Chandrika Misra from India is the winner of microscholarship #2! Read her winning essay about one friendly, local American who really helped her while studying in the U.S.
People often say that the friends you make in college are the best friends you will ever make. I completely agree! When I decided to study at Muskingum University, I was initially very excited but once I started packing and getting ready for college, it actually hit me that I am literally going across the world to study. I started to get slightly nervous and I did not know what to expect at all. One morning in July, when I was still back at home in India, I got up and checked my phone and I saw that I had an unread e-mail. I opened it only to find that my roommate from college, Rebecca Angert, wrote to me, telling me that she is super excited about living with me and she can’t wait to meet me. We started talking via e-mail and I felt instantly comfortable even though we had never even met or seen each other. We talked about our pre-college jitters and how we wanted to decorate our room and also about how she was going to be there a week early for soccer pre-season and as would I for the international student orientation.
I got to college and was so jetlagged that I didn’t even bother unpacking that night. The next day, after a long day of orientation when I got back to my room, instead of walking into a cold unwelcoming room with plain white walls, I walked into a room with paintings hanging everywhere and both the beds made up perfectly. Becca, as I now call her, and her parents reorganized the entire room and I felt like I was home. When she got back and walked into the room, both of us gave each other a big hug because that was the first time that we were meeting each other and we stayed up till like 1a.m. just talking and snacking on some popcorn. That first week went by really fast and since it was just the two of there on the floor, we got really close and got used to each other’s company. I don’t know if I could have gone through the transition of living in India to living in America and getting used to college without that girl being by my side the entire time.
As time went by, I knew that I could walk into the room and be exactly who I wanted to be because we understood each other and could tell how the other person’s mood was. We laughed, cried, spent countless numbers of hours talking about everything from class, to how we hate homework, to boys, even random things like this one cool song that we heard on the radio a week back. There were days when we didn’t even feel like going out or doing anything and we were completely content with watching a movie, ordering a pizza and staying in. She would ask me about home and the culture that I grew up in and it was amazing to see how similar we both are. She never hesitated to help me out, ever and neither did her family. Her Mom and Dad are probably two of the sweetest people I have met and they took me in as their own. I have stayed at their house for days on and never felt unwanted. After every soccer game of Becca’s, her parents took both of us out for dinner and if we ever needed anything, we knew that they were just a phone call away. If I don’t have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving or Easter, I know that I needn’t worry because I can always go to them. They treat me as their daughter and have welcomed me with open arms and an open heart.
In the spring semester of our freshman year, both of us decided to go through rush. That whole week we did not discuss any Greek affairs because we didn’t want to influence each other’s decisions but at the end of the week on Bid Day, both of us rushed the same sorority! She was initially just my roommate, then she became my best friend and now she is my sister. That girl puts up with my many mood swings, calms me down when I am stressed out, encourages me to be a leader and cheers me up if I miss my family. I don’t even have a car here, but I never felt the absence of it because if I ever needed to go to Walmart or the mall or basically anywhere, I knew that I could just shoot her a text message and she would take me. She’s been there for me, no matter what, for instance there have been so many times in the past year and a half, when my flights have got cancelled/delayed and she has had to make countless trips to the airport just to drop/pick me up and she does it with a smile on her face.
So, it’s my sophomore year at college and we’re still living together and plan on doing so next year as well. I don’t think my college experience would have been the same if my roommate wasn’t such a big part of it and I could probably go on and write pages on pages about how great of a friend she is. Correction, she’s not just a friend, she’s family and will always be.