I’m trying to understand myself better, to heal and to eventually meet a compatible life partner. So, I’m writing a series of posts about social connections, individuality and community.
University Life Experiences
Sharing my life experiences can also help readers connect and maybe associate with some of the stories.
I know that despite the fact that growing up in a place like Saudi can be very unique, many women from Asian and other Arab cultures share similar challenges and inner conflicts. So join me in another throwback to my life as a University student in both Switzerland and Bahrain.
Because of my adverse childhood and home environment, I’ve been wanting to escape since I was a kid. So it was only natural for me to choose to study University somewhere abroad, far away from the Gulf region and Middle East.
Unfortunately, my University of choice was also going through bad financial times; they were bankrupt at the time! In fact, times were going so bad for them that the institution no longer exists!
So I’m very happy that my wise self didn’t stay and complete a Business Administration degree in that once called ‘American College of Switzerland’. However, the two semesters that I spent there were full of valuable and extensive life experiences.
Once I’ve decided that transferring to another University was a better option, I started researching and applying at a plethora of reputable institutions across the U.S. and the UK. But because the highly professional ones all require at least one-year advanced application, I had to change my plan of escaping that far.
My other option for a well-accredited University degree and education was my parents’ first and favorite option: University of Bahrain. It’s fairly priced (more like cheap), close to home and very conservative and disciplined.
The University of Bahrain
The public, government-owned University of Bahrain had strict rules that applied to dress code and even the way you combed your hair (as one student told me once). The majority of the student attending UOB were Bahraini nationals, except for a few GCC nationals.
My University life at UOB was full of hard-core business and IT classes where the two genders sat in different segments of the class (at least for the lecture classes), casual friendships that only lasted until graduation day and weekend trips back to Saudi.
At some point of my UOB chapter, I commuted to the neighboring island on the days when I had classes only. So that would be twice a week at times. The rest of the days would be spent at home or shopping in the mall with my strict, paranoid mother.
The UOB student accommodation was in the middle of the desert, so someone who didn’t drive or own a car would rely on friends to go outside the campus. Taking in taxis in Bahrain isn’t very common when you’re a GCC national, but that’s another story for another time J
I did take car driving lessons while studying in Bahrain and I failed my first exam. More on that in a future post. If you’re wondering about my Leysin days during those two semesters that I spent in Switzerland, let’s just say that I made more solid friendships there, had more fun and was exposed to many cultures and nationalities for the first time.
Would I Want a Different University Life?
Would I go back and live a different University life? Do I regret attending UOB and not escaping to the U.S. or the UK? Do I regret not mingling more with the opposite sex and possibly meeting a compatible soulmate or partner? If I had the chance, would I do things differently? Would I attend a different University? My answer is: Absolutely not.
The reason that I completely accept my University days (and life) as they are is because all these experiences have shaped my character and who I am today. I firmly believe that the Universe is always by our side and that whatever happens is the best thing for us at any given time.
However, I do wish that I had left home earlier than 29 years of age. More about that in future posts from this series
Reflections: Where did you attend University? Was it your choice or your parents’ choice? Did you study at an all-girls or a mixed institution? Was it in the same hometown where you grew up? Did you live in your parents’ house while attending University? What was your most valuable life lesson during those years? Would you do things differently if given the opportunity? Did you meet your life partner during your University life? How would you describe your University life? Were they the best days of your life? Did you have to struggle to convince your parents of your chosen study path? Were you supporting yourself financially during university life? Did you work part-time while studying? Were you living in a University dorm?