My Space: From Mumbai To Manhattan - Tabassum's Journey to NYU

My Space: From Mumbai To Manhattan - Tabassum's Journey to NYU

Tabassum shares her transformative journey from Mumbai to New York, pursuing a Master's at NYU. From academic challenges to financial prudence, she navigates the complexities, finding solace in recreating home flavours while balancing aspirations in the bustling city.

Tabassum ChohanUpdated: Monday, January 15, 2024, 01:09 PM IST
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Greetings from the bustling city of dreams, where skyscrapers touch the clouds and ambitions soar high – New York City! Tabassum here, and I'm excited to share my journey from the vibrant streets of India to the concrete jungle of the USA.

The transition from the bustling streets of Mumbai to the iconic skyline of New York City has been nothing short of a transformative experience for me. When I reflect upon my journey, it feels like just yesterday that I was navigating the labyrinthine alleys of India's financial capital. Today, I find myself amidst the dynamic energy of New York University, pursuing a Master's in Management of Technology.

Embracing the Journey: From Admissions to Settling into Life at NYU

Navigating the complex route from India to the US was an adventure in itself. From diligently preparing for the GRE to acing the IELTS, each step brought its own set of challenges and victories. Crafting those pivotal Letters of Recommendation and Statements of Purpose felt like penning down my aspirations and dreams on paper. My application journey led me to a select list of universities, but it was NYU that beckoned me with its promise of academic excellence and unique electives like Business Design.

Touching down in New York on my 26th birthday felt like destiny. The city, reminiscent of a livelier version of Mumbai, welcomed me with open arms. The vibrancy of the Washington Square Park campus and the city's inexhaustible entertainment opportunities made me feel right at home. The Graduate Indian Student Association (GISA) became my anchor, fostering camaraderie and shared experiences with fellow Indian students.

Navigating the landscape of US Education

Adjusting to the US education system was a learning curve. Gone were the days of rote memorization; here, the emphasis shifted to practical assignments, collaborative projects, and impactful presentations. My journey has been enriched with experiences like participating in the Product Management Competition and donning the hat of a choreographer for a dance event. These moments, juxtaposed with the challenges of managing household chores and adapting to a new lifestyle, have shaped my holistic growth.

Striking a Balance: Life, Finances, and Homesickness in the Big Apple

Living in Brooklyn for over five months, I've uncovered the nuances that make New York unique. The relentless pace of life, reminiscent of Mumbai's hustle, taught me the importance of vigilance, especially while navigating the subways. Yet, amidst the chaos, I've found solace in recreating familiar tastes from home and cherishing memories through heartfelt video calls with loved ones.

Financial prudence became my mantra in the city that never sleeps. With a disciplined approach, I managed my expenses, curbing unnecessary splurges while ensuring a comfortable living. Comparing my life in Mumbai to my frugal yet fulfilling existence in NYC, I've discovered the art of balancing aspirations with practicalities.

However, amidst the skyscrapers and bustling avenues, a piece of my heart remains tethered to India. The occasional pangs of homesickness are quelled by recreating cherished memories and immersing myself in community events. My journey, punctuated with moments of introspection and growth, is a testament to resilience, ambition, and the pursuit of excellence.

In retrospect, choosing the path less travelled, navigating challenges, and embracing opportunities have defined my NYU experience. As I continue my academic odyssey, I remain grounded by the values instilled during my formative years in India. For those embarking on a similar journey, remember to cherish the familiar, embrace the unknown, and let your aspirations guide you towards success.

The author is an Master’s student in Management of Technology at New York University, USA

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