1. I came to California during spring; that alone was stressful. Then I discovered that academics here were much harder than back home. Add to this that I didn’t know anyone and had trouble making friends. I was getting more anxious by the day, and I didn’t know what to do. However, as time went by my shyness changed to excitement, and that excitement generated an adventurous spirit in me. I wanted to go out and explore Berkeley, and I was building up the courage to talk to more people.
2. I stayed in the dorms when I first arrived. Although most people on the floor had already formed their cliques, I’m still grateful to have lived there. I met people who introduced me to many clubs, classes, and activities that I might otherwise have missed out on.
3. Still, all the changes and challenges were really getting to me. I used to overeat when I was anxious, which didn’t benefit my body at all–my stomach would hurt, and then I’d be even more stressed that I didn’t feel well! “Talking” to someone wasn’t an idea that occurred to me until much later, when I learned that expressing my feelings might be a healthier (and less stomach–ache–inducing) way to relieve stress.
4. One of my first friends happened to be in the Health Worker Program (HWP). She was so amazing! I felt like I finally found someone to talk to, someone who would listen to me. Eventually, by the end of my first semester at California, things started to look up. I made more friends, I adjusted to the academics at Berkeley, and I learned how to live in a city completely different from my hometown. I don’t think I would have managed, though, if it had not been for my friend’s empathetic nature and peer counselling training. My experience with her led me to become a health worker as well. When one thinks of health, many images come to mind; the flu, a cough, medicine. With my major being Linguistics (read: a social science!), I was very apprehensive about applying to such a program. I quickly discovered, however, that being a health worker wasn’t about playing doctor–it’s about learning life skills (which I continue to use in my daily life, on and off campus) and becoming an advocate of health for your peers.
12.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) What were the causes of stress for the writer?
The writer was new to California. He was away from his hometown and also the classroom learning was very different from what it was back in his hometown. That caused lots of stress and he had nobody to talk to about it.
(b) What recourse did the writer take to as time went by?
Initially he was a shy person but with time he developed interest in the things around him and slowly started talking to people, made friends and this helped him to beat the stress.
(c) What is the essential job of a health worker?
Health workers are people whom you can go to, talk to and discuss your issues. Essentially they are life–skill trainers. They care for the health of their peers.
(d) How did meeting with the health worker help the writer?
Meeting the health worker gave more confidence to the writer, helped him adapt to the new surroundings and he decided to become a health worker himself so that he could help his peers with their problems.
12.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) In para 4, the synonym of ‘surprising’ is ___________.
Correct Option is (ii) amazing
(b) In para 1, the antonym of ‘relax’ is __________.
Correct Option is (ii) courage
(c) The writer was not a shy person, so soon he developed interest in the things around him and made friends easily. (True/False)
(d) Health workers who care for the health of their peers are basically
life skill trainer