tension building inside of you.
Trust me, we will all ace it. So while we prepare to fly away from our homes and soar high, let’s also stay rooted to all those values and lessons we’ve been taught by our elders and keep our visions clear.
P.S. on an equally important note, don’t forget to have fun :)