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You never really know where life takes you next. For me, this moment came when I was fifteen years old. My mom was offered a job in Atlanta and now we were in the process of moving back to the United States from India. I was caught in a whirlwind when I found myself on a flight back to the US, days after my 10th-grade final exams.    America, the country I left as a young child for India, was my greatest fear, but it was also to be my greatest adventure. I was intrigued by the culture, the people, and the country itself. What would my life be like? Would I be able to adjust so quickly? Would I make friends? These questions constantly ran through my mind. Of course, I knew that I wouldn’t have a definite answer to any of these until I got there.    Though we moved to America together, I was immediately living 850 miles away from my parents, with my kind-hearted uncle and aunt in New Jersey who were willing to take care of me and my sister throughout these tough times. Days upon arrival, I quickly realized how different of an environment it is compared to the one I originally come from. I knew that I had to quickly overcome this hurdle to get accustomed to my newer surroundings. I joined a new high school with a different education system in what I found out would be the most critical year of any student’s life. As I was trying to adjust to my surroundings, I noticed a lot of differences between the two educational systems; the academic rigor, the equal importance given to education and extracurricular activities, and the teaching methods. The concept of learning stuff practically through technology-based experiments, rather than just memorizing material in the book was something that I liked. The freedom to choose classes allowed me to take responsibility and interest towards a few subjects, rather than being forced to take all of them. Unlike in India, there was more emphasis on learning the concepts than on exam grades. Besides academics, extracurricular activities such as sports and volunteering were also given equal importance. This is something I wasn’t really used to as a sophomore out of high school, but quickly became part of my routine by being part of various volunteer services and outdoor clubs.    Everything seemed complicated throughout these times of adjustment, but in the end, it was totally worth going through this crazy experience of getting used to a different culture and customs. Even though this might be something that goes unnoticed in my life, it will forever remain part of me that has eventually made me the person I am today. Being part of this bi-cultural experience has allowed me to embrace the best qualities out of each one. This duality has given me the chance to inherit knowledge and culture from both sides of the world. It has given me the chance to look at the world from a different perspective unlike others to come up with unique solutions to several problems. The countless number of sacrifices and hurdles that my parents had to go through for the sake of a better life for me and my sister, in the end, will all be worth it, as I try to make the most out of the numerous opportunities available here, at America. 

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