Life in America Will Be Challenging – Are You Emotionally Matured?

If you don’t have emotional intelligence, then don’t come to USA for higher studies.

International Student life in America will be challenging, tough and brutal.

Well, that might sound like an an over statement, but it’s the FACT.

In this article you will learn why you need to be mature enough to handle all situations while studying far away from your home and family.

Real Life Experience – International Student

What I feel is that, whether its guys or girls planning to pursue Master’s here in U.S.A. should definitely consider their Emotional Intelligence before leaving their home country.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

According to Wiki – a self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others and of groups.

Once you leave your home, city, state or country life’s never going to be a nice game. You’ll have to face emotional stresses when having problems with people around you, manage relationships, become a  matured, socially and self aware person so that you can live life with peace of mind. Otherwise you are just going to whine like a child.

Here’s an story from a reader –  Student Life is Difficult in America, I’m Returning to India

Being emotionally matured is vital if you’re to survive as an international student in America.

Here, you’re surrounded by hardships as you’re surrounded by opportunities at the same time.

Let me give you some examples of my experiences with people on how they handled their emotions on certain issues.

A girl is far from home for the first time in her life. She’s very naïve. She feels lonely and yearns for her mother’s warmth and one day a guy shows up, you know, with the care and advice that anyone would feel very comfortable around him.

He’s pretty clear in his doing – he is helping out others.

Now she has a soft corner, or even admires him but too proud to accept it. He recognizes her feelings for him and says not to mistake his helping tendency for others in any other manner.

Love or Friendship

Now she keeps crying for days in solitude regretting her love for that guy and also blames herself that she was not brought up in a manner where she falls for someone. She couldn’t handle the stress. She keeps on crying. Her friends, get to know about this. They try to comfort her but that is all they can do for her. They cannot keep on  doing this for her life because her problem. This is what happens whenever she faces incidents that are sensitive to her.

But before any further talking, let me be clear about something. We’re not here to discuss about love or friendship. I’m telling that you need to have or try to have that maturity level or emotional stamina or mental boldness, for solving problems like this especially when you’re thousands of miles away from home. Because there are no close ones near you to help you out. You have to make it out all by yourself.

Mental Maturity

Above example is one such instance where people face problems. There are several examples of scenarios in life where emotional maturity is required. People who cannot handle or come across tough situations are going to have to overcome life experiences. Believe it or not – life in US for an international student is not a walk in the park.

You are not going to grow in life without facing problems. When I come across such tough situations, I always say this to myself

Problem will be problem until another  bigger problem comes.

Don’t be  a cay baby, face life and get prepared to face other big challenges in life.

Here’s another example that shows maturity and courage – Read this Indian Student’s Survival Story. WOW.

I Came Back to America

Following comment was posted at Student Life is difficult, I’m returning to India.

Hey Folks,
I think its too late to response for the above post, but I have read this for the first time and could recollect all my memories from long back.

Going to USA was my dream. As soon as I completed my post graduation in India, I started all the prep and landed in USA.

For the only cause of less fees I opted a remote university where I could found only one Indian student in the complete university, it was a nightmare since we could hardly find a person walking on the streets and as said by “A” there was no public transportation.

But before i could experience all those problems I returned back to India.

Later I was depressed because I felt, I missed a life time opportunity.

With the professor’s help I could go to USA for the next semester and the disgusting thing is I returned back to India for the second time just within four days. I could understand that people with emotional issues like me cannot survive not just in USA but not in any foreign country.

Did you face similar situations while in US, please do share your experiences.

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  1. I also went in fall 2019 returned back in 10 days as I was missing home badly. after that, I again gathered the courage to go again so I went back again in December 2019 but this time it was severe than the first time. I decided that I won’t come back here as I was depressed but when I came back home the second time I was treated very badly I was judged, being yelled. I want to go again but I am not sure what to do so that this time I stay there. my friends are already in second semester and i haven’t even started yet. please help me what should I do as I know it is my dream to study there and make my parents proud. PLEASE HELP

    1. Hi Jayant – thanks for sharing your experience here. Let the world compare you to what they want, but keep up the hope and courage. DOn’t feel pressured to do something. Which school did you attend? Aim for really small milestones. Just focus on getting on the plan, then first transit, then the port of entry, reaching the university, then let friends know that you had gone back twice and ask them to check on you for first few days and you are determined to take the classes, have a good set of friends around. Just focus on small milestones, not the graduation. Here’s the quote from the movie Martian “You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.” There Erath is the Home, for you, completing the first semester will be home. Then second and so forth. Don’t worry about how many semesters your friends have completed. It doesn’t matter in life. You have to do take this challenge to prove to yourself, not for the society.

  2. Hi everybody
    i am too much interrested to complete my study in USA
    i am a dentist working in KSA and now i am preparing for NBDE1 exam
    after that i will apply to complete my study in USA
    i have strong feelings that i will be accepted
    hope you can help me
    thank you

  3. Hey all, I work with international workforce and always recommend everyone I work with to read the articles and comments posted on this website.
    I'd like to make a comment about EQ in general…everyone has an EQ, like they have an IQ. It's just a way to express a view of emotional self-awareness. That being said, in my many, many years of experience with working with immigrants of all nationalities, academic preparedness, etc., EQ factor is not as important, as is having appropriate coping mechanisms and a realistic idea of what life in the US really is like. You have to have a goal and several strategies in achieving that goal so that when you face roadblocks, you will be able to overcome them without emotional duress.
    Can I mention that I think that just coming to the US is a flawed goal? What happens when you get here? You already completed your goal, what next? I think it is important to have coming to the US as a step in a greater goal. This will help when you get disenchanted (and you WILL get disenchanted).
    Research shows us that resiliency is the biggest factor in whether or not a person will have the emotional maturity to overcome obstacles. If you were actively taught to get up while you were down and to 'pull yourself up from your bootstraps,' chances are, you will be able to weather the big changes in life you are about to go through when you come to this country.
    You will be lonely, you will miss the weather of your hometown, the food, the noises, smells, etc…this is called homesickness. If you are going to a University, I bet that you will run into a ton of Americans that feel the very same way as you do. Of course there are vital differences. I am aware of that. But when I compare the many years that I spent in foreign study to my undergraduate experience of displacing myself to the other side of the US, I can honestly say that it felt exactly the same way. It didn't matter if I was 6 hours away from home in my country or 16 hours away abroad- I was simply away from home.
    You know what makes life better in the US? FRIENDS. Man, they can help you pass the time! I hope that you will not just limit yourself to fellow Indian students because you will have missed the opportunity to make friends with others with different perspectives and experiences that could help you out of your homesickness. There is nothing like seeing all of Boston, for example, with the guided hand of a native Bostonian or have your first taste of real Mexican food with your Mexican-American friend.
    Good luck to everyone!

  4. hi sir,i want to do ms in US.i have very less time to prepare for gre for current pattern…i want to take exam in July …..can u suggest me when the dates will b opened and about preparation??….

  5. Hi Ranjan,Please note that not all Indians are computer or
    software professionals so to generalize students depending on their
    major is wrong.Do you have any idea how people in India with
    degrees in other majors apart from Computers and IT are struggling
    with meager salaries ? Not every person has the IQ to be a doctor
    or engineer.And i really don't think students come here only to
    "enjoy" at least the serious ones don't spend lakhs of rupees just
    to experience the" US life",we have plenty to enjoy in India
    too.The point here is to achieve our dreams,nothing comes easy
    friend,probably you will understand more of this when you have your
    own family and responsibilities.The grass is greener always on the
    other side,but only we who have seen the other side know how green
    it is !

  6. So where is the charm of enjoying life in US.If whole life
    will have to struggle like this when u ll enjoy ur life. Life is
    very short we need to enjoy it instead of fighting with everything.
    If the life is tough in US no need to go US we can live better life
    in India, better enjoyment with family with friends .. Jobs
    prospects is also not far less than from US in IT field so its
    better to be in India.

      1. not the place for these views dudes…. why are you on this blog if you are sooo set on not leaving India, both of you?

    1. Life is full of struggles whether it be US or India. It’s
      upto you how you can enjoy the life no matter where you’re or how
      busy you’re in dealing with the challenges.

  7. The article about emotional maturity is really good,most of the times i don't respond but in response to the above stated article ,i felt my comments will be helpful to someone out there.I am a 30 yr old with a Masters in Nutrition and dietetics + 2 years research and hospital exp from Hyderabad presently on F1 visa since 1 year in NJ.I am trying to get accredited through American dietetic association in order to become a Registered Dietitian to be able to practice here. Life has not been easy since the day i landed ,firstly i was so emotionally disturbed as i left my husband and 2 daughters 6 and 3 yrs old back in Hyderabad.It was a very big step for me who never had any international travel experience.The first few months were very crucial as it took me a while to understand the educational system here in the US.There was also the common culture and food shocks as well.More than anything it was my family that i miss the most even to date.There has not been a single day since the day i landed i have not cried,but i used to tell myself this hard work will pay off some day.

    I dont have a answer when my daughters ask me Mamma when are you coming?

    Aren't you coming for my birthday my elder one asked me the other day,i tell them Pray to Jesus for your visa so that you can come and see America.I tell myself and others around me that if even after doing all this if i don't get a job i will not waste one more minute here in the US but will proudly go back home.Sometimes in life we need to judge what really is our priority,money is important to survive here but family is the highest priority.I know many youngsters who are away from family for years only to earn big bucks,but let me tell you that to look after your old parents is also a priority.Never forget that whatever you are today is because of their hard work and sacrifice.

    I will be graduating in May 2011 and lets see what God holds for my future hopefully, the best.And to you all out there studying hard all the best May God give you good success.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I was chatting with someone who said "Life in US in complex". That statement combined with your comment gave me another idea for a post about typical problems faced by those who come to US for first time. This time it will be practical problems.

    2. Me and I am sure all HSBians will pray that u get that best u deserve varsha. Thanks for posting this, I am sure it will give a lot of us strength. All the Best

  8. This is very true, when I was coming to the US I received a lot favor and care from people right from the plane and even when I landed at the airport, my mistake was that I thought this is how is going to be all through but when I got to the US things change, my own challenge start from loneliness, always indoor, couldn't go out because I don't have a car, kept spending huge amount of money on phone card calling my people at home, even the bus drivers make things worst for me with their response every time I tried to go out, missed my route a couple of time, I tried to make friends as quick as I can with every opportunity that I get, but of cause the way things are here is quiet different from where I come from, so it all turn down, I began to have low self esteem and started seeing everyone as a bad person for ignoring me and not paying attention. Until when I realized and told myself that 'common' this is America where everybody get busy and it all man for himself, then things start working out for me.

    Don't get me wrong there are also nice people around here, so many of them, just that people are different and people will always be people.

    Good luck.

    1. I want to add on something to what Sam said. He comes very near to explaining what growing up and being mature should mean. There will inevitably be times when life is going on the same lines for many of you(There are times when I get so busy with work and people here that I can't call home for days and there are times when I feel so alone that I spend the whole day calling my friends and family in India. Most of the days though have a healthy balance). But don't let these feelings consume you. They are not important. They WILL go away eventually.

      Moving can never be easy. People will face this problem even when they change neighborhoods. Just don't have immature expectations when you come here. Don't be pessimistic. Don't be optimistic. Never take things personally (This is for life in general ;)). Be receptive. No one can fill an already full cup.

      Again everything will figure out as it has to. Good Luck and Take Care

      1. Kriti thanks for your comment, am just 2month old here and am begin to adapt, people also should learn how to ask question, don't assume that you know something when you don't, when people are giving you information and you don't hear or understand them properly let them know you don't and they will re-explain don't be shy.

  9. This post seems a bit naive to me. The incident you related can happen in any part of the world, even your home town. And getting crossed in love is not the worst that can happen to a person. Everyone has to have there share of experiences.

    I believe that life should have its own share of experiences. Anyone would just end up building a cocoon around themselves if they start anticipating the worst.

    I have been in the US for around 6 months now. A problem I feel worth mentioning though is that people surround themselves with other Indians as if trying to insulate from the environment. It does provide a big support system initially but I wonder if its healthy or not. Such people get so wound up amongst themselves that they forget that they are not living in their own country. I believe that as long as your in this country, live by the rules of the house. Be nice. Hold the door open for people walking behind you. Wait for your turn. Try not talking in your native language when there are people around who don't understand it. Its just rude.

    And I believe that people should be mature enough to not confuse adapting these small etiquettes and ways with loosing there own ethics and forgetting there culture. It doesn't come anywhere near that. Just be a little receptive.

    On the other hand, try not be overwhelmed by the new found freedom and do things that you might regret later down your life. Don't forget your roots either. Have fun. Enjoy life. Party with friends. Travel as much as you can. But only when your work is done(That is something that hardly happens in grad school though).

    Any change such as this will be overwhelming for anyone. So its OK to make mistakes some times. It happens with everyone. But trust me, all of us eventually learn. There is no need to worry about anything. Its all worth it 🙂

    I hope this blog wasn't posted to scare anyone. Its just there to prepare everyone. It would be easy to adapt once your mentally prepared to do so.

  10. Hi,

    thanks for sharing the experience, but frankly, such a situation can arise anywhere! Its not as if only in US girls get ditched. And besides, this is not really a education-related problem,thus, inept for publishing on HSB. If it had been about coping with the change in education system or even racism or lets say, about the different student life, it would have been helpfull, but seriously, girl falling for some guy is not what I expect to be published on HSB.

    As mohammed said, loneliness is one thing we all can discuss about and especially how to keep it at bay (like ahmed said). thanks.

    1. Anjali thanks for your comment. HSB is blog about study in USA and not strictly limited to education related. That's why there is a category – Students Life in USA. It wouldn't be fair just to write about admission, visa. Maybe, we don't write much about student life in this blog, you are more inclined to see posts related to GRE, h1b, jobs, .. but going forward, we plan to post more posts about life in USA. Again, this was an article that was shared by a fan.

      1. I completely agree with you HSB, and thats what differentiates between your blog and the website a.k.a blog Destination America… Though informative, yet boring, and hey H in HSB stands for Happy Anjali, and this post means a lot for people who need to come out of their loneliness or the so called the sad environment and HSB gave us just some tips on how to overcome it… So there's no point in it that its purely an educational blog… 😛 Be happy and cheerful..

        1. No offense meant. But can i ask whats so happy and cheerful, in a girl getting ditched? 😛

          Maybe getting ditched in US is pretty bad when added to the loneliness.. Maybe HSB meant it that way. I dont want to give bad examples for loneliness, but i will suggest what one can do to overcome it. 'Set immediate goals and keep working towards it'. Instead of brooding your lonely times, you in fact make it productive. Thats what we come here for. And of course you have the friday nights to chill out! Lot of new friends to network! What else do you need? It all depends on you.

          1. Whoa! I don't meant happy here because the girl got
            ditched, and hey, I was talking about the tips.. I seriously think
            you mustn't have read down… These tips are for those, who in case
            do face these problems and will help them at crucial times.. My
            meaning was merely that.

  11. Hi all,

    Its my first week in USA and sure you do start to feel homesick. But you should always remember one thing that you have competed against many and are now in this situation. So try to keep yourself occupied in one way or the other, the rest will be easy for you.

  12. Very good one indeed. I am also in the US for the first time but a bit too matured to think of all these but yes, loneliness is the biggest enemy out here in the US and thats one potential reason why I suggest people to find out more about the universities before they make their decision on which one to join.

    Another important factor is the climate. If you do not know about extreme winters that the Eastern US experiences then, just dont rejoice thinking that you can sail safely. Winters on this part of the land (especially up state NY and surrounding areas) suck and they add to your boredom with no one to speak to, you cannot even go out and makes it all the more worse if you are in an area that has weird people living in it.

    All this said, my free advice to you is, take life as it comes and remember, beneath every difficult problem is an equally potential opportunity, look for it and you will sail through smoothly.

    Get back to me incase there is anything.


    1. hi mr mohd

      i liked ur reply . can u tell me more about such places which are happening and which are dull as i want to give in that univ which is surrounded by a happening area and shouldn't be at a far off dull place.

    1. Agreed – But, the person cannot sped 100% of his energy to help others right? Everyone has tons of stuffs to do.

  13. that was very helpful..but i would like to know about more experiences related to difficulties in managing finances adjusting with the locals,managing daily tasks with studies etc

      1. Thanks HSB for posting this. I came to US in the fall semester and yes i agree with this post that loneliness is a very big challenge to overcome. Studying in US is difficult and one needs to manage their time effectively. But in my opinion many Indian students here manage their time well and do excellent in their studies.

        When you apply to an University try to contact the Indian Student Association if the university has one. They have abundance of information to share and can be very helpful in helping you settle down.

        One important thing which i learnt after coming here is "to ask". From faculty, to staff and students here everyone is very busy in their life's, so if you need an advice, you need to go around and ask questions and explore the University and their resources. I hope this helps.

    1. Hi Aditya,

      Just posted some thoughts about my take on starting off in the US. Though im here since a couple of weeks, feels like ive been here forever.

      Managing finances – well, if you are coming for an MS or an MBA (any graduate degree), and are not strong financially and have to support yourself, choose a university in such a place where there are lot of part time work opportunities and also look out for part time work opportunities with in the campus. that way you can get an SSN and get a drivers license too. life in the US without a car is not imaginable, not to the slightest bit if you live away in a small county or a college town. regarding working outside of college, it would be upto you because its not allowed and is illegal (so, have to work your way around it). Hope i have answered your question

      Adjusting with the locals: Again depends on what area you live in. most part of the US is safe although you have a be a little careful atleast intially until you get acquainted with the place thouroughly. always walk in groups, dont go out much in the nights and stuff like that. hope this is clear

      Managing daily tasks with studies – again depends on which program you are taking. if its a rigorous one that involves a lot of team work for example an MBA, you really have to be swift in the kitchen and devote a lot of time to your studies. Breakfast should be light and quick (something like oat meal or bread slices with patty). should cook food for lunch tht could take care of dinner too. I hope this gives you a start

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