How I connected with myself when I came to university

Posted in: International students, Undergraduate

As you may have heard a lot by now, university is a great way to connect with yourself and experience new things you may never have before. I am someone who can highly relate to this.

To give you some background knowledge, I am originally Indian but was born and raised in Spain. I went to an international school my whole life, with barely any Spanish nor Indian people so I’ve always felt quite dissociated from both cultures. I have always just considered myself an international person, and not belonged to any of my two cultures.

Attended an Indian wedding after years
Attended an Indian wedding after years

My schooling experience was not the best, to say the least, it was absolutely tiny with around 20 people in the whole year. As it was so small, it was incredibly hard to find people with whom I related in general, but even more so culturally. There were no Indian or Spanish people in my year, maybe a few in the years below or above… As a result, I was never in touch with my Indian roots. I didn’t like the traditional clothing, and music, and never felt interested in celebrating the beautiful traditions.

When I stepped foot into university and met new people, I noticed a quick pattern of surprise whenever I mentioned I was half Indian and half Spanish. There was so much interest shown in my upbringing, which I felt so special about yet still so embarrassed to not actually know anything about my culture, particularly my Indian side.

I really took this to heart and felt like I owed it to myself to at least explore my roots. I started listening to some Indian music, made the effort to approach other Indian students, and also joined the Bath Indian Society. Through this, I met more like-minded students, attended Bollywood events, and felt more connected to myself than ever.

Diwali Ball
Indian food at the Diwali Ball!

Now – I am absolutely obsessed with my culture! Bollywood music is all I listen to, I will take a Bollywood night over ANY other night and I find spending time with my Indian friends SO precious. I am begging my mum to do more frequent trips to India, buy me more traditional clothing, and introduce me to everything else I missed out on during my childhood.

I hope my story encourages you to enter university with an open mind and gives you hope that it is not only about academics, but it’s also an experience that shapes you into a person and allows you to connect with yourself.

Posted in: International students, Undergraduate


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