Software Engineer, Marathoner, Snowboarder & SDE @ Amazon Web Services, Inc.

couple of luggage and plethora of dreams

December 19, 2013

It always seems impossible until its done.” - Nelson Mandela

It feels like just yesterday that I was planning to write GRE, to make my dream of pursuing Masters degree from US a reality. And, after few months, 3 courses, 1 noisy roommate and many sleepless nights I can say that it has been an awesome experience studying here. This semester had been very insightful. I experienced a lot about American culture, met amazing undergrad, master and PhD students, and spent quite some time in library/lab working on projects and assignments.

I arrived at Sky Harbour airport with couple of luggage and plethora of dreams. At first I was nervous but slowly I started getting used to and I was quite amazed, how my perception of US was almost true (with the exception of Men’s Locker room and Greek Clubs). Once the classes started, I got to learn the education system that is being followed in US which is not even close to the system we have in India. In India we have fixed number of predefined courses, classes are there everyday, classes are mostly theory based with almost no practical application (except the ones which include lab/practical) and grades are calculated based on the performance on one single comprehensive exam (most contrasting difference), which is exact opposite of what is practiced in US.

I had two prerequisite undergrad courses which I decided to clear off in my first semester itself. I took undergrad level course and befriend quite a few undergrads, and I got to know them. Undergrads have always intrigued me, they get involved with so many activities, whether it be robotics, community services, volunteering or Panhellenic groups. They major in one field and minor in some other completely different field, that is so cool and entirely different from Indian undergrad system. There is so much one can explore and experiment while studying makes me envy them and wish I had the same opportunity.

Great that God gave me chance to at least experience it, if not being the part of it. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the courses and my first semester. My plan was to get acquainted with the system, learn it as much as possible and get down to real stuff from second semester and eventually start working on my next dream. Till now everything went perfect and hopefully it will continue to be same in future too.