Although I have seen an advisor once before I register for classes, I am still nervous to see her. Her speaking is slow, but the words are professional, and I can’t follow her quite well. Plus I consider her as my teacher, so I can’t stop her or interrupt her while she is talking. Last time, she saw my confused face, and she kept asking me if I understand what she said. This time, I acted more like an “American student” – try to ask questions if I can’t follow her or don’t understand what she says.
Today she helped me to register for the Spring classes, which I thought was too early to do so. She presented several choices for me and let me decide what I wanted. I did not think about choosing courses by myself. In my country, our curricula were determined by the teachers. We just needed to register for certain courses each semester. Our general education curriculum was filled by theology courses, which was a national requirement for higher education institutions. However, here I can choose any courses within the range of general education. In Iran, the biggest concern of our teacher is whether I was in the right path, the path they decided me to go. In the US, the biggest concern of my advisor is whether I can choose what is best for myself.
I asked my advisor where I could seek help for my study, because I felt lonely during the study process, and I felt super nervous before an exam without studying with classmates together. My advisor encouraged me to seek help from other international classmates/friends, and she recommended me to go the counseling center to solve the stress problem.
This was my first time to hear such a kind of service. In Iran, we have religion services, where we female student can get together and share our happiness, stress, or other feelings during schools. We treated each other like a family member. Here people are more individual and they use scientific methods to help you with your problems. During the whole afternoon in the counseling center, I experienced a series tests and the result turned out I was fine, not stressful. Okay, am I not stressful? I don’t think so. I’d better go back to my Iranian friends and seek help from them.