Aneesh Srinivasan, Pennsylvania State University, Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering (2017-2021)

Aneesh-SrinivasanIt's a hard decision to leave your country and family and go to a place you don't know much about but with the right attitude and determination, it gives you a certain independence and confidence, where you know, this is my chance and I can do it! I left India with this attitude in mind, not because I didn't like it here but because I wanted to explore the new. I wanted my creativity to find expression both in the field of engineering and in the field of music, which is why I chose to pursue my bachelor's at Pennsylvania State University. Initially, I was nervous (and I guess most people are) but I found that I could live on my own terms. I could pay attention to the things I chose and go at them with everything. Some might think that these choices are too risky to give to an 18-year-old but I think I managed it well. I played music and studied, but I did them on my own terms. I did projects that had nothing to do with my academics but everything to do with the world. I was thirsty to learn.

Each student has their own unique experience of college life in the U.S and for me Penn State was in every way a college I had hoped for. In the past one year, I have done a project with General Motors and performed at a couple of music festivals too. I have also been accepted into the honors program at Penn State and I am hoping to do research in the field of alternative fuels. The U.S. academic system is very flexible at the bachelor's degree level. Students can choose what classes they want to take and when they want to take it, which gives students opportunities for extra-curriculars in their own time.

Another new experience for me was taking up an on-campus job in the first year. I had never worked a single minute in my life for money before. I wanted to feel responsible for my finances, earn little pocket money for my weekend movies and I loved it. I worked at my campus dining commons, cleaning tables and serving food. Initially, it was hard but I slowly grew into it. I worked hard and made a little money but when I spent it, I knew I had earned it. It was moments like these that made my experience in the US special. It was these experiences that I was looking for, going out in the world and trying, just trying! While academic experiences always stay with you, it was these diverse and out of the classroom experiences that taught me about the world outside. Penn State gave me an opportunity to not just do Electrical Engineering with Music Technology, it showed me who I am and who I can become!


This article was sourced by Education USA and published in The Hindu.

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