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Revisiting Myself: A Year Later |Nikin Tharan|

“The land of the free, the home of the brave, where opportunities lie and dreams are fulfilled”
American Dream
My name is Nikin Tharan and I was born and educated in India. I would like to start-off by saying that applying to American universities was a crazy process and I am extremely thankful to the IKC for providing me their invaluable assistance in the matter. I am currently a sophomore at Northeastern University, Boston. I consider myself lucky and truly humbled to be a part of the University Scholars Program at Northeastern. This program entitles me to a full-tuition merit-based scholarship and perks like study abroad programs, Clambake, harbor cruises, haunted-house visits, skiing trips and leadership retreats in a forest around campfires.
We all know that the education system in India heavily rewards knowledge and stifles creativity. Having been brought up in that system, I find the academics at Northeastern, which stirs creativity and originality, somewhat challenging. Growing up in a highly competitive environment taught me to be adaptive, to constantly change oneself with differing circumstances and flourish.  I observe, analyze, absorb, assimilate and act.
During my first semester, I was exposed to various engineering courses as part of an introduction to engineering course and initially decided to major in Electrical Engineering. Why? I fell in love with electronics when I was in third grade. My nascent mind wanted answers to questions regarding the working of everyday objects like lights, the television, radios etc. I have been learning electronics ever since and doing engineering-level projects for the past five years. I hope to enhance my knowledge of electronics while at Northeastern and in pursuit of that goal, I am currently participating in undergraduate research in embedded systems (Data Distribution Service).
But being in a conductive environment around Boston led me to master new skills, namely web and app development. I worked on small projects for companies around Boston and a political party in Tamil Nadu, India. I gradually became good at what I did and attended the MIT-Harvard hackathon on iCorruption in March earlier this year. I built a website for the Academic Independence Project in one night and this helped me land a job at Harvard Law School, where I still work. My coding escapade convinced me to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering too. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I was seamlessly able to change my major from Electrical Engineering to a dual degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
I have only been treated with the utmost respect and kindness in the United States. I was spurred to volunteer for a local non-profit in Boston to try to repay my debt to the country. Thus, I became involved with United South End Settlements Boston and worked there throughout my freshman year conducting an impact assessment of their programs.
I believe life is a continuous process of learning. When I arrived in the United States a year ago, I kept my mind open and immersed myself in the melting pot of many cultures and beliefs. I listened to the stories of people and their ancestors. I deeply thought about how taking a risk and luck helped countless people to succeed and opened new avenues for others, eventually helping to create one of the greatest countries on earth. The global education program is a means for me to know more about the world and get greater insight into our civilization. I shall strive to learn; every day; forever.

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