Anjali Patel

Student in Athens, Georgia

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Ten years ago, on July 1, marked the day my dad relocated his entire family. Was I ready to brace the “Windy City”? Would I be able to make new friends and start over? These were the questions that were filling inside of my head as my family and I headed to the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta Airport. I was boarding a one-way flight to my new home in Chicago, Illinois. This move was a very big milestone in my childhood because this experience in Illinois gave me my closest friend and sister. Adapting to the new city was hard for my nine-year-old self, but it became easier as I spent more time with my cousin, Sejal, who was living in Chicago during the time we moved. Even though there is a seven-year age gap between her and I, we made our relationship work. She was always there for me and helped me adjust. One distinct memory that has stuck with me was the day she took me into the city and showed me around. We went to the Navy Pier, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Wrigley Field. As I was experiencing all the greatest attractions Chicago had to offer, I started to fall in love with the city. As time progressed from that day, Sejal and I became inseparable. She is the closest thing I have that resembles a sister and I am thankful that my dad made us move to Chicago.