Deeksha Pagar, a first year physics and biochemistry major from India, tells us a little bit a how she is adjusting to life here in the United States, and specifically at Goshen College. Pagar was born and raised in Mumbai, Maharashtra and moved to the United States only 7 months ago. This free spirit is passionate about culture and is eager to know more about different countries and people. This is very apparent from her multilingual abilities. Pagar speaks English, Hindi, French and Marathi, her native tongue.
What is it like back home?
It is very crowded, fast-paced, hot and humid. In a city of over 20 million people, space is premium in Mumbai. We don’t have a big house with a backyard for a small family, but instead a small apartment for a very big family. The sense of support and camaraderie is easily noticed within the community.
How is it different from Goshen College?
The snow here is a joke! I have never experienced any other climate other than humid winds that cause a perpetual state of precipitation. Coming to Goshen has definitely made me appreciate the raging heat I once used to curse. I have however, been thrown in the snow, made several snow angels and face-dived in the snow on various occasions.
The people and the community at Goshen are very supportive and loving. I love the occasional Indian dinners we share with the community through which I have received a lot of love and affection. I believe this campus is hugely influenced by the concept of gift-economy.
How are you enjoying it so far?
It has been very challenging to double major in [physics and biochemistry]. I am currently also employed at two places, and balancing all of that has been really difficult.
What is one thing that you miss from home?
The food and the festivities. The lack of several million gods in the States doesn’t allow for a lot of festivals to be dedicated to them. Every month in India we had a different festival to worship a god. I miss the spicy and flavorful food we made for those festivals.
Have you enjoyed your year at Goshen so far?
It has been great. I have traveled to several places, including NYC for the Climate March and New Year’s, New Orleans on a service Trip, Michigan for a conference for Women in Physics and several other cities and states.
What types of things do you enjoy doing around campus in your spare time?
Attending all these activities and clubs! There are so many! I love attending the board game club, and the Latin dance club and CAC activities over the weekend. I am always busy with my homework and work, so I don’t have a lot of spare time, but when I do, I try and spend it in a productive way, which is mostly meeting new people. I also love the game room. It is probably the best place in KMY to find people who are always energetic and happy.
What type of career do you want to go into after you graduate from Goshen?
I don’t really want to go into a particular career. I have always wanted to travel and explore the world and all the different cultures, and in doing that, I want to spread love and happiness in whichever way I can. And hopefully, I can find a job (or not), which will allow me to do that—to utilize my skills and knowledge to help people and to love all.
Pagar is grateful to the Goshen community for welcoming her and other international students with open arms. Fellow SSTers might relate this as well, since spending time in a different country reveals aspects of life that you may have once taken for granted; it could be on a broad range, such as accessibility to clean water and food, education, health care and, in Pagar’s case, warm weather. Pagar is very glad to be here at Goshen College and is also very grateful have the opportunity to study in a different country.