“I had a very comfortable life in Brazil; my parents were both doctors. But from the time I was 11, my dream was to study abroad and become a writer… My grandfather immigrated from Portugal to Brazil when he was 16. We were about the same age when I moved here 4 years ago, but I came with my family and he went alone. I can only imagine how much more difficult it was for him. All of the sudden you have zero friends and family, the culture is very different, I mean, everyone hugs in Brazil, even strangers—also winter! I haaated winter. I lived in a city that was sunny almost year round and it was HOT; our winter was hotter than parts of your summer… I had a psych prof in the summer who talked about the difference between finding meaning versus finding happiness. Long-term happiness requires sacrifices, and when you’re making those sacrifices, you’re not always going to be happy. My first year here was really hard; it took a long time for things to finally feel stable, but I would do everything again because it’s worth it.”