By Manmeet Kaur, Cambrian College
Everyone has dreams in their lives. To make them come true, one must work hard for them. Sometimes, you have to make sacrifices to achieve them. When you live in a big family, it’s hard to make them come true. I come from a middle-class joint family, which includes my grandparents, my parents, and my three siblings. Education in India is not free and it was really hard for my father to put us into good schools. He also sent two of my older sisters to Canada for their post- graduate studies, which took a lot of money and effort.
When my sisters moved to Canada, I was really young. It was then that I realized that I also wanted to go to Canada. I always wanted to live a different life and to do something that would make my parents proud. I decided to wait until I finished my elementary school. I did not tell anyone about my dream of studying in Canada because I saw how hard it was for my father to come up with so much money to send two of his daughters abroad and send one to university in India for higher studies.
I have always been an adventurous person. I explored all the new things that came my way and experienced everything I could. While I was in my elementary school, I participated in many co-curricular activities and other competitions, like dance and sports, and got many prizes and scholarships. Because of these performances, I even was accepted in one of the greatest high schools in my city. On the other hand, my sisters told me about the different cultures and life style in Canada which made me more insistent to go there and learn more about different cultures and different people living in harmony.
At the beginning of the last year of my high school, my sisters came back to India for a visit and for their marriages. They were so happy and they were nothing like they were when they left India. They had different lifestyles and were very fluent in English. It gave me motivation and made me eager to learn new things and to follow my dream. I am very close to one of my sisters, so I talked to her about my dream to go study in Canada like her.
In Indian culture, the son stays with the parents and his family and takes care of them. But in our family, we are only four daughters and three of us were already married and had moved in with their husbands. So, my parents expected me to stay with them and take care of them. When my sister told my parents about my willingness to go and study in Canada, it was kind of shocking for them as I had never mentioned my dream to them before. I still remember my mother’s expression and the tears rolling down her face because she did not want me to leave her. She loves me so much as I am the youngest child. My grandmother was very upset too. I did not want them to be like this, so I had to give up on my dream and tell them to choose for me. The next thing I knew was my father registering me into the largest university in the province.
So here I was, in this university. Everything was new, but something was missing. I didn’t want to be there; I felt stuck and unhappy. It was my first day in university and I was very joyless. I told myself if this is what makes my parents happy, I would have to sacrifice my dream and do it for them. I came home that day and locked myself in my bedroom and then sat there for hours just thinking about what I had done and how unhappy I was with my decision. My dad came home from work that night and I remember him sitting in the living room and calling me. I was so heartbroken, just sitting and crying in my bedroom. He came to me and he knew that I was feeling very downhearted. He told me that everything takes time, so I should try it for few more days to see if I like it. I listened to him and I went to university for a week but every day was the same.
Then came the biggest twist in my life. My grandmother acted like an angel. She came to me one day, and listened to what my heart really wanted and told me how I was not supposed to just give up on my dreams and sacrifice my happiness for my family’s. She believes in God, so she gave me some lessons from our holy book that you should be happy spiritually, physically, and mentally when you do anything. Her words hit me like ton of bricks and I realized that I was wrong for sacrificing my dreams and doing something I totally dislike. And then, my grandmother had a conversation with my father and after a lot of convincing my parents were finally ready to send me away for studies. Finally, I started the process of application to get my student permit. Meanwhile, we got the greatest news in our family that two of my sisters living in Canada were pregnant at the same time. They were due very soon, so they invited my parents to visit. My mother went to Canada to see her newborn grandchildren. When she was there, she saw how life was different in Canada and how happy my sisters were living there.
My mother appreciated the decision I made after visiting Canada. I was very excited and was so motivated that I had scored 7 band out of 9 in the English evaluation test, which was one of the most important requirements to get the study permit. My parents were glad and proud to know that this is what I wanted. It took me around three months to finally get accepted at Cambrian College in Sudbury and to get my study visa for Canada. My dream was finally becoming a reality. The second I stepped in Canada, I felt so relieved that I was finally here. My dream had finally come true. I was so eager to visit the college the next day and to start my studies soon.
Now that I am finally studying in a Canadian college, I am enjoying every moment and working hard on my studies. I am so thankful for my grandmother’s advice and lessons which changed my life. If I had not listened to my grandmother that day, I would have been still in India studying in that university, broken- hearted and depressed. I was going to regret that moment forever in my life. My life was going to be totally different, but I am just so glad that I listened to my heart and made the right decision which has changed my life. I have learnt the biggest lesson of my life that we should always listen to our heart. Your heart is your master. It always guides you with the help of your brain. Believe in your dreams; believe in yourself!
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