Vignesh Reddy Kandi



From High School to Hamk: A New Chapter in My Life

Making a major life decision is never easy, especially when it involves interrupting your studies and moving to a new country. That’s exactly what I did when we decided to come to Finland during the middle of my studies. At the time, I wasn’t happy with what I was studying and I felt like I needed a change. Looking back, I can confidently say that it was the right decision for me. When I arrived in Finland, I found myself without any clear direction. The COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, and everything felt uncertain. After six months of being home and not studying, I decided to take an immigration training course to learn Finnish. Although it didn’t go as well as I had hoped, I was happy to receive some financial support for my efforts. Six more months went by, and I realized that I was ready to take the next step in my education. Unfortunately, I missed the application deadline for many of the universities and universities of applied sciences in the metropolitan area. However, after some searching, I found a program that was still accepting applications. I researched the learning outcomes and decided that it was a good fit for me. Applying to the program was nail-biting. I had been out of school for a year and was worried about how I would do on the admission test and interview. To my relief, I passed both and received an offer to study at the Häme University of Applied Sciences. I was thrilled to accept it, and my family was extremely happy. Now, with three months to go before the start of my studies, I am excited and a little nervous. I’m grateful for the opportunity to pursue a degree that I’m passionate about and eager to see what the future holds. Although the journey to get here wasn’t easy, I know that it was worth it.

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Days when corona was introduced

Looking back, it’s hard to believe how different life was just a little over a year ago. In December 2019, I arrived in Finland with no idea of the events that would soon unfold. The coronavirus was a distant news story at the time, and wearing masks and using hand sanitizer were not yet part of our daily routines. But as the months passed, the virus began to spread rapidly, and by March 2020, the world had changed. I had planned a trip back to India in April, but as the country went into lockdown, I knew it would not be possible. While I was disappointed, I was also grateful that my family and I were safe during such uncertain times. As we adjusted to the new normal, my family and I found ways to enjoy our time together. Ludo King became our go-to game, and we spent hours playing with each other and with friends virtually. We also made a point to eat healthily and stay active by drinking lemon water, eating fruits, and watching movies. Initially, I was afraid of leaving my apartment, but as time went on, I became more comfortable going out, applying sanitizer frequently, and avoiding touching anything unnecessarily. Looking back, those three months of lockdown were some of the best and most memorable days I have spent in Finland. I never imagined that my family and I could spend so much time together, just having fun and enjoying each other’s company. As we continue to navigate this pandemic, I’m reminded of the importance of family, friends, and staying positive during challenging times. While things may not be the same as they were before, we can still find ways to connect with each other and make the most of every moment.

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