8,799 Miles From Home


Yujin Roh, Contributor

Freshman Shruti Raja is in India, 8,799 miles from Texas, and she still manages to get her school work done. Although the situation stresses her out, she has her family to keep her positive attitude.

Near when the pandemic started, Shruti and her family headed to India and had to work online for school. But the differences in time causes difficulty, and lead to a lot of stress trying to complete every school assignment and staying up late to get into classes. 

But Shruti stays positive despite the many difficulties she faces. 

“The hardest thing for me is the time differences, I’m in India, and doing school from the U.S. I have to stay up really late for all my classes and get all my work done,” Shruti said. “There’s a lot of stress as well.”

The days when stress starts to overwhelm her, she talks to her parents about that feeling as they help her ease up and relax.

“I like to talk to my parents whenever I’m worried about something,” Shruti said. “I always go and tell them, and they tell me to relax and they show me a good way out of things. And one main thing is to always stay calm.”

Even if school makes her gain stress, Shruti enjoys her classes, especially the ones that make her happy.

“I love three of my classes, and they’re all electives, and the three are choir, journalism, and debate.” Shruti said, “The three are my interests and I really love and enjoy doing them, and if you do something you enjoy of course you fall in love with that and it’ll make you happy.”

To Shruti, she finds that there is no point in ruining anyone’s life, and would rather use the opportunity to use her abilities to make herself happy.

“If I had a superpower, of course I would use it for good,” Shruti said. “There’s no point trying to be bad, it’s only gonna make your life worse and going to make someone else’s life worse. So if I had a superpower, I would take advantage of it and do something good for myself.”

Shruti goes on to explain that she thinks of herself as bubbly, like the character Olaf, and that she likes to make others around her happy. 

“I think I’m like Olaf, because Olaf is always happy and bubbly and I feel like that represents my personality even though everyone has their bad times.” Shruti said, “I always like to put a smile on my face and make other people laugh too.”

Family, religion, and friends are what Shruti  said that she values the most in life, instead of valuing selfish desires like money, popularity, and power.  

“I value my family, God because I’m a very religious person, and friends in my life,” she said. “I’m very passionate and I’m very serious about my religion, my family, and my friends.”

If Shruti was mad at someone and had to either tell them or keep it to herself, she chose that it “Depends on who the person is. If I’m angry with someone who is not close to me, then I will probably not tell them that what they’re doing is making me angry,” Shruti said, “But if they were very close to me, then I would tell them that I don’t really like what you’re doing. Even with the person I am not really close with, I would probably tell them indirectly that I don’t like it.”

When asked the question about what she would do if today was her last day, she answered, “I would spend a lot of time with my family,” Shruti said, “and finally meet up with my friends and tell them how much they mean to me and say sorry if I had ever hurt them and that I actually didn’t mean it and I love everyone.”

Being in India does cause a lot of unhappy feelings, but Shruti explained that it allows her to have fun despite the conflicts. 

“I think what I like most about India is the celebrations there. As an Indian, I celebrate Diwali, Pongal, festivals like that,” she said. “In America, we don’t get to have that much fun, but when I’m in India it’s always so fun celebrating with friends and family.”

Even though she prefers to be happy, Shruti does not think crying is a bad thing since it is a healthy way to let negative emotions out. 

“Crying is just a way you get things out,” Shruti said. “If you keep putting it in yourself, you’re gonna burst like a volcano one time, so instead of bursting like a volcano, you can just let out a few tears when you need to. It’s gonna make you feel better.”