Even though I’m a senior, there are still so many things to do and events to go to that I haven’t experienced before. It’s pretty awesome that Bentley’s size is just small enough for that small community feel, but large enough that something is always going on. With the coming of spring it means one thing for my South Asian friends: Holi! Its an annual event that takes place in India and the South Asian Student Association puts on a similar event out in the Greenspace. Oh the pleasure of throwing coloring powder at my friends’ faces and watching their expressions through the purple and orange coloring!
Coming from the Middle East and living in Boston has been an amazing, transformational experience. I remember right before the start of my first semester of freshman year being excited and anxious about the overall move. Everything was exciting and new to me and it felt like I was experiencing everything in a new way. This is what my cross-cultural understanding class says is the first stage of cultural adjustment, called the “honeymoon” stage. After a while, it occurred to me that I needed to learn so many new cultural norms that I was not accustomed to, even every day interactions. Even though going through cultural adjustment was a challenging experience, I am extremely glad that I had the opportunity to go through it. I had the opportunity to meet so many different people who came from diverse backgrounds, something I would have never experienced. By the end of my first semester, my group of friends ranged from people coming from Panama to Japan and different states across the US. Being away from family and friends is definitely a challenge, but within the first few weeks at Bentley I made a new family, people who I know will be very important even 50 years down the road.
When I was in the middle of high school, I first heard about Bentley from my brother who, at that time was studying in Boston, recommended that I look up Bentley. I remember opening up Collegeboard.org and the school’s website and feeling a connection with the school. I was looking for a small-medium sized school that would deliver a great education that would prepare me for the real world, as well as grow and develop as a person, so I was thrilled when I found out that Bentley provides excellent opportunities for both! During my senior year, an admissions counselor visited my school and after hearing all about Bentley from her, I got very excited about the possibility of attending Bentley in a year. After that I visited the campus and knew 100% that this was where I wanted to be for the next four years and could not have been happier!
In the summer of 2013, I had the opportunity to take a short term travel course to Greece and Paris, France for 3 weeks with a Greek mythology class! What better way to start my summer off after finals than a trip to Greece, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I got the chance to explore Athens and almost every part of the country. Exploring in depth about mythology was extremely fascinating; I never realized how much myth and folklore had a huge impact on our daily lives! Next time you see Nike and the swish sign, know that that is just a regular example of Greek mythology’s influence one what we have today. My favorite aspect of the whole trip was visiting the islands on a 5-day journey, visiting islands like Santorini, Mykonos, Patmos, etc. I also got the chance to see a Greek friend of mine who had graduated from Bentley in 2012! The trip was one of the best experiences I have had in my time at Bentley and the people that I have traveled with have become my family. On the way back to Boston, we had a 3 day stop in Paris where we got to explore the city and the Louvre. Even though I did not know anyone before the trip, I came back with wonderful memories of great food and places that I got to share with some awesome people!