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‘Camaraderie bowled me over!’

Sunaina A, a native of Calicut, Kerala, wanted to pursue a degree in psychology from a reputed institution. After weighing a couple of options, she decided to move to Mumbai to study at Christ University.
By Shruthi Balakrishna | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2011 10:54 AM IST

Four years ago, Sunaina A, a native of Calicut, Kerala, wanted to pursue a degree in psychology from a reputed institution. After weighing a couple of options, she decided to move to Mumbai to study at Christ University. “I got good feedback about the university from my friends and relatives. Christ is also known for its BA courses. So I decided to take it up,” she says.

Even as Sunaina was happy about chasing her goal, the transition from Kerala to Bangalore was not a smooth affair. Moving from a rigid, culturally-bound place to a cosmopolitan city was definitely challenging for this student. “The culture, lifestyle, language and even people’s dressing sense surprised me.

Interacting with people was a problem due to the language barrier,” she says.

Though she admitted that it was difficult to adjust, Sunaina still preferred studying in the ‘IT capital’ as “studying a subject like clinical psychology, knowing more about culture, languages would only add to your skills and Bengaluru offers a great opportunity for it,” she adds.

Initially, Sunaina had to make a lot of adjustments both at the college and hostel level. She experienced mixed emotions at the time of joining. She was excited that she was ging to chase her dream but was also anxious about the fact that she would have to make several adjustments.

One of the major hurdles she encountered was getting her favourite dishes. “When I moved into the hostel, the major problem was food. Adjusting with new people, especially my roommates, was difficult,” she says.

It took one year for Sunaina to adjust to the new environment. Once she got used to the college and hostel atmosphere, life became easier.

She started liking the warmth and the amalgamation of different cultures around her.

Besides hanging out and attending fests with her friends, she would also work on assignments with them. “As a class, we even celebrated each other’s birthdays,” she said. Sunaina is all praise for her college activities. “I used to never like participating in extra-curricular activities before I came here. But here, every student was compelled to participate in one activity or the other. This was a nice opportunity for all-round development and I gradually developed an interest in these,” she adds.

Sunaina and her gang of friends loved to hang out at Forum Mall near their college. They also frequently visited Kormangala,
Jayanagar and Commercial Street.

According to her, the cost of living in Bangalore is high. “If you come from a middle-class background, then it could get very tough for you to adjust financially. I ended up spending a lot on stationery, besides splurging on personal expenses. Sometimes, I spent a lot on food as I didn’t really like hostel food.”

After four years, Sunaina has adjusted to the college and city. She has even learnt to speak Kannada in addition to English and Malayalam.

Though she doesn’t dislike the city, she simply cannot handle Bengaluru’s traffic. “But I like its cosmopolitan culture as I get to meet people from various places and diverse cultures. It’s really a nice experience in Bengaluru,” she says.

“There would be stereotypes, prejudices... Despite all of this, adjusting to a new place is interesting. An independent way of living, managing your expenses within a limited budget, interacting and making friends from various places makes for a great experience.”
Her stint at the college, says Sunaina, has helped her find a home away from home!

There would be stereotypes, prejudices... despite this, adjusting to a new place is interesting. An independent way of living, managing your expenses within a limited budget,interacting and making friends from various places, makes for a great experience

Sunaina A, clinical psychology

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