Written by Noopur Gahalan, Master of Global Business(MGB) student, SP Jain School of Global Management – Class of 2016.
Has it already been an entire year that just zipped past us? It seems like just yesterday when we were discussing if everyone got their visas! As I sit down to pen down my thoughts amongst my peers who are frantically trying to click candid pictures of the various groups they were involved in, be it the global committee or the academic committee – I smile to myself, realising how all of us have changed and grown in so many ways in just one year.
Going back to Singapore, which was a tiring, yet an eventful start, where all of us were new to literally everything- the place, the course, the cohort, the weather, the culture – leaving aside the fact that the first day of the course was also our first exam! All of us were in shock and tired – battling with the daily worries as silly as deciding what to eat – we were starting to settle in our little new world.
Of all the experiences we were to encounter in Singapore by far, the richest was “The Treasure Hunt”, which was organised on a Sunday. I thank my stars that I made an effort to get up and attend the same. It was an absolute ice-breaker, as this was the first time I got the chance to engage and converse with my peers at an informal level. The challenges we were put through brought about a lot of discussion revolving around “Oh I’ve done this before” or “Hey, I know how to solve this!”
The treasure hunt was a kick off to knowing people to such an extent, that hanging out in each-other’s room after class and after meals became a routine. I, for one, had opted for a single room, mostly because I’ve experienced staying in a hostel before. Sharing my room with other people wasn’t that much fun the first-time around. So, why would that change this time? It took a bit of time knowing these people better, before I came across people who weren’t like the ones I met the first time I was in a hostel. People here respected my personal space!
There were times when I felt a little left out, wondering if I was missing out on all the “roommate” fun. But then, thanks to the-hear-through walls at our hostel, I got 2 ‘roommates’ on both sides of my walls who didn’t share the same space as me, but still lived in the same space! We shared food, music, tea, and at times words of advice and hope, which I will always hold dear in my heart. These little talks have become golden memories that I will cherish for a long time to come.
We had a mixed batch full of both freshers and experienced people. The freshers are obviously fresh out of college, and keep the conversations light with a fun element to it. They are the ones who’ve made this journey the most interesting, by never letting any of us veterans forget that this is just one year and one chance we have got to take a break. On the other hand, we strung them to the ground mostly and hopefully they will remember some of that in the days to come.
Although we were grounded with the assignments and SBR’s, it didn’t take long for any of us to blend-in with Singapore’s culture. Clarke Quay had become a common hang-out place. One of the most absurd memories I have of the place is being startled awake one fine night, hearing my neighbour’s room being bombarded with “Bro, she’s not opening, is she dead”. As scary as that was back then, right now all I can do is try to not laugh while jotting down this memory. This will forever remain my highlight for Term 1.
Disclaimer – The neighbour in question was perfectly alright the next day and has continued to be so.
We had just started to feel at home, and then Term 1 ended!
Grudgingly, we packed our overweighed bags and headed to Australia, which was much more spectacular than what we had imagined it to be.
Even after a 12-hour flight, the view of the island continent of Australia refreshed me beyond my wits and on touch down, the first breath of air felt so different. This was a clear indication of good times ahead and indeed that’s exactly how Sydney turned out to be. The land down under has more life to it undoubtedly. The crystal-clear blue skies were no match to the pristine water bodies present everywhere – from the view outside my window to the Opera house and everything in between. They left me speechless every single time. I’ve read in a lot of books that ‘a day at the beach is a day not wasted’. Being in Sydney, I have collected so many beach days that I’ve lost count.
My most favourite Australian memory has to be watching the COLDPLAY – live in concert. We spent 3 hours waiting for the concert to start- in the rain no less. But once the concert started, all the woes of being cold, tired and hungry were lost in a “sky full of stars”. The best part was when Chris Martin sang a song he specially dedicated to the crowd that was waiting patiently in the rain. The song goes like –
They all say Christmas here is so much fun
We got surfing, we got sun
Christmas here’s sweet as a peach
Opening presents on the beach
Yeah ’cause we got barbies, we got beer
Santa wishes he lived here
Loads of laughter, loads of booze
Christmas with the kangaroos
Yes! That was it! A major moment that is forever etched in my heart with a sense of actualisation that you get when you tick an item off your bucket list. Soon enough, we were done with Sydney and it was now time for Dubai!
Starting the final term on a happy ‘new year-new me’ note, which we all know stays for only like 15 seconds, we arenow here. A month away from finishing our MGB course. It does feel a little weird when I think about it. Not seeing the people I see every day; not having to think of assignments or exams; starting to worry again about being on time for my job – I guess that’s how life is, a bitter sweet symphony. As soon as life feels you have formed a routine and now are okay with it, it goes BOOM! with a twist right in your face. The familiar “gotcha” feeling remains. But let’s not let that feeling bog us down. We have made unending memories together which we will talk and laugh about even years after we meet. Like a friend of mine keeps repeating- “chal na yaar, aaj baithte hain”!
So, until we meet again, thank you to each one of you for being a part of this whirlwind journey. The very best of luck to each one of you and it may sound stupid – but please do not get married the day after you graduate! Please! Just no!
About the author – Noopur Gahalan
Noopur Gahalan is a MGB Marketing graduate with SP Jain School of Global Management, who just started her internship as a Product Marketer. The now 25-year-old, Noopur decided to pursue an MGB after meeting with an old friend over coffee. She is an ardent reader and writer who learnt about the various diversities in the world throughout last year.