Since my childhood, I have dreaded the word “hostel.”
Whenever I did anything mysterious, my parents would tell me that they would enroll me into a boarding school where I could not come back home.
When I went to high school, I had many friends who came from different boarding schools. They shared their stories and all the memories they made while staying in the hostel — which here we call a dormitory – I realized dorm life might not be as bad as I thought.
When I decided to come to the states for my education, my first concern was “Where will I stay?” I knew no one in this new world, and I was nervous as to what that would mean for my new home.
In the end, I had no option but to stay in a dormitory. I was both excited and nervous at the same time about how my life would be living in a dorm.
After I got assigned to a room, I was introduced to my roommate. We started texting each other and getting to know each other before I even arrived at Troy.
She helped me understand the American culture and traditions and also helped teach me about how the U.S. education system works.
Being an international student at Troy, I had many difficulties in the first few weeks here, including adjusting to the humid weather, trying to find my way around campus, discovering new places and even crossing the language barrier.
I realized even though I had studied English my entire life, I was not able to fully comprehend what others were saying because I was not familiar with the accents here. Having a roommate who was from here helped me adjust and learn things quickly.
Also, I was lucky to have cool resident assistants who let me hang out with them. At times, we would just gather in the lobby and dance along to songs like “Bunny Hop” and “The Cupid Shuffle.”
In the end, I felt accepted in the community, and I did not feel trapped like I thought I would.
Everyone was super friendly and approachable. I made numerous friends in my dorm, and we hung out in our rooms and sometimes did our assignments together.
I would have never had so many opportunities and been exposed to so much if I had not chosen to stay on campus. I believe staying on campus during the semester is one of the best decisions I made when coming to Troy.
I would recommend students, especially international students, to live at least a semester in the dormitories. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget.