College itself is a very big transition for everyone but for international students it is even more challenging. In simpler words I am a FOB or “Fresh Of the Boat”. I was born and raised in a country that most people don’t know existed. I remember the first day of my freshmen year when I told my friends that I was from Myanmar and they looked at me with puzzled eyes thinking that I made up an imaginary country. Transitioning from a country that is drastically different from America wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. From simple things like calling soccer as football to more peculiar cultural characteristics like having two legal names, I was very different from most of my friends.

My first year in the United States as an international student was probably the hardest and the most valuable year of my life. Back when I was in high school, I was very easy going and never truly lived up to my academic potential. My first semester in college, I could see the changes I made in myself to become a better student and person. I ran varsity cross country, tried to get into as many as organizations as I can and maintained a good academic standing to better myself. But after my first semester, I still felt like I was lacking something compared to most of my peers. As I am an international student studying finance I came to realize that I was lacking the professionalism, the perspective and the confidence that is needed to succeed in America.

So as soon as my second semester started I went on a mission to find an organization or fraternity that I could use to elevate myself to fulfill what I have been lacking. I went to a couple of fraternity rushes, organization meetings and other clubs, but I didn’t find a right fit for me. Then one day, I was browsing through my Facebook feed and came across a fraternity rush flyer that I have never heard of. I decided to google it and that was when I was intrigued by Alpha Kappa Psi. I found out about the history it has, the line of prestigious alumni, and the sheer number of active brothers. I made a decision to go to at least one of the rush events and think about joining. After a talk with some of the executive brothers, I decided to pledge Alpha Kappa Psi as I saw how it will help me as an international student and decided to pledge.  

The pledge program itself basically cleared my whole view on everything related to the field I am going into. From basics skills like interviewing and public speaking to complex ones like drafting an executive summary, Alpha Kappa Psi gave me the fundamental yet unique set of skills that I could use to be a better career-oriented student. In addition to the professional aspect of this fraternity, it also gave me a set of people, including mentors, with a common motivation that would give a helping hand whenever I need it. I can confidently say that choosing to rush AKPsi is one of the best decisions that I have made as an international student in America.

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