Debonair Catalyst Life story of Aniket

Week 01: Surviving the heat

Category: Blog | #MS in the US

30th July:

We got out of the airport at 9:00 PM; it was hot outside. Damn! If it's this hot at night, then how hot will it be in the afternoon, I thought to myself. We had free rides to our accommodation, which was sponsored by ASU. A friend and I were to stay at my friend's friend's place, as our rented accommodation move-in date was two days away. When we reached the place, I just sat on a chair and was thinking. Thinking, how far I have come till now and still how long the journey will be. Thinking of the challenges that lie ahead. And then my friend came and enthusiastically asked me to chill and relax. We had some home-cooked food on which we survived for the day as well as the next day.

31st July:

I had a good night’s sleep that day, which I didn’t expect from me, due to jet lag. I woke up at around 9:00 PM, and then we planned to meet our other roommate, who reached Phoenix 3 days ago. He took us to Chase Bank to open up a Bank Account. Since I was not older than 25, I could open a no minimum deposit Student Checking account with Chase. Then we moved to our next destination, the mobile connection shop. We all got AT&T connections. All destinations are spread out in here, and you need to walk long distances and even take buses that take the long route from one place to another. Also though it’s hot in here, it doesn’t get too sweaty due to low humidity.

Orbit buses are free in Tempe, Arizona. There is a reason why it’s called Orbit. ASU is the sun, the Valley itself is called the Sun Valley, ASU’s mascot is Sparky, the Sun Devil. And the buses go around the ASU’s Tempe campus in almost complete roundabouts. The routes are Jupiter, Earth, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. These are free buses for all, sponsored by the city of Tempe.

The sun is burning hot here; you can’t survive without sunscreen, cap, and sunglasses. Also, it is essential to carry a water bottle with you to avoid dehydration. There is an “A” mountain in the vicinity of the Tempe Campus of ASU. The “A” mark is visible from most locations near campus.

1st August:

We had our move-in to our new apartment this day. The apartment was so spacious that is could comfortably accommodate up to 6 people, but only four people can live there on the lease. We did setup an APS(Arizona Public Services) account via phone call for the electric supply. It usually takes up to 45 minutes to get the call connected to an operator, APS is quite busy always. The kitchen was furnished, and the rooms were awesome. The bedroom had a carpet flooring, which is difficult to clean and maintain. We didn’t have much stuff to cook, so we had plain dal rice that day. My temporary accommodation was very close to the new apartment so that I could drag all the stuff to a new location. One of my roommate’s temporary housing was very far away, so we decided to transport his belongings the next day.

2nd August:

We got the roommate’s stuff from his temporary accommodation via Lyft. We faced some issues as my Forex card was getting rejected as a payment option on the Lyft App. My other friend’s Forex card got accepted luckily. The driver was an Army veteran and a calm person to talk to.

Later that day, we decided to visit Walmart for all the essentials. The Walmart over here is so damn big. You get everything here. We had a vast list that included items from the shower curtain to laundry bags, hand wash to toilet paper, and much more. We had to book a Lyft cab to get all the stuff from Walmart to our apartment.

3rd August:

We had our International Student Orientation today at the Memorial Union, which is very close to W.P.Carey School of Business. We checked in at around 8:00 AM in our Business Casuals and were assigned some random tables. Breakfast was served. The day’s schedule kicked off with networking sessions; we were to connect with people from different tables. I meet many new people with common interests, like traveling, hiking, Stock market trading, etc. It was beautiful to see the diversity in the international community. Over 90% of the international community was from India and China, both contributing almost equally. Then a few from other countries as well. We were given presentations from various departments like International Student Services, Medical Services, Financial Services team in ASU. We had a session on Academic Integrity as well, which is taken very seriously here. They gave us some examples of some previous students facing severe consequences due to silly mistakes in understanding Academic Integrity. We had a mixer session with MBA students as well, where we met some MBA guys and got to know their experience. MBA is the flagship program of W.P.Carey School of Business, and it’s ranked #25 in the USA. One experience MBA candidate suggested us to read the “2-hour job search” book to get an edge in job hunting. There was heavy rain outside in the evening and a flood alert as well, a rare event since we are in a desert. By the time we finished the mixer session, the rain had receded, and we could return home quickly. We took a quick shopping detour to Food City, for essential groceries supplies. All the food items look genetically modified, and everything is big and bulky and available in large quantities only.

4th August:

Another day for International Student Orientation, today was marked explicitly for understanding Cultural Diversity, professional email etiquette, and other expectations from the students. We also had an Alumni panel during lunch hours to get some feedback from the Alumni. Shaunak Bangale, from the class of 2015, was there to give some excellent insights to us on our upcoming journey. The program got over quite early today, and we directly went to Walmart to buy bikes. Bike theft is prevailing over the campus and nearby locality. So you need a hard steel lock to lock your bike. Also, over the university, we found many half stolen bikes. Suppose if the frame is locked, then they will steal the tires and seat. And if only one tire is locked, then maybe you will only find the tire locked, rest frame missing when you return.

5th August:

Today we decided to visit BestBuy, which is at Tempe MarketPlace, for buying laptops. BestBuy has a student discount available, where you get a $100 off on selected laptops. I got myself an open box (certified refurbished) laptop, which was in excellent condition, and available at a $200 discount. We then decided to have lunch outside as it was already afternoon, and it would take another 1 hour to reach home and another 1 hour to cook food. We choose Chipotle Mexican Grill to have our lunch. The food was tasty. It is not the typical fast food, as it has protein-rich beans in its rice bowl. It’s not super expensive as well if you stop converting it to your native currency every time.