Dia hails from a relatively small town in India. Everyone around her spoke in her regional language, including her teachers at school and college. She worked hard to study and get admission at IITB. When she came to campus, she realised that many students around her were talking to each other in English or Hindi, including in the cafeterias. The lectures were taught only in English.
It was difficult to keep up in class and then interact with others outside. She felt ashamed, left out, and out of place. She often wondered if she would ever be able to make sense of what was happening, keep up with others, make friends, or feel comfortable here. As days passed, she started feeling more and more left out, she even began isolating herself actively.
For most of us English is a second language.
If our families and social circles communicated largely in our mother tongue, or the schools and colleges we attended didn’t teach in English, it is very natural to not be completely comfortable with it.