Arts and Entertainment

The perils of life abroad

  • My advice to teenagers who want to go abroad: unless you are disciplined, don’t
- Utkarsh Jha

Mar 13, 2019-

After spending two years of my life doing nothing besides studying German and playing online games, I got an opportunity to go to Germany to pursue my Bachelor’s degree. My parents wanted me to stay with them and continue my studies in Nepal, but they let me do what I want, despite their dissatisfaction with my decision.

However, I never really had a clear idea for why I wanted to go abroad. All I knew was that, in Germany, education is pretty much free. My parents wanted me to study medicine but I was still not sure. I just wanted to leave Nepal and go abroad. I didn’t even know the reason behind disliking my country. Yes, it is polluted and there are water scarcities, but should these have been enough to influence me to leave? Maybe I didn’t want to be left out, as my closest school friends had left for the US.

I spent my first 15 days in Berlin sleeping at a friend’s brother’s place. We were three of us sleeping on the same mattress. The food, however, was delicious. His wife cooked the food but didn’t do much else, spending the entire day watching Indian television serials, cooking and talking to her relatives. I felt pity for her, but who was I to judge. Every individual is different. Maybe she liked being a housewife.

After those 15 days, we finally found an apartment that all three of us had to share. There was one big living room with three mattresses, a small toilet, a small bathroom and a kitchen. There was unlimited water supply, no power cuts, internet access, no pollution and easy transportation services. Life got better. Soon after shifting to our new apartment, we decided to continue with our language courses. This is where my real story begins.

I started making foreign friends, thanks to my smoking habit. We would talk during smoke breaks. One day I met a cool-looking guy who was talking to a girl. “Hey dude, you have a good sense of fashion, and you look like a guy crazy for music,” he said to me. I smiled and thanked him. I found out that he was a Guatemalan DJ studying ‘mechatronics’ in Germany. We exchanged numbers and started hanging out together. Slowly, he became my mentor and I his grasshopper. He had a smooth technique for approaching girls. He tried his best to teach me, but he had to give up. I was a terrible student.

I had come to Germany with approximately 10 lakh rupees, which was enough for two years. But I was just 18, what did I know about money? All I wanted was pleasure. My friend started taking me to clubs, saying he wanted to give me a taste of Berlin’s night life. I also started tasting stronger drugs. My money decreased gradually, and my roommates were concerned. They tried to warn me but I would get irritated very easily. Maybe it was because of the drugs, or maybe I considered myself superior to them.

Eventually, we had a serious argument and we separated. I moved to a room that was comparatively more luxurious but also cost more money. But I was not working nor studying. All I wanted were drugs and to party.

My friend from Guatemala was addicted to drugs. He skipped meals, chasing his ‘high’. He got really skinny and coughed frequently. His parents had to ‘evacuate’ him and take him back to Guatemala. I was now left all alone, but I did not stop. I went out at night alone in search of drugs. Time passed and my bank account reduced to nothing. Days passed by, just sitting in my room and thinking. I started liking solitude, started sleeping less, eating less. This hunt for pleasure had almost destroyed me. I somehow managed to find a job, where I worked for three months before getting fired because of my bad relationship with my coworkers and customers. Finally, I decided to come back home. I couldn’t achieve anything and I had wasted a lot of money. I was full of regret.

What I want to convey to my readers through this story, especially for teenagers, is that if you are really determined, if you have discipline, if you really know what you are going to do then don’t hesitate to go. If you only want to leave your country because all your friends left or because you dream about a life that is more about freedom and pleasure then I suggest you think twice. Listen to your parents.

If you go abroad to study then there should not be anything else that you should be doing besides studying and working. If possible try to leave work for later, when you have more time. Do not commit the same mistakes I did. Everything depends on you. Do not let others influence you, and even if you do get somehow influenced always be aware of what is happening around you.

Jha is now pursuing a Bachelor’s at Orchid International College

Published: 13-03-2019 08:10

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