How It’s Been To Move To The US From India Straight Out Of High School

Posted by Arnav Garg
June 2, 2017

There is a very big difference between thinking of moving to the US and actually moving to the US.

To tell you the truth, it was a slight letdown. Yes, I have more freedom than I ever had. I imagined playing Skyrim well into the wee hours of the morning, having sleepovers whenever I want, eating nothing but burritos for a week straight, getting up late (by late I mean 3 in the afternoon), hanging out in NYC with no care in the world and procrastinating with no one to check on me. I could go on and on but you get the point. Basically, no one to tell me no. It seemed perfect.

That’s what every teenager wants right? But I was wrong, as I usually am.

When you’re alone in a different country. In a country where you know no one but a small family of relatives, I found myself changing, in terms of behaviour. I found myself become emotionally distant, self-sufficient (frighteningly so), selfish, uncharismatic (for the lack of a better word). In other words, I felt like a robot. A routine set in. Get up, get ready, eat breakfast, get on the bus, get to class, eat lunch, go to class, eat dinner, go to the dorm, get work done, sleep (or play League of Legends, if I’m in the mood). With pressure from parents to get internships and grades with the fact that I was naturally highly introverted, preferring to read a book or listen to music rather than go to some frat party, I found myself bound to my dorm, leaving only to go to the dining hall or the bus stop. The fact that my dorm is a single doesn’t help. The fact that my school is the sole public university in a highly populated state doesn’t help either. Most students have social groups from high schools, which I find hard to get into.

Of course, there are positives. I was able to have a more direct influence in the political process here. I was able to work for a couple of local campaigns. With the NJ governor’s race coming up there’s more stuff to be done and I very much enjoy that. I got my own credit card which helped me learn how to manage my money and become independent. I am able to learn a lot about my strengths and weakness as I was no longer living the sheltered life which I had back in India. So yeah, that’s pretty much it. Sometimes I wish I had gone to a place where more of my high school classmates had gone to study but I’m not the sentimental sort so I don’t think about it. Well that’s that.