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The Journey of A Freshman

Ammar Anwar
First Year M.B.B.S

At long last, I got admission in the university of my dreams: KEMU. It was pretty unbelievable at first, with all the congratulatory messages flying in from every direction and everyone treating me like I was a prince or something. But it was true; I had finally made it to "THE" King Edward Medical University, which only accepts the "crème de la crème".
When the time came when I was going to leave my family and friends and my well established life at Islamabad for KEMU, it was sort of unreal. I had always wished for my admission at KEMU but never even once the thought had occurred to me that saying goodbye to life in my beloved city was going to be so, so difficult. But with a heavy heart, I bid farewell to my city, my family and my friends. I thought "Isn't this what you've always wished for? KEMU? Isn't this what you prayed for? Isn't this a result of your decade long hard work?" And the answer was yes. It was everything I had wished for and even more than that. Allah was generous enough to make me one of the "chosen ones" at KEMU. And I couldn't be any happier.
When I reached Lahore and looked at the marvelous architecture of Patiala Block with my own eyes for the first time while entering through the main gate, my heart skipped a beat; it was exceedingly beautiful. At the same times, tears of relief ran down my cheeks. I had finally received the prize for my hard work.

The days gradually passed with me trying to adjust to a new city, a new mode of teaching and a new environment with different kinds of people around. The hostel life at KEMU was strange to me at first. I was home-sick and yearning for rest and remembering the post-MCAT holidays. The schedule was hectic and I had to walk on-foot for everything, be it going to university or to Anarkali for getting stuff. I was not used to this and it was quite some change in my lifestyle- a change that, at the same time, I wanted to and did not want to induct in my life. But I had to go with the flow, wherever life was taking me. The hostel life was pretty weird at first but I did adjust to the environment when I made new friends and met new people. As it turned out, I happened to like the hostel environment where everyone was your age and you could share your problems with others and exchange help whenever needed. Steadily, I succeeded in my attempts to fit in and adapted a new lifestyle. I will admit it, though, that adjusting to this lifestyle was weird and I was pretty scared to live independently at first. But then I learnt new things, like managing and taking care of my expenditures and living life on my own. 

Home sickness was something that I experienced for the first time ever. It was way worse than I had previously imagined. I could not live without my family for a second but now, for the love of being a doctor and on top of that, for being a KEMCOLIAN, I had to sacrifice that. Slowly, homesickness found its way out of my life. (Although I admit to still crying silently under the covers sometimes- but hey, don't tell anyone else).
All the problems aside, the feeling of being a KEMCOLIAN was more than enough to overcome all the sadness in the world. It was truly a blessing bestowed upon me. This may sound clichéd to you, but KEMU did feel like home; like all I had been doing my entire life was to get here.
It goes without saying that “independence” made me realize a lot of important things that my life did have previously, but I didn’t acknowledge them or thank Allah for them. It made me realize the importance of regular things like a fridge, kitchen and television, among other things. Living alone made me realize the importance of my family and most importantly, of my mother, who used to be the driving force behind my studies and good grades. I remember cringing every time my mom said “Parh lo beta, yeh time dobara nai ana” and now when there is no one in the hostel to say that to me, I miss her a lot. Independence also brought the head-ache of managing my expenditures which sometimes turns out to be pretty funny, like when I spend 1000 rupees within two days and later on regret that (ordering green chili zingers can also get out of hands sometimes, but that’s the only way to escape the “Daal Murgh” of the hostel mess).
The hostel life which at first seemed pretty weird, now seems normal. The university life which was very boring and monotonous now seems to have sprung up in action, with the exciting chain of events that started with the mind-blowingly awesome welcome party, leading to the event that I have been waiting for since my FSc days “Lights of Hope”, which I’m pretty sure is going to be amazing as well.

In short, now I’m truly living the dream: truly living the KEMColian life that I always wished to live. And I have no one else but Allah to thank for that.


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