With Autumn Comes Alumna Nostalgia
Pakistani exchange student sitting on ridge in autumn

Oh, sweater weather

The past few days have been super nostalgic. The weather in Karachi has begun to get cooler. We don't usually have a proper autumn season, but it gets cooler at night. Usually at night when I am in bed trying to fall asleep, the cool breezes brush my face with a lot of past memories of my exchange year: especially how festive everything started to become as soon as autumn arrived and the greenery started to vanish. Decorating the house with seasonal decorations brought the mood inside of the house too, making it cozier and warmer.

I clearly remember how our front and backyard had turned into a pool of leaves, which brought extra chores. It was time I started thrifting for warmer clothing: sweaters and jackets, warm socks, beanies and mufflers! I love autumn/winter clothing! It was a time when getting out from under the blankets early in the morning for school was a hard task.

It was a time when getting out from under the blankets early in the morning for school was a hard task.

We made delicious pies and other desserts; you can tell I have a sweet tooth and my host family had adapted to my dessert cravings! Baking pies and eating them with whipped cream while watching a movie after dinner was great at the end of the day. 

When all these memories hit me one night, I felt sleepless and even felt homesick a little. I stayed up late and cried while texting my host sister who luckily was online to chat, which brought me comfort. Props to technology for providing convenient connections at times like these! 

A few days later, I received the news that I had been accepted into my first preference dream university, Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, here in my city! I had been dreaming of attending this school ever since I was in 8th grade, when I discovered my passion for interior design!

It's a very reputable and prestigious art school and getting accepted is kind of a big deal. It requires a lot of determination and hard work. I'm super excited! But here's the twist: I applied for an early admission. This means I have reserved my seat before finishing 12th grade and have six months of free time on my hand after I graduate from intermediate college! 

This is when reality struck back, and I realized that I have to live my life here as much as I wish I could go back to the USA. Nostalgic days are normal, being sentimental of the past is normal, but the present needs to be lived with the same consciousness of each moment! 

Enjoy your autumn and winter, exchange students!

–Rabab (YES 2018/19, Pakistan), hosted by the Cricks family (AZ)