Postcard Education

Greetings from the Golden State

Studying at the University of Southern California has taught Alekhya what independence truly means

I am a first-year graduate, currently in my second semester of Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC). I did my undergraduate in Computer Science from Osmania University, Hyderabad.

If this is the first time you are leaving home and studying abroad like me, you will take some time to acclimatise to the new environment. As clichéd as it may sound, the first and the foremost thing living abroad has taught me is being independent. You learn to do a lot of things by yourself, unlike back in India, where you would depend on someone else to do things for you. I have learned to do chores on my own. You will have to juggle a lot and manage things as and when they pop up. On one hand, we need to manage academics, and on the other hand, you need to manage your time among things like doing the dishes, cooking, laundry, and so on. But, trust me, it is worth it. You will learn things the hard way, and gradually, find yourself growing stronger. The things that used to trouble you earlier will now seem very manageable.

Coming to academics, time management is crucial. The education system here is quite different when compared to the Indian education system. You will get to choose your subjects and will not have classes every day from 9 a.m to 4 p.m like in India. Every assignment counts towards the final grade, apart from the exams. The quality of education is good and I have learned a great deal doing assignments. Each assignment pushes you to the edge of your comfort zone. Plagiarism is a serious offence and you will have to submit your original work. The education is more practical than theoretical where you implement what you learn. You need to learn to manage stress.

Exposure

USC has produced many successful people such as Neil Armstrong. It is an amazing place to be. The campus keeps buzzing with many events every day, ranging from fun-filled activities to career-related events. You meet many people, from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. The global exposure that you get is unparalleled. The libraries are wonderful places to study and the campus has various good resources for students to accelerate their career.

Since one stays thousands of miles away from home, it is very important to make some good friends.It is really necessary to cultivate healthy friendships because you need some time to take your stress off of your studies and have fun, go to places and make some amazing memories that you could cherish forever.

That being said, I stay in Los Angeles, California. It is a really big city, with a lot in store for those who would love to explore. The view of the city at night is a visual delight to the eyes, with bright lights. The climate is more or less like Hyderabad, so it's a really good place where one has an easier time adjusting than compared to the people on the East Coast. I look forward to experiencing so much more!

Alekhya Kondapuram is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Computer Science at the University of Southern California.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 5:00:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/greetings-from-the-golden-state/article26160281.ece

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