10 Apr 20236 min read

Expectations vs. Reality of US University Experience


Getting into a US university and living an American life is a dream come true for many Nepalese like you. The feeling of getting a clean chit in your US visa interview from the visa officer is somehow awesome. You feel like you finally did it. The US visa approval looks like your golden ticket to your dream life in the US-the land of all your desires.

While packing for your US university experience, along with your essentials, you will pack your hopes, dreams, and myriad expectations. Some hopes, dreams, and expectations may come true, but some may be far away from reality. However, on a lighter note, here are some funny or not-so-funny expectations vs. the reality of the US university experience for you to enjoy.

Expectation: Yeah, it's a party in the USA

Reality: Huhu, no friends to party with in the USA

Expectations vs. Reality of US University Experience

Scrolling down your social media handles, you come across pictures of your friends, relatives, siblings, or cousins in the US partying with their friends and living fun moments of their life. Watching them like that, you develop the expectation that US university life is all about parties. But that is not how it is. First of all, when you reach there, you will not be making friends right away, so forget about the party unless you want to party alone.

Making friends in the US takes time. You have to have an open mind to deal with cultural shock, diversity, and anything that makes you feel like an alien. If you have a good tolerance level and a non-judgmental attitude, making friends in the US can be a challenging journey. So, you will party in the US, yes, but not right away.

Hold on, what if you go to the US with your best buddies? Obviously, you will not have to worry about making a foreign friend for a party. So, why wait? Apply Now. The friends who apply together for the US party together in the US and finally sing together the song "It's a party in the USA."

Expectation: I know English really well.

Reality: Why does English sound alien to me all over again?

Expectations vs. Reality of US University Experience

After getting all good scores on SAT, GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS, you believe you are great at English. But, when you reach the USA and start to have a conversation with a Native American, English will sound alien to you. The US has many regional accents like the Boston accent, Maine accent, California English, Western Pennsylvania English, High Tider, and so on. So, it is entirely normal to feel out of place, but gradually you will learn to adapt.

Expectation: I will live in an apartment surrounded by fancy skyscrapers.

Reality: Where can I find apartments that are really cheaper? ‌

Expectations vs. Reality of US University Experience

Skyscrapers, big house, and big cars are what comes to mind when thinking about US university life, all thanks to Hollywood movies and social media influencers. Alas, life is not a Hollywood movie; it is a reality.

Except for a few places like Boston, California, Los Angeles, and New York, most of the places in the US are not cities-they are towns, suburbs, and villages. Choosing a university in the city may get you out of budget (If you are on a tight budget). For example, an apartment in the USA can cost you around $500 to $600. We are talking about the significantly cheaper ones. Click here to watch what a $500 apartment looks like in one of the cities of the US.

So, if you are on a budget, choosing a university not in a city but near city areas like towns is better. That way, you will save on expenses while living in the USA.

Book a personalized session with our foreign returned counselor for more such tips on the US university experience Now!

Expectation: Once I reach the US, I will swim in dollars.

Reality: Oh baby, I swim in deadlines, assignments, and overtime.

Expectations vs. Reality of US University Experience

America values skill. If you have skills, you will get jobs and earn well. However, you may have to disown the dream of swimming in dollars while in a US university and own the reality of drowning in assignments, group works, tests, and projects. All the hard work in the US university is for knowledge and skill, so you have to bear with it.

Expectation: I am too old to miss home. I will be fine. I will enjoy my freedom.

Reality: I miss my home, my bed, my pet, and my friends.

Expectations vs. Reality of US University Experience

Yes, getting into a US university is getting the freedom you always wanted to have- no more nagging of parents, no more irritating stupidity of your siblings to put up with, and no more nosy relatives and neighbors. But, in the end, home is home. You will miss them for all the happy moments you cannot buy. You will miss your bed and your dearest pet. After all, we crave the warmth of family and belongingness in life, not material well-being. Ironic, it may feel, but for ordinary humans like us, liberation lies in attachments and sentiments, not in detachments and indifference.

Expectation: I love burgers. I can live on American fast food. Not a big deal.

Reality: I crave Daal Bhat. It is a big deal.

Expectations vs. Reality of US University Experience

Daal-Bhat is so underrated when readily available, but it will become your luxury when you eat American fast food daily. You will try to make Nepali food, but it will turn out poorly. You will start missing the authentic taste, which will be hard to replicate as the spices there will be milder than those in Nepal. So, food is going to be a bid-deal for you.

Expectation: Weekends are for dates with American baes.

Reality: Weekends are for dates with life despairs.

Expectations vs. Reality of US University Experience

Dreaming of dating American baes on weekends? Well, sorry to break it to you that you will end up doing your house chores, pending assignments, storing food for the whole week, and sleeping. So basically, your weekend will be dating with your life despair.

Expectation: Oh, I will get an American job easily.

Reality: Wow, I finally got a job that is chopping onions. I am so happy.

Expectations vs. Reality of US University Experience

During your US university days, you will not immediately get a job related to your field of study. In order to manage your expenses, you will end up doing jobs like cutting onions, working at gas stations, and working at grocery stores. If you are lucky, you might get an on-campus job too. In the USA, no job is greater or smaller; every job is respectable. This is the learning you will get during your US university experience.

Expectation: Life is all sorted out while in the USA.

Reality: We are all happy, lonely, confused, and miserable at the same time

Expectations vs. Reality of US University Experience

Lastly, you might feel like it is your ultimate end when you get into a US university. But in reality, you will feel totally confused, miserable, and lonely at times which is how it is supposed to be. A bit of fumble is normal to embrace. You are in a completely different environment, dealing with entirely different people, trying to adjust and find ways in ambiguous situations. So, enjoy the ambiguity that you encounter, and live the stories that one day you will live to tell your grandchildren sitting on a comfy chair in your cozy drawing room.‌

No matter how hard it will be, studying in the USA is a worthwhile experience. Until then, sly your US application gracefully and believe you can do it.

Happy manifesting your US university dream.

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