Diary Pages of Two International Students

Kashyap, Harshita

Ayyıldız, Miray


Before taking the leap of faith there, I doubted myself so much. Having lived with so much comfort around myself for so many years spoils us as individuals. I have to admit the first few days here were difficult. But, doing everything myself gave me this sense of achievement. Even if it was just successfully doing the laundry by myself, or managing to cook without burning down the building.

I had read so many articles and sat through many discussions of which the most important message was that life away from home, changes you but no one ever mentioned how difficult that journey actually is. Back home I would accompany my mom for all her errands. Be it to the bank or to the grocery store. I never expected that a day would come where I would be expected to carry out these errands myself. But that’s where the excitement kicks in. After successfully opening a bank account with absolutely no hassles, I felt like I could do anything. These little accomplishments are what builds my self-confidence as an international student.

Thinking back to my days in school I realized how competitive school made me. At every stage, I was made to realize that someone will always be better than me in some aspects. Sometimes it would reach a point where my self-confidence was at an all-time low, to the point where I even doubted if I was worthy enough to go to university. But after spending a few weeks in a new environment it’s taught me to let go of those insecurities. The diversity among students is very inspiring and the whole environment is so welcoming. It makes me want to burst out of my comfort zone and try new things. University life has no boundaries, and this freedom inspires and pushes me towards accepting new challenges without the pressure of having to be “best” at everything in order to succeed.

Every single day I learn something new about myself, and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me in the future!

-Harshita Kashyap



I just knew I had to go away. Not because something bad had happened, or that I was not happy back home, I may have even been too happy. I had to go away because I was seeking discomfort. Everything was familiar there; my room, streets, coffee shops. Everything was easy because I had all the things I needed right in front of me. I was and still am so grateful for that, but it started to feel like I was not even making an effort to live anymore. My days began to look the same, and I realized the lack of excitement I had while waking up, since the days felt predetermined anyway. I was aware that this could have not been all that life can offer. I knew I had to change something.

My first week here was so scary. I questioned all the decisions I have made; why am I here, what am I even doing, did I ruin everything I had back home by choosing to come here, what if this weird feeling never goes away? That feeling was gone in less than a week. I soon realized the joy of figuring things out; how to go somewhere new without mobile data on my phone, where to find the cheapest second-hand bike, what to do when hot water in the apartment stops working all of a sudden. I was out of my comfort zone most of the time, but that was the point anyway.

I am a firm believer that in order to find what you love, you need to try out different things. I had no idea what made me the happiest in this life, I still don’t. But I found out that sitting by a lake with duck sounds on the background makes me inspired to write, cooking is one of the most therapeutic things ever, biking in the rain sucks and that I definitely don’t want to be an accountant. Everything I encounter on a daily basis here shapes my perspective, and I cannot wait to design my future with all the things I learn and get inspired from. 

-Miray Ayyıldız

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