Dwayne Shen

I came to RHP to complete my last two years of high school. I was in Virginia for two years at Southampton Academy after moving there from China. The experience I had there was not bad, but it was definitely not the best. Initially, everything was good- it was a new environment, and there were new people to meet. I got to experience a completely different life in a different country. It was also my first time to stay in a dorm with other students. I was excited about all the things that were different from China.

As time passed, I started to realize the inconvenient part of living there. I had no place to go. The place I lived in was located in a tiny little town. Since I did not have a car, the only place I could walk to was a YMCA.  The nearest movie theater was 45 minutes away from where I lived. That’s not the worst part yet. I got even more depressed every time I open the Uber app, and it told me service was not available in the area. Besides that, the people around me did not seem to work that hard and it had a bad influence on me.

I started to realize all of these things after a year and a half. The idea of transferring to another school started to grow in my mind.

On spring break, I came to California for a week. The trip did not start out well. The first thing I found out was that I had lost my wallet on the airplane and I had literally no money left in my pockets. Thanks to my mom and my friends, I got through that crisis safely without ending up homeless. After a week of going around the city with Uber and seeing a variety of places I did not see in Virginia, I knew that this was the place I wanted to stay for a longer term. I talked to my parents about transferring. One of my friends who was studying in California told me about RHP. I did some research about RHP online with my parents and decided to come.

Even though it was a decision made mostly by myself, it was still hard to leave a place where I lived for two years and the friends I had there. The first two orientation weeks were pretty uneventful and I met some new friends. I went to the beach, the farmer’s market, and an LA Dodgers game. However, when the real school schedule started, I still got a bit nervous facing new people I have never met before. Surprisingly, it was not that hard to assimilate into this new school. People are friendly, and the teachers are awesome. I got help from people whenever I needed. I am glad that I am able to attend RHP and I have made great new friends. The four-year high school experience is approaching the end. Hopefully, I can get into a college where I want to go. It will be a new challenge for me, but I am looking forward to overcoming it.