Culture Shocked in Monroe

Rutgers University is a vibrant community of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. How would you benefit from and contribute to such an environment? Consider variables such as your talents, travels, leadership activities, volunteer services, and cultural experiences. Only personal essays submitted via our website will be considered. You may enter a maximum of 3800 characters including spaces.


In the summer before high school started, my family completed the year-long process of moving from our apartment in Brooklyn to the quiet suburbs of New Jersey. This extreme culture shock during such an important and transitory phase of my life affected me profoundly; I wondered how I could bring myself to leave behind all of the friendships, relationships, and familial ties I had built up for fourteen years. My friends in Brooklyn, who hailed from different parts of New York City and the world, ridiculed me for having to move to "Hicksville, USA."

For many months after the transplant, I wasn't able to move on. I clung to memories of my old home and school, and didn't care much for my life in Monroe. Every weekend, I would argue with my parents and try to convince them to drive me back to Brooklyn to spend time with my friends. I simply couldn't relinquish all the people and places that had influenced my personality.

I thought back to my daily walk to school in Brooklyn, lamenting the fact that I now had to take a schoolbus to travel less than a mile to my new school. Every morning, I would stop at a local coffee shop before school and chat with its Bangladeshi owner, Wafi. I had been visiting Wafi at his...

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