When I was packing to move from Bangladesh to Connecticut College, I mentally prepared myself to choose classes for my first semester, make new friends, be a good roommate and most importantly, adjust to a new country. I arrived at Conn and these four things happened smoothly with minimal bumps. I thought I was doing great at this “being an adult” thing. I even boasted about it to my mom.
Unfortunately, the saying that “pride comes before the fall” is true. In my fifth week at Conn, I got an email from Student Health Services (SHS) stating that I needed to get a Tuberculosis (TB) test because Bangladesh was still considered to be on the list of countries with TB prevalence. Now, I had no problem going in and doing a test. But then I saw that it was actually a blood test they wanted me to do instead of the usual skin test that TB required. I remember frantically rereading the email and telling my roommate in Bengali about my fear of needles, which she obviously didn’t understand. But my panicked speech in a foreign language helped her comprehend my intense phobia. After much reassurance from her and after my mom laughed at my fears via WhatsApp, a free call/messaging app that I would recommend for all international students, I called SHS to schedule my appointment. On the day of the actual blood draw, I forced myself to sit in the chair with encouragement from my friend Anne and my roommate. All in all, it was my worst moment at Conn but I’m proud of myself for not fainting. This was my first proper step into the world of ‘adulting.’
Four other adulting moments I’ve experienced in the last two months:
1. Opening a bank account by myself. Am I filling in my post office box number correctly? Did I misspell Connecticut? Did I even get my own birth date right? Opening my bank account, choosing a PIN number and most importantly, receiving a debit card with my name on it was probably the highlight of week three for me.
2. Going to the Social Security Office. This was less hectic than the blood test but it was still nerve racking being responsible for making sure I had all my documents with me.
3. Securing a job and actually getting paid. I managed to get a job and start earning some money which was great until I faced another aspect of adulting: going broke.
4. Going broke real fast. I am very confused where all my money has gone in the last two weeks. I am decently sure I bought only necessities yet, I am still broke. Keeping in mind that coffee is a necessity in the life of a college student, it is best to keep a list of expenditures and to follow a budget when it comes to buying books, food and toiletries. These add up very fast and it is best to ensure that you’re pacing yourself for the semester.
Adulting is hard. But it’s also fun when your paycheck gets deposited into your brand new bank account. College has taught me many adult things that I sometimes wish I didn’t have to know but it’s time.