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Being Stuck in the US as an International Student…. in a Pandemic!

It’s March 10th, 2020, a beautiful Wednesday morning, there’s virtual music playing in my head and butterflies all outside my dorm window. I rolled out of bed and checked my phone for emails and notifications only to find out that campus was shutting down. 

I woke up from my daydream and found my suitemates all over the place; packing, making numerous calls, and of course, panicking. My first thought was what am I gonna do? Where am I gonna go? So many decisions I had to make in such a short amount of time. 

My initial instincts were to call my parents and just pray they responded because they were on the other side of the world in India. Thankfully they did, and the first decision I had to make was whether I would fly back home then and there, or not. I chose not to because there was literally no time for me to pack up my entire room and make it on time to the airport. Plus, with classes continuing on the time difference would have been a big inconvenience. So I ended the call with the plan of flying back home in May after the semester ended. Little did I know how bad Covid-19 would get. 

When those plans had to change again, my next dilemma was to figure out where I would stay for the summer. I had family around the country but with flying restrictions and the virus at its peak, traveling was just not an option then. I was literally stuck! Luckily, I had a handful of friends nearby who were so generous to let me stay with them.

Just when I thought things would get better ICE dropped a huge bomb by stating that they would literally deport international students if their school decided to only be online. Yet again the plans changed and I started looking up any available flights back home (which there wasn’t any). There was so much confusion and frustration and so many prayers were sent up to prevent it from happening. Thankfully, there was a silver lining a few days after when that policy was rescinded and one of my many burdens was taken care of. 

Fast forward to the present, I still continue to live with my friends and pay rent as I wait for international borders to slowly open and loosen travel restrictions, as I just casually can’t hop on a flight. But the one thing all this madness has taught me is to be calm during such uncertainty, something that would definitely make life much better in the years to come.

Hi, I'm a sophomore majoring in Business Administration at Pepperdine University. And although I am pretty much into a career in the corporate world, I do love and appreciate the creativity of things. Joining Her Campus has definitely given me a platform to think outside the box and fulfill my love of writing.
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