Get to Know: Prerna Arora

Oxford's a small campus, so by the end of your 2 years here, you'll most likely have met most people on campus. Living in the dorms is a major bonus because you get to meet people from class or just seeing them in Big's (New Lils?) and get to know them a little more! This year, I've been fortunate to live next door to Prerna Arora, who I'm interviewing next for you all!

HC: Can you introduce yourself a bit?

PA: Hi, my name is Prerna Arora. I’m twenty years old, and I’m from New Delhi, India. There are 5 things that can define me most accurately: Dance, Chocolate, Travel, Sparkles (or anything bright) and a Chatterbox. I am currently a sophomore at Oxford College of Emory University, and I hope to work for a Fashion Magazine after I graduate.

HC: How did you find yourself coming to Oxford College?

PA: I always knew I wanted to come to the United States for college. My parents always placed a huge importance on academics. So when it came to picking a college, it was a no brainer that I would apply to a college in the US because there is no other place that can provide me with a better education. Emory University was my dream school. Initially, I was sceptical about Oxford College but I decided to go there because I figured that my transition from India to the US would be a lot easier in such a campus.

HC: You’re one of the co-Presidents of Nishana, which is awesome! How and why did you get involved?

PA: Dancing is my passion. I have been dancing ever since I was six years old, and no one has been able to stop me since. It is just one of those things in my life that takes me to a whole different place. I just need music, and I can go on for hours. The biggest perk of being at Oxford, is that you get to have those opportunities as a sophomore that would normally be appointed to seniors. I joined Nishana as a freshman, and I felt like I had found my happy place on campus. Going to practices became a stress reliever for me, even though it required four hours of my time every week. I love being one of the captains for Nishana. It’s a family that I would not give up for anything, and on top of that it’s a family that helps me live my passion.

HC: How would you encourage freshmen to get involved with clubs, like Nishana, but not get overwhelmed?

PA: Ever since I was a young girl, my dad always used to sit me down and give me advice on everything. One thing he has always said to me, which I try and inculcate in everything, is the skill of balance. I strongly believe that no one should do just one thing. I don’t think studying all the time is correct, but I also don’t think that only participating in extra curricular activities is the way to go. I suggest every freshman to be involved on campus, because no other institution gives the opportunities Oxford gives as a freshman or sophomore. It is better to be a part of maybe two or three clubs instead of five or six. That way you focus on your academics, and are involved on campus as well. There is definitely a chance of getting overwhelmed by joining too many clubs, so I suggest maintaining a balance and remembering what you really want at the end of the day.

HC: How do you balance being so far from home each semester?

PA: It is so hard being away from the people I love. My lifestyle back at home is completely different. Even though it is very hard to live on your own, especially so far away from your comfort zone, it is all worth it in the end. My family is very loving and more than anything else, they are extremely supportive. I get to go back home twice a year and my family usually ends up visiting me at least once during spring semester. It gets hard because the time difference is 10 and a half hours but FaceTime is basically my new best friend. The friends I’ve made at college make life a lot easier. I strongly believe that when you’re so far away from home, the friends you make, turn into family and that is what happened with me as well. As much as I try, it is not always easy to call home every single day, and my family understands that as well. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have such an incredible and caring family.

HC: What’s one way you encourage people to look into to make the Oxford à Main campus transition smoother?

PA: I think once you’re a sophomore at Oxford, you should try and get some information about the various clubs or organizations at the main campus. There are so many clubs that you can join, there are cultural clubs, dance teams, religious clubs as well Greek Life. My suggestion would be to join something in your last semester at Oxford so that you are not completely lost when you transition to the other campus. Also, you should never forget that when you’re transitioning, you’re going with 500 friends.

HC: Do you think that transitioning into Oxford as an international student was difficult? What made it easier if anything?

PA: I imagined my transition to be a lot harder than how it actually was. I consider myself an extrovert but was still slightly nervous of studying and living in a completely different environment. However, it was so much smoother than I could have ever imagined. Starting from the perfect roommate to Nishana to incredible friends and finally, to the comfort level associated with every single professor of mine. International Student Orientation was one of the best experiences I had at Oxford. It is always hard, until you find a way to be comfortable and adapt to your surroundings. I have my loved my two years at college, and can proudly say that coming to the US for college was the best decision I ever made.