So here I am. Illinois Tech. Woohoo! Finally going to start this new journey. Getting down from the party-bus… Yeah, it was a good ride to college. It was time to complete the "Welcome to the College" procedures where we would have to complete the formalities and the best part (worst for me because of no proper rest on the flight): the photo for the ID. That picture would now be staying with me for the rest of my tenure here. Then came the next interesting part. Search for the dorm. All this time, I had seen the dorm pictures, the walk-throughs, but now this is the real thing. I am actually here. But where is the dorm? I just could not find it. With 3 bags full of my stuff, I along with another student, who became my first friend at college, roamed for about half an hour.
Then there it was. McCormick Student Village (MSV). Finally, the place which is going to be my home for the next two years, hopefully, is there in front of me. So, after completing the sign-in formalities and dragging my bags to the second floor, I entered the dorm. And guess what… it was empty. My roommate had not yet checked in. Until the time he came, I had all the room to myself. (For at least a week... an awesome feeling.) And then began my permutations and combinations following a set of tough questions to be answered… Which bed should I select? Which study table to go for? To answer these and other questions, I remember back in India, my mother used to tell me: "While studying, sit in the direction facing East." And the problem was solved. So, peeking out of the window, I was looking out for the sun in the cloudy Chicago weather before realizing that I could have just opened my cell phone and checked the compass app.
Speaking of apps, it was a tough time, the initial days where you don’t have a local number and, most importantly, the internet. The first few hours were spent looking out for connectivity, just for the purpose of telling my family back home that I reached college safely. Some students tried to help me out to resolve the issue but sadly no connection could be established. Finally, one of them suggested going to the Office of Technology Services (OTS). And after a couple of hours of trying to connect to the internet, I got help from the place where we get knowledge: the library. It was like… finally… connection established. The first call from America back home (actually, make that the second since first was from the Wi-Fi at the airport). My joy knew no bounds for me when I saw my parents, finally, on the call.
Just the sight of them, sitting close to 8500 miles apart, in a different time zone, made me realize the technological advancements that we are gifted with. I can actually speak to them any time I want and show them the campus, the food, and the people around. The conversation lasted for close to a half an hour and the talks that I have had with them made me realize that life is going to change, and it is going to change for the better. With this positive approach in mind, I started my new journey: campus life.