By Chahat Paruthi, first year Marketing and Management
On a 17-hour flight with the most unengaging movie list, there really isn’t much I can do, to keep myself occupied and entertained. After watching three movies, two episodes of Friends, sleeping for three hours, reading for almost two hours, and succumbing to playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? for a bit, I finally resolved to thinking.
I was painting a mental image of all my memories from visiting my hometown this Christmas holiday, in hopes of keeping me satisfied for another two and half months of term time. And then, I began to think of everything I’ve experienced, since the end of my A Levels.
Coming to Durham, and this being a dream come true, is definitely the understatement of the year. I had been dreaming about pursuing my university education from an international organisation of such stature for a long while. But, my parents were on the horns of a dilemma. And if you ask me, the reason why was simple – I was always very precious to them. Growing up, cocooned in the warmth of my parents’ love, and under the safety of their shields, I was always protected from harm. And thus, for them to send me to a place seven seas apart was a big decision.
There have been times where it’s been tough
My father has always seen me as the entrepreneur I am supposed to be. He was quite open to the idea of me obtaining an international education, however my mother was always between two tables regarding the decision. Anyhow, I made it here. And although I’ve had such a great time in Durham so far, there have been times where it’s been tough.
I have always been surrounded by people I have known my entire life. And so, not being with family and friends on important days like Diwali, or the most important one – my birthday – made me downhearted to the point where words cannot describe. If you are even as close as I am to my family, then this was just the beginning. Missing my sister’s birthday, or my 6-year-old brother’s theatre performance were just some examples of the things I missed. (Fun fact, my friends had a bet that I would cry within the first week of being at Durham, but hey, I cried after a month)
I was very anxious travelling alone for the first time
Luckily, after a prolonged term, it was finally time for me to go back and meet every member of my family I had missed so much. I was very anxious travelling alone for the first time, but I made it home safely. Upon landing, I saw my father at the airport gate, and left my luggage trolley in the middle of the passageway, and ran to him, hugging him hard, and crying. Pretty Bollywood right? Finally, when the hug broke, and we made it to the car, I saw my grandparents waiting for me, whom I was equally as excited to see again.
On the drive home, I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was to meet my mother, who decided to stay home and make breakfast for a girl who practically had nothing to eat during the long flight. Long story short, the same happy meeting happened with my mother, as with my father.
During the three weeks I was home, I had the time of my life. I didn’t go out of the house to meet my friends – they had clear instructions to meet me at my house, where I could see my mother at all time. And every night, I thoroughly enjoyed dinnertime with family, while eating all my favourite foods. Talking to my sisters, playing with my little brother – it was all so surreal. But it was short lived.
I went into the departure terminal, knowing I’ll see them again in two and a half months
All too fast, the time came when I had to say goodbye to my friends and family, until the end of next term. We went to the entry gate of Terminal 3, and I said goodbye to my parents. I could see that they were proud of the lady I had become. My mother and I cried again at departures, and my father just hugged me. And I went into the departure terminal, knowing I’ll see them again in two and a half months.
Edit: I am here editing this story, and just wanted to tell you guys that to my surprise, I was so happy to be back! I got to meet my friends, and we were inseparable for the first week because we had missed each other so much and had so many stories to tell each other!
Chahat Paruthi is first year marketing and management student, keen on becoming an entrepreneur or a dictator. She loves to write and eat, and you will always find her in her room watching Netflix, or singing at open mics, or laughing at improv shows. She loves to watch horror movies, and reads sci-fi a lot. She is currently working with the SSCC as the student co-chair and course rep. Along with this she, is the ERS rep and the SCA rep. If she had the opportunity, she would also choose to be the president of the world. If it was up to her, she would be a unicorn, live in the unicorn island on the moon, and star gaze!