The Edge of Glory

Try Rizky Almaeda (INA YES to USA YP 16–17)

It is absolutely not easy to live far away and to step out from your comfort zone just like an exchange student. Living in a different kind of culture is a challenge that not everyone can face. However, for me personally, I am so proud of being an ambassador in the United States to represent Indonesia.

I can’t say that it is been a long or short time but time flies so fast. It’s been about seven months of my journey of my exchange year and now I love it so much. The only thing that makes me feel afraid is to go back home actually. It is super-super scary. I feel like here has been my second house and it is just like if I have to go far away. However, Neenah, Wisconsin, the United State will forever be my home.

In this new semester, I have settled all obstacles I found at the first time just like not knowing anyone, feeling awkward and so shy. Now, I know a lot of people and feel comfortable among the community here. I really feel the difference between now and the first time. After feeling down because I thought I was not able to make friends now I feel confident to explore the variety of friendships here. I think I am pretty famous in Neenah High School for some reason. I think it is more because I like to join a lot of clubs and try new things. I just realized that beside our characteristic is time. Don’t force yourself too much and let time answer your difficulty.

Wisconsin is so cold indeed. This is the best state you have to visit if you are looking for snow. The white color of the snow makes me feel peace around me. It is such a blessing to touch and experience the snow. It’s been just couple month after my first story that I sent. I talked about how I couldn’t wait for the winter and right now I am in this super-cold winter. Even though it is super-cold here but I am not gonna complain because it is such a sweet memory. I just realize that it seems impossible for me, a tropical boy that lives only five minutes from the ocean to still be alive in this extreme temperature. Surprisingly I did!

There are some exciting and painful stuff when winter comes here in Neenah, Wisconsin. When snow comes it is so beautiful and we get to see white everywhere just like Elsa from Frozen. Ice-skating, skiing, and some other winter activities will make you enjoy winter just like me. My favorite part is sledding. There is a thing that I will never be able to do in Christmas eve in Kupang; that is going sledding in Christmas eve. I was so happy because at Christmas eve I went to go sledding for the first time in my life. It was so awesome and I will never forget it. By the way, thank you so much my American mom, Sharon, for taking me there. One more thing that I haven’t done is to make a giant snowman. I don’t know but it seems like every time I had a moment to spare the snow never supported me to make a snowman. I think soon I will make it and sing ‘Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?’ even though that is not a type of songs I like. I can’t believe it is almost spring and the snow will melt by that time. But I believe that the snow will just be like my exchange year, it is gone but will never be forgotten by me.

Talking about Spring season, I can’t wait to join Neenah High Boys School Track and Field. It is a sport I really like to do since I didn’t join cross-country at Fall season. I am really excited yet afraid because I like to run and all athletic stuff but I feel like I am not good enough now. I have lost my skill and stamina because I haven’t practiced routinely. I am gonna try to be the best in the team. I also really want to join the musical play this spring in mt school. After being a crew member in the Fall musical, Spamalot, I am excited to audition for the spring musical this time. I realize that there are tons of talented students in Neenah but let’s just give a shot and try the best.

What I can say is to be an exchange student is one of the best parts of my life. Nothing can replace this experience at all. I am so proud of it and I feel like it has changed my life a lot. If you were given this opportunity, please take it. It is indeed not easy but you would see how you see world and happiness in a different way.

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