Positive results are always at the forefront of our minds. In my case, I preferred negative results. The steps I took to fulfill the requirements of international travel was by starting my journey with negative results of COVID-19 testing. That was the beginning of a new life for me, full of new opportunities.
I felt mixed feelings of happiness and anxiety which are beyond explanation. Culture and language played a big role in the mixed feelings. Studying in America means a great deal to me because I come from a developing country. That is why I wanted to share some of my cultural differences, particularly in education. My first semester was completed online from Pakistan using Zoom. In this semester I dealt with two of the biggest challenges in academics. First was the internet, I have 4MB speed but the requirement to handle zoom was 10MB. The other was a twelve-hour time difference.
In January 2020, I arrived here in San Diego and went through some more challenges. We were using the British English style in Pakistan, but the US English was a little different like pronunciation, common things of daily use, and concepts. For example, in Pakistan we say NGO and here we use nonprofit. During my studies, I got more clarity in using words and understanding a different culture. Despite all this, the biggest takeaway from this journey is that I love the culture of the university and the way my professors teach me. They challenged me intellectually. I also learned a lot from my peers. Now I can think more critically and creatively. Now I feel blessed that I got the chance to study at the University of San Diego in California.