Anik Chowdhury

Sun Oct 18 2020 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

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My family left everything behind for a life in the US. My parents sacrificed their well-established careers for my brother and I to have a better future. Although moving to the US was like a dream come true, I struggled to adjust to this new life and navigate through a new environment. That is when God sent me Dada, my big brother.
After finishing my associate’s degree, I transferred to Rutgers-New Brunswick. It was one of the worst years I ever experienced. My stress with adjusting to a new school was coupled with depression and anxiety. I was so lost in the process that I couldn’t concentrate on my studies. Though I felt guilty for keeping it from my family and friends, I dropped out for the semester. I had no one to share any of this with and I was really scared of what people around me would say.
Dada was there for me every step of the way. “Everyone makes mistakes and fails in their life,” he’d say.
"Direct your thoughts away from the negativity and on to what you can do and change from this failure. You are smart and very curious about what you want to do but perhaps this is a test of your patience and how far you are willing to push yourself. I love you as my brother and although I may not be studying the same field as you, I will still help you out as much as I can with my own knowledge and research. It’s okay not to know things - question me. I will give you the answer.”
He didn’t just give me advice, he exemplified his words. He would call me every hour to check up on me. He would leave everything to talk to me and take me out for walks, the movies, or a long drive. Sometimes he’d even give me an oil head massage to calm my nerves! He was like a GPS guiding me, but it was me who had to drive. If one road closed, he took me through alternative roads and made sure that I still reached my destination.
After that first gruesome semester, I pulled off a double major within 2 years alongside extracurriculars and work. I grew into a hardworking person and learned to take on responsibilities, provide for myself, and start fulfilling my dreams. Right before my graduation, Dada told me how proud he was and that he always knew his little brother would get back on track and work hard.
The ability to inspire others is a rare and powerful personality trait. Talk about the people who have and continue to inspire you. Maybe the stories we share will help someone else. If it weren’t for him pulling me out of negative thoughts, holding me up from a downward spiral, and boosting my confidence, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.