American Dreams

1 Jul

The web browser is open with probably its most familiar page. I have just googled “Stanford” –  as I have a million times before. I pause; a question arises in my mind as usual. I have never been able to give it the perfect answer. Why do I want to go to the US to study? Well, the most obvious answer – better universities whose infrastructure, research facilities, quality of education, quality of life, are far better than those in India. But then I begin to think, is that the only reason why I want to go there? I have always envisioned myself going away from family and friends to the “Country of Dreams” to study. The idea seemed so romantic at first; it still does seem that way, only now coupled with a lot more realism.About two years ago, when I was sitting in my room watching the movie, “The social network” I was quite carried away by the portrayal of Harvard University in the movie. I remember saying to myself,” Wow. That’s where I want to be”.  All those romantic quotes about living the life you’ve always wanted to live went through my head and I was thinking… Yeah, that’s the life I have always wanted to live and I am gonna go ahead and live it. The social network perhaps best captures all that is glamorous and outwardly attractive about Harvard life. But then I realized that I don’t know whether any of it is true or not. I am still in high school, just another Indian with good SAT scores who wants to go study in a top notch college in the US.Life will probably be more about course loads, studying and hard work rather than just clubs and girls. Even if it is so, and the “Social Network” myths are shattered, I would not be disillusioned and disheartened. I believe the courses and studying at an American college would be enjoyable, engaging and intellectually stimulating, and all the more, after having been schooled in the Indian education system where rote learning and an exam-centric approach is emphasized. US universities, on the other hand, will hopefully offer experiences which broaden my intellectual horizons. Most universities have a myriad of courses and offer greater flexibility to choose. This will truly help me discover my true potentials and passions. Moreover, imagine the uncharted delights of studying Plato or Shakespeare in the morning and molecular biology in the evening!Going to the US to study is also about living alone, initially, not knowing anyone, in a completely new country. I would get to explore a whole new world alone. This is one of the many experiences that I look forward to with eager eyes.From courses, research, academics and a sensitive learning environment to clubs, activities, global exposure and people – there is certainly a lot that a US education offers. How it will change my life, remains to be seen.Manan Hora is a twelfth grader studying at the RN Podar School in Mumbai. He hopes to gain admission to study economics/business with Computer Science at a top college in the U.S.

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