not so sexy

The "not so sexy" Part of Studying in USA

Studying Abroad has its bells and whistles, but there is “not so sexy part” which is something I hated it and you will hate it.


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Update – Follow-up Video for the comments is posted here – How to Keep yourself Stay Motivated in College

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  1. Thanks Raghu. This just mentally prepares me for what I might face in the USA! This is exactly what I had been wanting to know, the real picture of days spent in a Grad School.

  2. Well Raghu(I assumed formality is nt needed between two guys)..
    U dude gave a whole day in a nut shell…..
    Well for starters we remember to stock up our supplies..and wake up early in benifit..n scnd we must be prepared fr tmr…n mst of all be day wnt be dat wrst if We cn make mst frm it….n grade its possible nightmare fr everyone…Job is another mountain bitchin abt it doesn’t hlp n Why u need four wheeler jus rely on bike faster n eco friendly…Food is imp so grab an Apple or something…Financial Aid thing is a Kick in Gut n assighnment
    Is for fun ask n give help policy….and Happy Face thing with Family good job n dnt let anyone think u need their pity…and the whole purpose of survival is struggle n if life comes as easy as u need then there is no meaning of struggle….but RAGHU YOU’R AWESOME COZ U MADE ME REALIZE THREE THINGS TODAY….

    And sexy part of studying in USA is you are free to choose what needed to make Judgement for ourself,by ourself and to ourself…..

  3. I don’t get it at all. If he wants to mean that you have only yourself to take care of your problems then he could have said so in a line. I have been studying in USA for the past couple of years towards my PhD and from my past experience I can say the only real challenge is to manage your own stuff. True there are no friends you can call upon who will give you a helping hand. The video talks about having to cook or getting a bad grade as things can go wrong. Well if you are staying in your own country in a dorm these things can go wrong as well. I was expecting some real problems being discussed.I am disappointed.

  4. Hi Raghu, This is my first comment on your blog though i follow it regularly. I don’t know why you made this video, its seems more like out of your frustration rather than anything helpful, Watch it yourself it seems to be a grown up cribbing like a child. I am saying this because most of the Audience your blog caters to are grown up adults.

    I am bachelor working in Bangalore (of course an engineer) i have faced not all but most of the problems you mentioned, but one thing i have learned is to keep your calm and move on. Bad things happen and they pass. So rather than cribbing about them we have to fight the situations and get ahead.

    You could have made a video which would have somehow boosted students to get over. You are trying to create a Bad-Day fear which nobody wants. Create a Overcome-Bad-Day video, which will surely help people out. And yes work on your accent and english.

    P.S : I still love your Blog 🙂 *Peace*

  5. Hi Raghu,
    I haven’t been as unlucky as you sounded in the video but I did face some of the problems that you mentioned. All I have to say is this: after finishing your M.S or Ph.D , when you get a job in your related field of interest and you wake up every morning excited about how your day is going to be at work and all the new things you will get to learn (trust me it happens 🙂 ) and you look back at your college days………it will all seem to be worth it.

  6. I have not studied in USA, but I have done short courses at Oxford and travelled to the United States.

    I just want to say that it is rare to find such genuine and good videos on this subject and thank you for sharing.

    You should be very proud of what you are doing.

    Reference to the ‘Not so sexy part of studying in USA’ video.

  7. Been through that. All these things happened with me also. Food, classes, Research work, car repair. Food and groceries is always a problem when living with room-mates as people avoid cooking/buying groceries when there turn comes. I personally think that if you can afford, separate your groceries. Make food only for yourself and make it in evenings so that it last tomorrow for lunch also. It will not be that expensive and Learn cooking-atleast you will not eat unhealthy and expensive food outside. Things like Daal, potato, eggs, chicken are not that difficult to make. North Indians who like eating Rotis should look at Tortillas-which are similar to roti/chapati. Late nights should be reserved for doing Laundry. Avoid shopping at places like Walmart on Saturday/sunday as they are crowded and lot of queues and you waste your time. Instead do it on Monday or tuesday evenings. Look for coupons/deals.

  8. Hey Raghu,

    I was working in US for 2 years, not studying though and rented an apartment with 4 other guys. Actually I think it is the situation when you are alone, not whether you are in US or India. But personally, I have seen people living with family have more severe problems.

  9. Hi Raghu,

    Thanks for posting this video.
    I came to US for my PhD in ECE with scholarship and I have to work part-time to make up for the rest of the money for survival.Since I don’t have a Masters I need to take coursework and also go to the job.Life was very tough for me in those initial months as I have to do everything.I don’t know to cook but fortunately my room mate helped in making food and then I learned myself the art of cooking.I have never managed myself financially or effective time management when I was in India.This independent lifestyle here in USA taught me so many things.

    Now I am teaching assistant and I have a part-time job too as my lab’s grant was cut and my professor told me to wait for a while and work without getting paid.Managing two jobs and studying your courses and managing yourself is really tough task.It is like riding three horses at the same time.Even if you leave the lasso of one Horse you are done!!
    This is my schedule and I follow it with little changes here and there.
    6.30 AM – Wake up
    7.00-8.30 AM – Reading/Assignment completion
    9.00-10.30AM – Classes
    11-4.30 PM- Job
    5.00-6.30 – Yoga class
    7.00-8.00- Cooking/cleaning room
    9.00-12.00-Reading research papers
    12.30- sleep

    This routing changes in the weekend as I spent most part of the day in the lab and come back home in the evening.Occasionally I hangout with friends and go for a movie,restaurant etc…

    1. Hey – Haven’t seen you here in long time. Hang out here to answer few questions, when you have time. Plus, can we do a video interview about your experience so far in USA?

          1. This weekend(May3-4) was finals week and I m little occupied with the assignments, papers and exam preparation.I can make it this Saturday May 11 for the video.


  10. It can happen to anyone, anytime and any part of the world not just to students in US. I am in my last semester of graduate studies at UMD. I did face such things but never sat and thought about it as those were just passing days. Its part and parcel of life. Infact, i faced more disturbed days when i was in Kota,rajasthan for preparation of competitive exams. I would say life of student in US much easier.

  11. Well, I cannot comment about the experience of students in US… but regarding the troubles you mentioned… I dont think its a major predicament for abroad study … I experienced MANY such things here at my place…
    I can say I have been in (many) situations like “If 100 things can go wrong, 101 things would go wrong on same day”.
    By this video, I can understand the high quality of life you had while you are in India ..but everyone is not so lucky(by luck i don’t mean about money).
    I don’t think I will have any major surprises about the “hard” or “tough” life, I would have while studying abroad because I am used to the hard life. The only new thing I might face is surviving with shortage of money which is the only one I hadn’t experience !

  12. Problem 1: “No food” :
    Solution 1: It will just take 2 hrs for you to cook meals for 3-4 days (daal and rice/curry and rice)
    Solution 2: “Walmart/Safeway/Fred Meyer”
    Money being a real concern for students, keeping that in mind, you get frozen stuff that costs really cheap.

    Problem 2: Car battery broke down
    Solution : As u said, the university is 5 minutes walk, then you can consider to Give up your car. No car , no problems , no extra expenses!!

    Problem 3: No financial aid
    Solution: (This can be a problem, I agree ) Try for other resources/part time jobs !

    Problem 4: Bad grade in assignment
    Solution: Discuss with the professor/other students while you work on the assignment to make sure you are on the right track. That way you wont get surprises at the time of your assignment .

    Problem 5: Coworker’s work need to be done by you
    Solution: Its a job !! They pay you for it , so if once in a while you face something like this, it should be fine. Life is not a bed of roses !!

    Problem 6: Showing a happy face to your parents
    Solution : “Try , Try , until u succeed” Instead of doing that, try fixing your problems. Even if you attempt to do that, you will be satisfied at the end of the day and that can bring a real smile on your face when you talk to your parents.

    Problem 7: You are tired
    Solution: Relax ! Watch a movie, go out for a stroll, catch up with your best buddies, explore the world ..

    Problem 8: Laundry : a problem
    Solution : Lets redefine the Laundry definition in US: Put clothes in Washer then add detergent . Then put them in the dryer and thats it !!

    Above all,
    ” If 10 things can go wrong, 9 things can go wrong in a day “: True
    There is no solution to those problems: False False False

    Question 1: Is doing MS worth it ? What you will gain out of it ?
    Answer : The new “you”, a much stronger one, more practical, one who can handle all problems. !!
    If life would have been so easy, it would not have been calle dlife, it would just be a DREAM. Life is all about Growing each day, learning each day !

    1. Good reply. With food, you can’t cook for 2 or 3 days. Here’s why.

      Of you have 4 roommates, you will have cooking turns. Most guys hate to cook. Having them cook on their coking turn is a BIG DEAL. Typically students get ONE GOOD meal per day (usually dinner) and eat left overs for morning and lunch.

      quantity of mean meal consumed at dinner will be high. We used to keep 2 full rice cookers of rice (about 6 to 7 cups) and it will be over by early morning.

  13. I agree with you Raghu. ONLY People who studied MS in big school as Intl . student will know about these incidents. I know the kitchen & assignments stuff especially team project is awful.

  14. Well that is bad … actually bad … but again… thats what makes you work hard … thats what makes you a winner ?? USA is among the worst places to get an internship at this moment in time and actually grappling with its own economic spend cuts and recession but that is what makes you work and put an extra effort to make things right.

  15. whether here comments need to be authorized by BLOG ADMINISTRATOR(Raghuram Sukumar) to put on blog……….????
    I had posted something, but i didn’t see……..

    1. Of course. What you thought, did you think it’s a public domain? It’s a moderated personal blog.. How can you allow info on your personal blog with which you’re not pleased with? 😀

  16. I am experiencing the same and I am currently in USA and I am a Ph.D student. I feel sleep of minimum 7 hours is essential to do any one job at a time efficiently. If one cannot sleep for 7 hours a day then it is going to affect everything. In some cases doing 2 things at a time will help like cooking and reading a research paper at a time. If you are working at your part time job , if there is no one at job for whom you have to serve then you can remotely connect to your lab computer and run your research code. Most important thing is to a job at a time with 100% concentration. These are the things which I do although most of the times it wont be successful but I try to do….
    Hope this helps some one out there….

    1. Srikumar – Can you describe how your daily schedule looks like? Can you give details like hours you spend on classes, cooking, sleeping and how does your schedule look at semester end?

      1. I work at week ends in a residence hall within my university
        Saturday 12:00 AM – 08:00 AM
        Sunday 12:00 AM – 08:00 AM
        I cook once in 3 days or 2 days at 08:00 PM – 10:00 pm.
        I work on reading papers or doing my research work 02:00 PM – 07:00 PM on weekdays.
        I do physical exercise from 07:10 pm – 08:00 pm
        I do relax, by watching videos from 11:30 PM – 12:30 AM on week days.
        I wake up at 09:30-11:00 AM in morning and prepare my food for breakfast and lunch and leave for college at 01:30 PM on week days.
        However I do work on assignments and research while I work. I do ensure that there exists some overlap between all I do.
        However I will see to that I will not do all my assignments and prepare for my exams at the last minute. I keep doing these things since the day the assignments/exams dates are posted/announced. But last two weeks goes on less cooking/relaxing/sleeping and eating outside and preparing more for exams. There were days when I have not slept a whole night, and kept preparing for my exams.
        Hope this helps someone out there.

  17. In short, if you fail to plan, you’ve planned to fail !!!
    Firstly, I don’t think there’s something indispensable in this post. Such things can happen anywhere if you are a mess. Doesn’t these problems arise if you are in India? Or maybe you were at home all your life till the moment you took your first transatlantic flight!
    Life might be busy in the US, given all part-time jobs, self-cooking and shopping besides the primary objective, education, but it’s not impossible to make life simple and easy through proper scheduling and planning. Why get up at 0800 AM if you have work at 0830 AM? That’s idiocy. You do not do so in India itself, do you? So, nothing US-specific, actually. Moreover, one can’t be stupid all through his life, once mistakes done, the aftermath learning lasts, he tries to manage them and become prepared to it. Such frictions initially are essential for future well-being and maturity. Do you stop riding a car for the risk of an accident? It’s equally foolish. Do you really think it’s not worth getting American education for these trivial reasons?
    Hey, one another off-topic comment, please work on your English, it’s too erroneous and awful at times, or please restrain yourself only to the written posts 🙂

      1. Bingo, that’s exactly called ‘progressive collapse’. One mistake leading to an another, inevitably. Why should they keep themselves awake till 4-5 AM if they have work on the following day? I don’t think they cook/wash/drive/shop/study/finish assignments, till that long, everyday! If they sleep for just 3-4 hours, and if it’s true, that’s another mistake due to lack of management and discipline.
        With 6 hours and less sleep duration, they do not live long! Better they should relegate themselves before killing themselves !!

  18. Horrible complaints to talk about. How can you whine about having no food? Seems like you have stepped out from your comfort zone for the first time, mismanaging stuff and then crying like a child. Its your own responsibility to keep things in stock. And everyone has a bad day and people do face rejections. Putting up a video and demoralizing others is the worst thing to do. Grow up dude!!

      1. Raghu, your blog used to have great posts. Now with videos like these, it seems to be sub-standard. Did you even watch the video before putting it up on your blog? The guy in the video is nuts. He is facing the problems, any irresponsible person would face in any part of the world. Nothing specific to the problems one can face in US. You wake up at 8 and have a lecture at 8:30 but had no food. Most of the students have had similar situations during their undergrad. Though, complaining about it sounds sooooo lame. And you got low marks coz you did not study well. And i read in your comment that students sleep at 4/5 am. Well, you cannot continue to do that for the rest of your life. You sound like the guy in the video that is so unlike you. What is up with you man?

        1. Ankit, a suggestion to you, if you think this post is sub-standard, then you should leave this blog and check something else. There is some words for people like you and that is “MEAN & SELFISH” and let me explain you how. People like you want to get free advice, free time of others and free everything and if you don’t like that free stuff, you won’t think twice and whine about it all the time. Dude, get a life and get yourself rid of this forum. I hate to spend my time on NEGATIVE and SELFISH people.

          And if you are thinking to give me all that reasoning that I am trying to improve this blog with my positive criticism then try and contribute this forum with your articles and experiences and upgrade the quality of forum post(BTW, by searching your name in forum search, I don’t even get a single article or experience contribution).

          Raghu is just trying to keep his blog going with something or other and looking at the frequency of articles, he can’t have constant source of good articles. Just ignore if you don’t like a article, I don’t expect every article of him to be super interesting, if you need super consulting and advice, pay someone in dollars and you will get a good standard.

          1. @Ashish -you are over reacting.
            The video obviously sounds very childish .A guy finished his Bachelors and going for Masters is worried about this stuffs.
            It mean the guy still gets spoon fooding by mom in home.So he founds this daily activities as trouble.
            See if you take this hardship just as a part of life then its a fun but you start considering these small activities as trouble then what about real troubles of life.
            This video is very immature and childish…………………..

          2. @jayant & ankit what makes you think you deserve a high quality blog post??? Did you pay for it?

            Why is it so hard for you to ignore this blog post, if you don’t like it????

          3. @Ashish – Its not like i deserve something better.
            Its like i expected something better from this blog as i follow this everyday.
            Instead of portraying it as hardship if it would have portrayed like a daily routine of Student in US .I would have accepted happily.

          4. @jayant kumar … Who is overacting here… Ashish is only saying that you can criticize positively for some constructive things…
            Its not easy to maintain a blog and fill it with interesting stuff all the time.. If you dont like an article either give suggestions for more interesting content or stfu …

          5. FYI – video says these are hardships you COULD face and possibly multiple setbacks in single day and you need courage to face it. I faced much bigger hardship while in MS with my health and death of dear ones.

          6. @Raghu – Facing this cant be called as courageous..Its part of life and it should be taken with that mindset itself.If your car is not starting and you think it to be a very big problem which need courage like soldier to face it then obviously it will sound more difficult..
            Obviously food and all other stuffs you mentioned are stuffs which can go sometimes wrong but it really not at all a problem of that intensity…
            The life of student in US is far better than anywhere else.
            You have option of packaged food. Students do part in most of the weekend.Even the course curriculum is more realistic and close to practical life which makes it easier if you are not hard disk and habituated of just mugging the stuffs.
            I think you should go KOTA and spend some time with students who prepare for IIT and AFMC..It will be an eye opener for you.
            DOnt sound childish..
            Someone mentioned here if any employer will see this ,He will never give you job with such a childih mindset.

  19. Hey dude, It is not a problem, you should plan accordingly, and nobody will cook and do a laundry for you, So, if you are expecting A on that class, you should study huh? I am not Indian, but I have team mates those are from India, They can’t plan accordingly on the projects, always says busy, at very last moment, I do it. And we share our grades. Guys, I am minority in USA, I have no such a big community like Indians and Chinese, I have no friend to ask a ride. But i still doing good, also having part time jobs and classes. Just similar to you, But you are listing very little problem because of your lack of planning skill.

  20. How to look at your Un-sexy post with a Sexy sight:
    First thing to note is that you mentioned about the car battery drain out, which means in USA as a student you r driving a car without actually knowing whats going on under the hood. Atleast u spent only 1 hr and 100$ for battery, In India it would take all day long for you to get the problem sorted. And its hilarious that you ask did u cook, wash clothes and all things in India like no person in India does their own work and just hire people to do it or parents do it, look outside of your well many people live individually without having maids to wash clothes, cook for themselves and are aware about maintaining a car before buying one. The post was helpful in a way and only made me realize that as a student u will grow as a individual and you will be responsible for yourself in USA that’s why you keep a smiling face when you parents call. Don’t make it seem like a BIG problem getting mugged, cheated can be even worse..shit happens everywhere even if its India or USA.

  21. Just a small suggestion for you dude…… buck up and forget it…..move on…..plan next…….
    I happened to meet a guy whose father died recently and when he returned to work he found out that they had removed him project….when he returned to his rented apartment…he found his stuff on the gate (rent due)…..
    Off all the odd things you narrated i describe those as a tough day…..Remember we are Indians….we are born tough…. so buck it up and move on……

    1. He has ‘bucked up’ and moved on… and been pretty successful at it… don’t you think? 🙂

  22. Hi Guys, I am following this blog from past 2 years.
    I am not a student anymore .I work in US .
    But this blog is even helpful H1 employees.

    I think this video is for those kind of students who are thinking to study in US and have a life full of fun or late night parties.

    Otherwise this kind of scenario is not at all something new for a student .Not only in US even you can experience the same in India if you are from a middle class family.I am from north part of India and did my B.E 6 years back in Chennai which almost looked like a different country to me with everything different and even people treating me differently.I have experienced everything like this in Chennai itself.So its not only about US , anywhere you go you have to face this.
    According to me there are 100 of examples in the world and its on you the select the most suitable for you.In worst case you can setup a new example itself.
    The competition in our (Indian) education system have made us ready for any worst/difficult situation (those who have faced the competition).
    The difference between wisest man Einstein and the dumbest man intelligence would be 0.1 %.So guys feel confident .Anyone can rock the floor .So guys just go for it.

      1. @raghy – You better remove this video man..Its mis guiding and lowering the standard of your blog.

  23. Today I watched this video and i feel that whatever you have illustrated is really really useful for prospective students like me. I must thank you for sharing such a beautiful piece of video..The good thing about this video is that it disclosed the reality and i could feel that the reality bites.But it is always good to face the reality and we should think of possible ways of coming out of the situation.Your video will surely help us to prepare the right mind set to resolve the situation. Another good face of the blog is that everyone seems to give a flowery picture of pursuing MS or PhD from US..may be due to dollar dream but no body dares (i must use this word) to really narrate the hardwork required to achieve that american dream. I think prospective students should take this video as a ideal reference.Things will be better than what has been narrated but the idea behind the blog is to put the student in the worst case scenario..
    Good Work Raghu…
    It would be great if you can share more videos on pursuing Phd and difficulty or difference of coursework quality in India and US.
    My compliments
    Abhijeet Chausalkar

  24. The only motivation in moving through a tunnel is the hope of light at the other end. Friend Remember there is no Problen only issues that affect us. Problems can never be solved but issues can. In the entire process ask yourself why ?and you will find the solution for a Happy journey. Why you get up at 8.00? Why was there no food?Why you got C?why was the financial aid not approved?Why the car battery got exhausted?How do you not repeat this? If you plan well things might get right. Not always though but most of the time. 1.Get up early, Have Good Food, Feel energized,Be attentive,Keep a checklist, Re confirm meetings, Use the additional tine saved to enrich your knowledge or relax. Speak up clearly to your family. They want to be a support not want you to fool them. Get good score…. Cheer up.. This is my experience.. When you look back you smile and say this bothered me..So foolish of me.

  25. Good job Raghu! It feels so good when anyone speaks aloud the thoughts going on in almost everyone’s mind. I could relate myself so much to the things you voiced In the video. Yes , many things can go wrong In a day. But it will be in our hands to decide the way these results will effect us….mentally!

    I am a phd student Out of my bachelors. I live About 15 min from my campus and walk almost everyday to school. (No extra fitness training needed here!)

    My mentor Keeps me on nerves always and I almost dread our lab meetings.he expects me to outperform than a regular masters student who is almost done through his research in the university. My experiments go wrong and sometimes will have to stay In my lab all night. My oncampus job starts at 7 in the morning and sometimes I oversleep and be late to work. I don’t find time to go thoroughly through all my courses as In undergrad. My own financial resources barely help me meet the needs in NYC. Sometimes I feel like my friends in other universities are having a smoother sail.

    Yet, I don’t regret the decision of coming to US and studying here. For one reason that this is”my” Choice and I am definitely happy about it. Also, I get to learn a lot of things In my lab in a better way than a regular 2Nd semester student Would learn. I feel like my schedule management Has improved. My time management and money management Skills definitely improved than back In India when I was in a hostel during my undergrad.

    Coming to how do I manage to compose myself Through all This is, I try to unwind as often as possible.I spend some quality time with my friends and nearby relatives. If I did something wrong, intentionally or no, I try not to repent much about it(Which builds up the tension) as it is already done. Listen to good music, Watch my fav sitcoms & Movies, visit some places if Time permits Me.

    My parents are really concerned about me. I talk to them almost everyday atleast for a few minutes but video chatting is just not a compulsion. Only when we find time, we skype.

    All I would Like to tell my friends here Is try not to control everything. But keep yourself organized.i’ve seen Many Of my Friends Here dont Have A Proper Meal schedule and Dont have a balanced diet. Keep yourself healthy and Fit And your First priority Should Be food Because If You become ill, you Cannot really expect Your friends To help you recover As They Are on their own too!. If something goes wrong and is out of your control, relax, Don’t worry. Just tell yourself that all is well. Have fun!!!

  26. Whats with some unparliamentary words in your blog Raghu. I opened my inbox in presence of my mom. She immediately caught those words in the subject line and later forced me to show all my mails till she could convenience herself that I don’t have any illegal content in my mail box… Thanks for sharing a typical student lifestyle who pursues his masters in the US……

    1. Hey Rahul Kumar Yadav, who said that “Sex” is an unparliamentary word? It’s well accepted word. Check your passport. You have that word in it.
      Probably you should educate yourself 🙂

  27. Hey Raghu.

    I am actually getting ready to leave for the US to join in on the fall 2013 term. And this video did bring me back to reality. Just because one gets a good uni doesnt mean that the future is going to be a bed of roses. lol. It is going to get tough and what you said in the video helped me out in realising that things that can go wrong will go wrong and its safe to be prepped up to face them. Be prepared is what I take back from the video.

    And about how I motivate myself, frankly I dont know about others. But I just like my major very much and I would do everything in my power to make the masters plan happen. That and a life in the US of A a few years from now with a good job (hopefully) is what drives me.
    I dont know about others, but this is what motivates me and will continue motivating me in the future.
    GJ on the vid.

  28. Moral of the Story:
    If a train is late on first station, it is late on EVERY next station
    so……Eat your food on time.

  29. Is this video a joke? These are everyday problems that can happen to anyone anywhere. Frankly, I suggest the poster remove this video. I am 100% certain any prospective employer who sees this video will never hire the person in this video.

    What a little buttercup this person is. What will he complain about next? I was about to drink my tea, but it was too hot and I burned my lips?

    If you are so hungry, spend $1 and grab a cookie from the campus coffee shop that is on the way to your class. Problem solved.

    It’s that easy.

    As Jon Stewart said: A paper bag is a trap only if you cant punch your way out of it.

    1. Are you motivating or demotivating the future students who want to study in the USA? It’s quite pathetic to think that way. Please never demoralize us in this way. Thank you!

  30. Well.. As always, Factual, Practical and true. This video will enlighten it’s viewers and they will take necessary precautions to see that their schedules are not disturbed. This video serves the purpose. They watch this video and for instance, they will make proper arrangements for food. Kudos Raghu. Keep shedding your good work.

  31. Raghu, firstly kudos for writing this blog and helping so many prospective students who dream of coming to USA. Regarding the above video, with all due respect, all of the above said problems happening on the same day sounds a bit ironical. Ofcourse, its happened to you, it’s your experience and that’s why you’ve shared it with the followers, but a lot of things mentioned seems to be flawed. These are my reasoning for it:
    a) You said you get up at 8 am for a 8.30 class hope to grab a bite too? What you said about no left over food is true (not always though), but even if you had anything left over how will you be able to eat anything in peace when you have just 5 minutes to walk to your class (after getting ready by 8.20) ? If we’re to get up at 8 for a 8.30 class, we have to first worry about making it to the class regardless of with/without food.
    b) Car can give us some unseen problems agreed, but not all international students have a car do they? But yeah those who have one, do face some additional unforeseen financial burden if their car gives any problem.
    c) About coming home from classes and not having any food, if we’re staying alone (which is not the case with most Indians) then how could we even expect to find a meal waiting to greet us unless we’ve cooked enough for about 2 days or so, or say if you’ve not cooked the previous night? But when you have roommates and depending on the kind of cooking system you follow, you can expect to find some food waiting for you :). And when we have something as important as an assignment due the next day, trust me food is the last thing which will be on our mind 😉
    d) Project mates not turning up for a meeting…..well …. if you guys had decided to meet and still if they did not turn up and did not even inform everyone in time, then its obviously not professional on their part. But mostly people do discuss everyone’s availability before deciding to meet up.
    e) Laundry…. when our day is jam packed with classes, part time job, assignments, project meetings, why would we even think of doing laundry in the first place? Wouldn’t we prefer to do it on the weekends when we have some time to breathe …… 🙂

    And about talking to your parents (be it skype or over the phone), your absolutely right when you say you have to put up a brave and happy face in front of them 🙂 . Because that is the only way they can be content and happy sitting thousands of miles away from us knowing that their child is doing fine. If we give them even a slightest of hint about out problems, they would obviously be worried and tensed, and that is exactly what we as their children do not want.

    Is it worth coming to US ? Oh YEAH… Absolutely… Whatever hardships and problems you go through, make you a strong and independent person. We face problems even in India, but the beauty back home is just one phone call and help is immediately available. But here, we have to fend for ourselves and that makes us more responsible and changes our attitude and approach towards life. We learn to be patient and adjust with anything available at hand. Lets take food for example (a funny one 😉 ), back home we always threw tantrums about food saying we don’t want this, we don’t want that…we want this in this way itself and etc etc etc…. but here you learn to adjust (have to adjust) with what you have or stay hungry, as simple as that. You eat the same food for 2 days and its okay, but imagine ourselves doing the same back home 😉 ….. Also, we meet so many different kinds of people of different origins, from all over the world and this is in itself a great great experience in life. We’re exposed to different cultures, a different way of thinking and that makes us knowledgeable about so many aspects of life. Mixing with people from different cultures really changes the way we look at things and at life in general. So yeah, coming to US is DEFINITELY worth it.

    Motivating oneself…… I feel everybody has something or the other which they want to achieve or which they have dreamt about to do in their life. So that in itself should be enough to keep oneself motivated. Besides this we all have our own ways to motivate ourselves.

    Again, this post is not to criticize the video or anything, its just that everything happening on the same day sounds very ironical. Its just my thought on the subject. Keep up the good work and its always a pleasure to keep following Happy Schools Blog.

    Cheers !

      1. “Could and will” certainly have different meaning but a few examples which you’ve chosen (food, laundry, project meeting) to put forth your point does not make sense considering the broader meaning of the subject line of the video.

    1. With food – you will cook extra for dinner. When you sleep there will left over. But it won’t be there when you wake up. Everyone have different timings. Friends come over to eat or when you sleep at 4 AM after completing projects, you tend to eat again before going to bed.

      1. Quite possible. If you stay up till 4AM with work and again eat before going to bed and in the process finish the food, then it OKAY !!! Lets not make an issue about food here. There is no point in saying it’s one of the drawbacks of studying in US. I’ve seen my undergrad classmates, who stayed in hostel, come empty stomach to college every single day and eat something during the break. So its not a BIG DEAL so as to portray it as a bad thing. So be it anywhere in the world your studying, your home country or abroad, if your staying alone this is a part and parcel of your everyday life. Doing Masters abroad comes with some sacrifices and this is (food) certainly one of them and so be it !!

  32. Hi,

    Good Video, But i think this is a normal life or a normal issues happen every where usa,india,palestine ,,,,etc.

  33. The things you describe are exactly correct-and i’m dealing with all these kind of things, since this is my second semester in USA.
    Even i didn’t get time to post on ‘Happy Schools Blog’, as i’m following your blog long time back(since 2009). I thought that i could share my visa experience when i will land to USA,(how i got my F1 visa from SAUDI ARABIA) but after that here the LIFE is so busy and it is hard to get time beside to your schedule routine life.
    Coming to your point, we need to motivate our-self and face the things-as we had done in our past(giving test internals,viva,projects etc) in undergraduate(although in INDIA), but that also gonna give you confidence that how ever hard days will pass out one day and you can clear up the things.
    Thanks a lot for sharing the other face of the coin-as people realize that the grass is not green on the other side…

  34. Hey HSB,

    This was one of the most useless videos you have ever made (not that other videos of yours are useful). The example you “walk us through” is what makes studying away from home (not just abroad) so challenging and fruitful.

    “Did you cook, wash cloths, clean dishes, vacuum clean the home, wash toilets at home or repair car battery?”

    SERIOUSLY?! This is all you got? Stick to advising people on education-related matters, but please don’t tread into this territory. The usefulness factor of this video was ZERO.

    1. Hey Nathan, I don’t see why you would be so angry at Raghu for this video. Maybe you are only son of a Crorepati and don’t need to care about these stuff, or from a very poor family background (kudos to you) and have always done these stuff at home. But most of the Indian students face these issues when they go, I agree with Raghu that they should know these things before they leave home.

  35. Hi Raghu,

    Good attempt to make aware prospective students about studying in US and its difficulties involved. Many of your previous posts made a similar attempts, I enjoy reading all your posts.

    Its hard during the first semester, but not difficult to adapt. I was lucky to have met my seniors and roommates from different parts of India to be very helpful.

    At the end of the day, when you graduate the feeling is awesome :).


  36. Raghu

    Hats of to you. I have been following HSB since I started the procedure to come to US(2011). The things you described is 100% true. This is one of the best post ever. Where you actually describe the real living scenario in US. That happens to me everyday. I saw “Pursuit of Happiness” movie and that gave me some confidence. I believe that this happens to everyone in US and the key to get success in US is endurance, persistence. Work harder and act smarter than others. Keeping smiling face in front of your parents was the best part of your video. You never want to disappoint your parents with your problems and it’s hard for them (being in Indian culture)to believe and understand this problems. Keeping your self self motivated and never give up approach helps in this situation.

    @ Rahul: US is world of opportunities. Here they treat all people equally. The work environment is super rich and warm (better than India). How can you assert about that “slave” concept even without working in US.

    Whatever it is, US is a super awesome country with with lots of potential for growth and opportunities for hardworking and smart people. Initially you might have bad time, but than you will live a heavenly life in US. India is not even comparable to US system.

  37. Hi Raghu,
    first of all i should congratulate your presentation on happy school blog,which is very useful particularly for a prospective students like me. I watched this video more than twice.Such unpleasent events do happen even in the native country when you are away from home. one thing I came to know after watching your video is, one should plan for ‘on campus hostel with boarding facility’ and ‘must plan to pay next semister fee from their pocket’ with out any frustation, in case they fail to get Financial AID or job.
    yes really one question which worries me a lot is ‘ is it really worth doing MS(comp) in USA? with all these not sexy parts of life and a huge investment for study. The major issues , i feel , is Getting a Job and F1 to H1b coversion is most sexiest part after graduation. i really expect your comments on ‘ difficulties in getting job and will the remuneration really makes you happy once you get the job’.

  38. @Raghuram Bro.

    I appreciate your effort in making the video and sharing your experiences which you had been through. But I would like to add that possibility of 9 things going wrong out 10 on everyday is very less. I mean one can’t face this kinda of situation everyday in his/her life.

    These 9 things which u made ur day hectic and miserable will teach one a lot in near future.

    The part I liked in this video at last when your on call with your parents you put a smile revealing that everything is fine and will not share the miserable experiences to them. This moment actually will make you feel better.

    Even I would like to add that each one of them( i.e Middle Class student) will face this kinda of situation ( not 9/10 but few things).

    Lastly @3 idiots amir khan says that bol “All is well” (By saying that one will get the strength to face that situation).


      1. Yeah Bro, all the set..

        If possible I can meet you personally once I land in USA and your blog did helped me during the selection of universities, the aspects one should emphasize while applying to universities and the education related updates..


  39. Whatever you said is absolutely true. This is one of the way to know yourself. International students have to be more disciplined, organized and value time. If those 9 things happened wrong to you that time, I am damn sure next time it was only 5 and next time only 2 and one day your realize that you are very well adapted to that way of life and life is much more smoother than it use to be. At that moment, if you find that transformation worthwhile(you feel good) then you have got what it takes to be a good person.

    All those nine things happened wrong to you are not just destined to happen or they are not entirely misfortune or ill-luck. Many of them happened because we were not use to that lifestyle(working on assignments and then doing part time job and then running to groceries for food and then attending meetings with professors). So they are definitely bringing a change in you that society, your family and friends will appreciate and this will be reflected in you and your personality.

  40. These difficulties are not only faced by someone who is studying, but by every person who has taken birth.This was completely waste of time brother.I request you not to post these videos to waste time of others.

    1. Sorry buddy, I don’t agree. I lived in India till I completed by Bachelors. I don’t have to repaid my bike or cook, wash and sweep the floors and clean the toilets while in hostel or at home. I didn’t have to worry about paying few lakhs every semester.

  41. First Of all…
    Loved your video…
    And then , was just feeling that life is tough , but we have to face it with a smile, and stay strong.
    It all about becoming stronger and taking the beating without a tear.
    I personally motivate myself in similar situations by listening to my favorite music(heavy metal) and looking at documentaries and phrases from people like Michel Faraday, Einstein(people that inspire me). Basically something that fills you with the strength to move on and keep fighting.
    For an gaining something of that level(Ms) we have to loose something( ease in life).
    “I am willing to do this and I will!” is something that keeps me running , because it all about survival and getting the best education possible.
    So guys hang on, it will be over some day.
    And hopefully I will also get a chance to do my Ms in US.

  42. Thanks a lot for dat info !!

    An addition to what u said it also takes time to be independent when u r away frm ur family..everything seems different (for most of dem i guess) !!

    N over dat doing ur own work like washing clothes n all plus also completing assignments as well …really requires time management !!

    It usually takes time to adapt to these things…but we shud never give up !!

    Because if u pass those darker days …a BRIGHT future is guaranteed !!

  43. Hello Raghu,First of all who comments negative,means they all-ready worked in india but not anywhere else cause only experienced can be the final proof.I’ve bent there first time on J1,obviously hard to survive on work visa then I can’t imagine for F1 helllyaaa,Don’t even dare to, & finally about this video ,,,hey man you’r soo freakingggg practicle imaginative guyy,I mean I still remember pushing my car for start-up in winter & heavy snow days,,,,just making richyyy faces on skype FO my family & left for work without food,,n n those earning ”aadats”of try to do overtimes for making enough bucks & allways in mood to marry every second amerigo girl to get GC,,,,& just reading those dollars prices of foods out side rich restross & actually eat $1 dollar menu chix burger ,,,,,& only 2 ohhhh goshhh just rs.100 ,,,yeah converting all time money to inr,,,& feeling happpyy yeyyy now i have bank balance of 7 or 8 lac ruppesss which I actualllyy in dollars at my NBT bankk,,,,,,ohhhhhh bla bla bla bla………..okkkk at alll THANX RAGHU.

      1. Yeahh somewhat,But in todays life I am used to it,However I moved to Canada since my J1 expired,but its preety much similar things going around n m happy cuzz m use to it.@ work work & work.

        Thanx though you refresh my rem of stats by this vid.Thanx again.

  44. lol.. its crap.. these things can happen in a single day even in india or anywhere if you are a student !! i am always against going abroad , as you leave your own country, your family , you leave your own people and do a ‘slavery’ work for those white people . There are oppurtunities in India as well , you just have to work out and find for yourself. As i always said , earn money in India , go to USA as tourist and just enjoy your life.

      1. they work for their boss like a slave.. they work for the company owner at the end, of course you get paid well , but it always hiting at back of mind that you should work for something which you own for yourself. no offences , just a view .

  45. In my view it would be a good experience no matter whatever happens..I’m going to survive it.. like the way u did it and thanks for giving a brief idea of student life in USA.. At least we’ll be ready to face what is coming in future.I’ll try to concentrate on my undergraduate basics before leaving to USA. Also i need ur sugesstions hsb how to manage things getting not so worse??

  46. With all due respect,the things you described,can happen in an Indian City as well.Thats the part of life.I have been studying out since 11th standard and have faced even dreadful situations in Indian cities itself

      1. Theses situations can happen anywhere in any country…i have been studying and working out form last five years n faced more then worst situations then anything listed above so chill ya n do something positive , for starters guide people how to work on ur own n not be a lazy jack . Be positive !

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