India to Hastings, Nebraska
My exchange year was the greatest year in my life so far. That sounds clichéd but it truly was much more than I expected. It was nothing I can explain in mere words. The way it threw me out of my comfort zone I don’t think I’m ever going to want to go back in it.
There are many people who I am grateful for making the year what it was. And I can’t ever thank them enough. I had my doubts when I first heard I was chosen to go to Hastings, Nebraska. I was time and again assured by my parents and my exchange coordinators that I would have the best of the times. And when I finally got to Nebraska I
was thrilled, but for the adventure and not being in a small town USA.
I and my other fellow exchange students told by not only coordinators but also rotexs’ about how the year would change us. I had a hard time believing that one year could change me. And I did not believe that until the day I went back home. I saw it in bits of me. More than physical the change was mental. I got to learn so much more than I would have ever had if I had not left my comfort zone. I thought about things I never even knew before the year. I had my moments of culture shock and I grew up after each one. I made great friends from all around the world who I believe will be with me even from a thousand miles apart. I made great connections with people both personally and professionally. I had really nice and supportive host families who helped me throughout the year. I learned how to represent myself and my country. It made me love my country more and more everyday. I learned about the effort that goes into making things happen. I learned about different cultures and diversity. I learned how to play tennis. More than anything I learned about myself, from how social I am to how much further my limits are and the
things I should work on.
Even though Nebraska doesn’t sound like an ideal place, I am glad that that is where I ended up. Nebraska is home. I am proud to be a part of that community. I’m thankful for all the people and rotary clubs ,in both Hastings and India,
who believed in me and made it possible. So far away from home, I found people I could relate to. There were times that were rough and I questioned my decisions but now that I look back upon them, I see how much I have learned. There is not a day I regret.
Now that I’m in college I can see how it makes me different from a lot of people. I am comfortable challenging myself in ways a lot more students are still working on. Plus, American movies make a lot more sense now and life in the USA is not what it looks like in High School Musical. It is much more than that.