5 Things I've Realized Since Moving To The States

5 Things I've Realized Since Moving To The States

Some of the stark differences between the United States and my home a few thousand miles away.

By the time this article comes out, I will have been in Minnesota (and the United States) for four months. It is a long way away from my home in India. I have had one of the best times because of the people I have met and the things I have learned about science and life in general. I can't be more thankful for the experience. Here are five things I've realized since coming to Minnesota.

1. It's not that difficult to start a conversation.

Before coming to the U.S., I had heard stories about strangers on the street who would make your day with some of the kindest gestures. One night, I was walking from school to my apartment at 11:00 p.m. There were two men walking in front of me talking about their finals. Suddenly they turn to me and ask, “How are the finals treating you?” We talked for about two minutes and then went our own way, wishing each other good luck on the upcoming exams. The barrier for starting a conversation is quite low here compared to most Asian nations.

2. It doesn't cost you anything to be nice to people.

Seriously. This is something I have learned from the people here. Or maybe it’s just the phenomenon of "Minnesota Nice." All of my bus rides have started with a huge grin from the driver, which makes my day. My trip to Target is actually a happy one, as the cashiers there also make my day. So does my advisor, with a smiling face regardless of how shitty my idea or work is!

3. Being on time doesn't hurt anyone, it actually helps! Surprise!

Classes start on time, so do presentations and meetings. And people are where they said they would be at a particular time. The only reason anyone has been remotely late is due to heavy snow and traffic. That’s it. Being on time is something I appreciate very deeply as you show respect for someone else’s time.

4. University of Minnesota students value their studies.

Though high tuition fees might motivate you to study, I have found that many people here are passionate about their work. There is nothing worse than people whining about what they are doing with their lives while studying something completely unrelated to their interests.

5. Saying no is not a crime.

In most Asian countries (or maybe it's just an Indian thing), people don’t usually directly say "No." They usually say things like, "I will try to do that," "I may be able to do that," and convoluted versions of this same phrase. They will later regret not saying no to something in the first place. If is hard to disappoint and even harder to ask for what you want or need. Here, your opinion is at least respected and no one will force you to do something you don’t want to and hold it over your head.

Cover Image Credit: Wordpress

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"What would I do without you guys???"

1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."


12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

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The Glory Of Moving Far, Far Away

There is beauty in new beginnings.


In this day and age, people everywhere seem to have wanderlust. I like to say that July is when it is at its peak, especially for me. I am now adjusting to life in Coatesville, Pennsylvania with my family after moving from our previous home in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This is not my first time moving away, and it will certainly not be the last one either, but it still feels different to me. The main reason for that is because this is my last summer before I graduate from college.

It not only marks the end of my entire childhood, but it symbolizes the end of freedom. While I am still familiarizing myself with my new home, I want to take the time to write down how I feel right now.

Finding New Places

I am originally from Blacksburg, Virginia. I spent most of elementary school there, and I managed to stay for all four years of high-school as well.

So, it is safe to say that I know it pretty well. I loved living there, but I fell into this routine of frequency. I knew where I wanted to go out to eat and what movie theater I liked the most.

However, all of the places in Coatesville are new to me right now. Who knows what kind of memories I will have from all of the restaurants and stores here?

There is beauty in new beginnings, and I am already looking forward to stepping into a Wawa.

Happiness At Home

Fortunately, the moving process went very smoothly from the beginning for all of us. I kept the necessary belongings with me for the car ride and reunited with my other belongings quickly since the movers arrived the day after us.

One of my favorite things about coming to a new house is having a different room. I like sorting all of my stuff and thinking of crafty ways to arrange everything. The yellow walls actually closely resemble my dorm room which helps me think of ideas for the upcoming semester.

Plus, I have two side-by-side windows which give me a gorgeous view to our front yard. The first observation I made was all of the green surrounding us. The trees and grass just paint the entire neighborhood. It must be a sign for me to relax and enjoy the outdoors from time to time.

Make It Count Every Day

Like everything else in life, summer does not last forever. Even though it is not always easy to live in a new place, I am determined to make the most of it.

On one of our first nights at our new house, my sister chose the movie "Titanic" to watch that night. This is my most beloved movie and it made me feel more at home.

I cannot finish this section without giving credit to Jack Dawson. He once said, "I figure life is a gift and I do not intend on wasting it."

Since it has been almost a week since our journey here started, we have become accustomed to our family rituals including walking the dogs around the circle and watching the weekly showings of "America's Got Talent."

I am so glad that I have the chance to live in Pennsylvania and I am looking forward to the future. I am now more inspired to explore the area around me and learn more about myself.

Cover Image Credit:

Danielle Neron

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