Between returning back to an old sleep schedule or having to find an interesting fact about oneself for an “ice breaker,” back to school is never an easy time. However, what if it was made a little harder by moving and what if that moving was to a different country? Amanjot Jhotra knows all about these things. She is a freshmen pre-dental hygiene major at Holmes Community College who hopes to further her education and become a dental hygienist. She grew up in Calgary, Canada, where she lived for 17 years before her family decided to make the big move.

“My dad came here in 2022 and started a business and we visited back and forth and then we decided to move in 2023,” Jhotra said.

Right as the weather was changing and school was ending she had to say goodbye to her friends, school and the life that she knew. 

“The thing I miss the most is definitely my friends,” Jhotra said. “Also, things are just fairly different; some of the jokes I could tell in Calgary people don’t get here and some of the jokes that people here tell, I don’t get.”

In Canada, she got used to the snowy weather and not getting out of school even when there was a snow blizzard; something that people are not used to in the South. She was also used to getting out of school in June rather than in May.

“The hardest things I had to get used to were definitely the cultural differences in America,” Jhotra said. “Americans do a lot of things differently.”

If adjusting to American culture wasn’t hard enough, adjusting to American school made it more complicated.

“School is more stressful than it was in Canada,” Jhotra said. “There is more of an emphasis on standardized testing, state mandatory tests and extracurriculars. In Canada we didn’t really have that extra stress, but I am adjusting.”

Moving and going to college are two big steps that take a lot of adapting; however, Jhotra found a few things to make it easier. 

“Adjusting to America has been hard, especially with all the people I had in Canada,” Jhotra said, “but my new friends and family helped me adjust. It lets me know that I’m not alone in this.”

Although finding and exploring new ideas, people and places helped, “keeping up” with home helped too.

“My friends and I still talk all the time,” Jhotra said. “I miss them and instead of being there I get recaps, but life doesn’t just stop.”

She has a new life, but she kept her same positive attitude and insight.

“If I had to give any advice to anyone that was moving or just starting a new chapter in their life it would definitely be to get out of your bubble and make new friends,” Jhotra said. “I promise you that not everyone is out to get you. Most of the people around you are going through the same thing. Just know that you are not alone.”

Whether you’re moving or starting a new school in a new country, know that you are not alone and there are others like you. People like Jhotra show us that it is okay to miss the old and not want change, but embracing your new society and learning to “get out of your bubble” help.









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