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Attending University In Usa, Do I Wish To Reside In Dormitory?

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by vikrampreet, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. vikrampreet

    vikrampreet
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    Greeting, I am amritdhari Sikh man who is to attend university in USA. I wish to learn about is university dormitory desirable residence? What it is like there? Or do I prefer to inhabit private apartment place? I am grateful for your attention. Vik.
     
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  3. AngloSikhPeace

    AngloSikhPeace United Kingdom
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    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh.

    I stayed in uni dorms here in the UK, I really disliked the experience. There was so much noise, people partied all night and the stench of weed and cigarette smoke festooned the entrance areas. It was difficult to cook or clean anything due to the kitchen being permanently buried under empty liquor bottles, dirty dishes and open jars of food. Of course not everyone there was anti-social, but a few people made it bad for all the others.
     
  4. vikrampreet

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    Thank you very much for your answer. I must arise very early to bathe and meditate and if others have been making noise all night, doing these thing will be very difficult. Also tobacco and intoxicants I object about. If you keep your kesh and wear your turban did other students do respect for that?
     
  5. AngloSikhPeace

    AngloSikhPeace United Kingdom
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    At that time I didn't wear a dastar regularly, but I did have uncut hair and a beard. They knew I was a Sikh and one time I did come home from the Gurdwara wearing a dastar, but they never bothered me about anything like that. I presume that it could be different in the US as Sikhs are pretty ubiquitous in the UK and the culture regarding minorities is somewhat less hostile here, but generally when it comes to religion and ethnicity students are very liberal and tolerant compared to the rest of society.

    But generally the problems with university accommodation tend to revolve around the all-pervading culture of irresponsible drinking that exists, particularly for first-year students. Having the 'best years of your life' is one of the main motivations for university students and for many people the experience of student life (ie. cubbing, parties, casual substance abuse, joining in with a specific social scene) is just as important as the actual education. People grow out of this phase after their first year usually and not everyone partakes in it, but it is still everywhere around you.
     
  6. vikrampreet

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    Thank you again. I keep my kesh and beard and I wear a turban. I understand that in USA Sikh people with turban are often mistaken for Moslem and subjected to prejudices about that. I assume university students do not do that?
     
  7. AngloSikhPeace

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    I don't really know about the USA. As generally people aren't very knowledgeable about world religions you will probably be mistaken for Muslim at least once, but there are unlikely to be any serious consequences to that (at least from the students). Students tend to either be a-political or strongly left-leaning and anti-racist, the only real problems from your flatmates are likely to be the occasional rude joke.
     
  8. Original

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    Vikrampreet

    It is human nature to be anxious, apprehensive and uncertain about unknown places, but that shouldn't deter you ! Rather, be encouraged to explore and learn about other cultures, societies and people in general. See it as educational.

    Singh is King and the world knows it. In my time [1960 and 1970] growing up in England amongst the skinheads was a mission. We gave as good as we got - but never surrendered, or shied away. As a result, British society accepted us as one of their own kind and in some instances rank us high than the average Joe blogs. You know why ? Because we came, we stayed, we inspired, we toiled, helped build strong communities, contributed towards national vigour, set good examples for others to aspire to - and they liked. And, you know what, they want to know more. Be proud to be a Singh because you represent a social group which is cut from a different cloth.

    The Khalsa within you will guide - remain steadfast in your belief and value.

    Most of all, be social. Accept other people's way of life - they smoke, drink, rave, engage in sexual activities and the rest. If you're not that way inclined it shouldn't bother you. Believe in yourself and be strong.

    Good luck !
     
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  9. ActsOfGod

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    It all really depends on which college you attend. Things vary by locality. If you are unaccustomed to things like (alcohol) drinking, partying, casual attitudes about sex and drugs, a lot of what you encounter might be shocking to you. Remember that this is a different culture than the one you grew up in, and there will be an adjustment period.

    Now the important part: your daily rehat. If you find yourself in the typical American college atmosphere, it will be extremely challenging to keep your daily discipline. It will be even more difficult socially because you will always be exempting yourself from parties and alcohol drinking & etc. If you have never been in such a situation before, it will pose a direct challenge to your Sikhi. It does depend on which college you attend. You might find the dorm to be filled with students who are very keen on academics and interested in studying and avoiding parties and drugs/alcohol. But my guess is that situation might be rare.

    Perhaps as an alternative, you could look into renting a small apartment with a few other Sikhs. It's a common thing for students to do and you can split the cost of rent amongst yourselves, thereby making it affordable. This will at least give you the personal space to keep your daily Nitnem and rehit without obstruction. Universities will typically have student associations that you can contact and they will put you in touch with student representatives who can help you find room-mates, etc. Look through the college website for "Indian Students Association" or even "Sikh Students Association". Another option would be to get in touch the with local Gurudwara and they might be able to help you out with finding roommates.

    AoG
     
  10. AngloSikhPeace

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    Whilst it's important to respect other people's way of life, for many people the behaviour of some students can be very distressing regardless of religious beliefs. It isn't pleasant for most to live in an environment where there's a noisy party somewhere nearby at least once a week, where the kitchen is never clean because people still have a 'look after your own stuff' attitude and haven't quite learnt to cooperate yet, and where it's very difficult to make friends or socialise if you aren't interested in cubbing. And there are the accidents and mishaps, like when some idiot went and opened all the gas valves on the downstairs oven one night, which could have suffocated people or worse blown the whole building up.
     
  11. vikrampreet

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    This challenging is what is concerning to me. It appears that an apartment residence is preferable to a dormitory residence for me. Is this what Sikh student in USA usually has?
     
  12. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Anyone reading this thread would be convinced that Amritdhari Sikhs are precious in some way, easily offended, unable to integrate, smoking, drinking, weed, drugs, casual sex, loud music, are all facets of the real world we live in. As I sit in my shop this morning, the pungent smell of weed is already drifting along the streets, together with the bass line of loud music from parked cars, however, in the park opposite, young mothers take their children to school, I know a lot of them, they know me as the fat bearded indian that always has sweets and chocolate for their kids on the way home, some of the mums wear clothes so shocking I wonder how they do not get cold, but everyone knows the fat indian man sees them as sisters, mothers, daughters, nothing more. Sure I have had angry people in here, had a knife waved about in my face, but I find a good hug, a cuddle, always calms things down, it makes violent people quite silly, makes them ashamed, makes them cry, welcome to the real world.

    Yes, I think what you should do is find a few more like minded Sikhs, and hide yourselves away from the real world, so that you can bathe, and get up early, meditate, and be nice and pure and clean.
     
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  13. Harry Haller

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    and the only people that had a problem with any of this were Sikh? Obviously if you were non Sikh, well you were used to it, and it was second nature!
     
    #12 Harry Haller, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  14. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    However, back in the times of the Gurus, it was extremely easy, because in 16th century India, conditions were much more favourable than the typical American college atmosphere, sure you had a price on your head, sure there were the wars, the starvation, the murdering, killing, but none of this could possibly be as bad as the extremely challenging conditions described in present day US Colleges.
     
  15. AngloSikhPeace

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    I never said that the only people who had problems with it were Sikh, and really for myself the Sikhi side of it was not really the problem. And I am white so don't make this about race.
     
  16. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    AngloSikhpeaceji,

    I do know that you are white, and you are quite correct, I have amended my post accordingly :)
     
  17. ActsOfGod

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    Truth be told, it was never easy. The ideal would be that each Sikh has the fortitude to meet all of life's challenges head on with that indomitable Chardi Kala spirit. However, the reality is that we falter. We get scared. We let fear rule us. We react out of old conditioning. We have a limited understanding of the human psyche and the world and Universe. And so we suffer in ignorance.

    It was my assessment (perhaps incorrectly) that the OP wasn't quite at that state/stage where he would be able to (psychologically) handle all the pressures that he might face, especially never having been exposed to these aspects of Western culture. After all, he did come to this forum to express his concerns (regarding being able to take early morning showers and being mistaken for a muslim). That implies seeking some sort of reassurance to alleviate anxiety about uncertainty. And we all do it. Based on that, I recommended a course of action that might work for him without unduly putting him in an emotionally traumatic position.

    The other part of me agrees with what you're saying. We all of us need to step up and stretch out of our comfort zones, because that's where all the real growth truly happens. At the same time we have to be careful not to push so far that we just fall apart.

    But yea, sadly I concede that we are but a mere shadow of what we once were. Once we were kings, and we ruled. When the lion roared all the jungle trembled. I often wonder if that is still true today.

    AoG
     
  18. AngloSikhPeace

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    Wheew... That's a big one that I hadn't thought of. First year students are often little more than teenagers, so as such they usually have difficulty with sharing at first. Who gets to shower when is a big source of conflict, but in your case it could be an advantage. If you shower early in the morning that will put you far outside of the 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM trouble zone, ensuring that you have a chance to get clean before class.
     
  19. Original

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    AOG

    We're the children of the one who took on the mighty empires against all odds and look where we are today. Since then we've multiplied and grown xfold. As a Singh you must remember that the battle is with the self and not with the world - learn therefore self-discipline and hold your head high amongst the multitude many.

    "...the conqueror is powerful, but the man who masters himself is stronger". It is strength we prize - have faith and believe in yourself.

    Goodnight
     
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  20. vikrampreet

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    Yes I am teenager.
     
  21. AngloSikhPeace

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    Well, staying in Uni accomodation should be a learning experience then. People come there as immature kids, suffer from the chaos for a bit, learn to work together and then leave as young adults. Stay strong, live and let live, but don't forget to be the voice of reason when it's needed. You'll do fine! :)
     
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