Why the U.S.? – Faris Durrani, (Georgia Institute of Technology ’22)

My story is not a bed of roses. 

I struggled a lot ever since I came to the US. I had great difficulty adjusting to the new culture here and finding friends to talk to. I joined a lot of clubs in my first semester finding the ones that tick and trying to talk to people but, I always lose interest in them. 

Being in a new country with a different language and different people did not make it easy. I thought I could, but I was wrong. I got lonely, depressed, spent a lot of me in the room trying to hide. I could barely talk to my parents and there wasn’t the Malaysian support system you’d find in the UK. 

On some days, I almost lost it. 

I had to go to counseling (which didn’t help very much) and I just waited for it to end. I had YouTube and parents to call but ultimately, I was glad to have a God to speak to, someone to listen to me. I thought of how wrong going to the US was where things were too different from home. 

But in time, slowly, the pain disappears. 

I learned to distract my loneliness by being very busy and I stayed away from my room often. I’m slowly making good friends, having fun being loud in classes, joined weird clubs, learning more, building my inner self through pain. 

It was hard and honestly, if someone were to ask me for advice about studying abroad, my first response would be don’t. Studying abroad is not the fun you see on social media. It’s difficult, but I don’t regret it. I’m learning much. I’m glad to survive the first ordeals and to have friends who ask me if I’m doing fine. 

Not everyone is.