I set foot in Dubai, UAE on 11th January 2011. This was a completely new chapter in the book of my life. This new beginning was the start of my college life at Middlesex University. Fresh out of high school, I was absolutely unsure and anxious about what was to come.

I entered campus a week later. The atmosphere was completely different. There were a bunch of students huddled together, making plans for the weekend. The seniors eyed us “Freshers” like a child would eye a shiny new toy. As some of us passed, they whispered to each other, making obvious guesses as to what course we were taking. As an individual, I sometimes get tongue-tied and weird around new people, and so I moved about silently, unsure of where to go or what to do. On the first day, I planted myself next to this girl and watched my classmates, who looked as lost as I did. Also, the very fact that everyone was twice my height on an average did no good for me. Soon though, we had ice breakers and surprisingly all of us got friendly with each other.

During our breaks, I took a stroll around our campus and discovered Starbucks which was like a ray of hope considering the coffee junkie that I am. By the end of the day however, I was ready to face whatever I had to. I was ready to embrace my new life in Dubai, and everything college had to offer me. I was driven to make the best of it. There were so many people from different places, each with a talent of their own, which encouraged me to share what I had. The competition amongst us was immense – each one, wanting to emerge in flying colours. It was exhilarating.

Six months from then, I was completely set into the college lifestyle, with an occasional punch of culture shock that came from different students of different nationalities. But, I savoured every moment of it, and evolved as a person. I became more tolerant, understanding and knowledgeable about things and people around me. Over the past few months, I’ve learned more than I ever have – academically and non-academically. This has brought me to realise that college is the place that moulds you to really become someone in life.  Middlesex surely did that for me. And what’s more, I cannot wait for the year that’s going to come. It’s going to be a challenge; and a good one too.