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RISHABH AGARWAL

My name is Rishabh and I came here from India to study. Some organizations I am a part of are The Rocket Team and The Street Team by the student union. I am majoring in Computer Science, and it is something I look at as a tool. I chose Computer Science because I want to study machine learning in the future. I don’t want to have a normal job, I want to open my own startup, based in India. This idea came from my middle school days. One of the teachers motivated me to do something unique. I learned Python and Java in high school, so once I got accepted at the U for computer science, I wanted to pursue it further.

 

I am from Jaipur, Rajasthan, so coming here was a big culture shock for me. Applying for a F-1 Visa was a tedious and challenging process I faced while coming here. I could not get an interview due to COVID-19 for the application process, and I was tense since the school year was going to start soon. Eventually it worked out and I came here. Meeting friends was hard at first, but eventually I adjusted and am having fun with a big Indian group of friends made up of around 30 people. When I came here, I wanted to make a lot of friends, connections and learn a lot of new things. I feel I have been fairly successful in that.

 

Competition in India was very tough, especially in high school. I studied for JEE Advanced and IIT entrance exams which were very difficult. I joined Kota coaching institutions to prepare, but I was studying 10 hours a day with no break so it was very stressful, but my Dad told me not to worry too much about it, and that I don’t need to be extraordinary, just live life and be happy.

 

Everybody always wants to be something unique, though my life hasn't been very unique. I just want to say that it is okay for anyone to be ‘normal’. You can do extraordinary things by just being ‘normal’. I don’t have anything extraordinary in my life, but I still am happy and have very big dreams. Obviously there will be hurdles along the way. I would say being an international student is the biggest hurdle I have faced coming here, but the large amount of opportunities have helped me, and there is still a lot left to do.​