“Pink” in my culture means beautiful, perfect
“Get admitted to Fisher – in top business schools worldwide? Cool! I will record a new country into my travel list
Application to on-campus housing is rejected? Small issue! Then I look for off-campus housing. Hum, people advise that I should check out the place before signing leasing contract. Ok, let reserve temporary housing service at International Friendships Inc. USA. Brilliant!
Visa interview is close to the orientation schedule? Not a big deal! Then I can have cheaper air ticket fare and spend less for living expense than I would do for early arrival.”
Grad life seemed to be “pink” to me these days, before my departure, especially with all the helpful tips and advice I got from the university website, university staff, and my mentor (who is assigned by Fisher as well). Furthermore, I had experienced traveling to many other countries before so I was confident that my transition to Columbus would be easy.
1. I got my F1 visa 2 days before my departure. I finished packing my stuff 4 hours before my departure time. As a result, I was so tired that I overslept and woke up just 1.5 hours before my departure time (thanks to my neighbor who knocked my house door until I woke up. My alarm was not able to wake me up though it rang for over 1 hour!). I arrived at the airport just in time for last check-in. But oh no, my suitcases were overweight!
2. My first connecting flight arrived earlier versus schedule but the second connecting flight was late 2 hours. I grabbed my bags and ran to catch the flight to Columbus. I was stopped at custom clearance and security check took longer than normal (probably because I looked pale and panicky). I missed my flight to Columbus – first time in my life! I was about to contact my home-stay host to inform about the delay, but then I realized that I left my cellphone in the airplane. The airline staff called for a search but the people did not find my cellphone (?). Nevertheless, when re-issuing a ticket for me, all printers at the ticket counters were stuck so I had to run to another terminal to get my ticket issued (!). After a long queue, I got into the departing terminal to Columbus and spent the next 1 hour to search for an internet station and phone booth to connect with my home-stay host. She was not at home to receive my phone call (of course!). I landed in Columbus at 9:30PM after a 27 hour trip, physically exhausted and mentally worried about having no one to pick me up and no place to stay over night.
* Lesson 1: Before departure, be well-prepared both mentally and physically. You will not know what issues are waiting for you but if you are well-prepared, you can reduce the risk of issue to minimal, handle coming issues properly and not let them lead you to other issues. In my culture, there is a saying: “Good luck does not come twice. Bad luck does not come alone” so be WELL-PREPARED!
(to be continued)