I was the kind of girl who was petrified to raise her hand in class, never agreed to do public speaking, and refused to approach new people. A voice in my head kept echoing "you will look stupid" whenever I wanted to try something new. Volcanic frustration balled inside me, because it was so difficult to change in an environment where everyone had already "known" me. So, I chose the most extreme route to change: I moved to a new country and became a new person. Looking back to when I first came to America, I can't remember how many times I woke up with a soaked pillow from crying myself to sleep. I thought Americans would dislike me because I was so different, but reality proved the opposite. While walking on the street, people who passed by would smile and greet me, sometimes they even initiated a conversation. Their kindness melted my heart. Things like this never happened in China. Gradually, the seed of courage wedged itself inside me, ready to germinate. On my quest to explore new surroundings, I discovered the game Minecraft. Minecraft allowed me to enjoy the feeling of completing tasks and building up my world block by block. I applied this mindset to my real world challenges and set forth a process to step out of my comfort zone. Make eye contact, check. Introduce myself, check. Have lunch with new friends, check. Answer questions in class, check. The more tasks I fulfilled, the broader my world became. I started learning from the new culture, but only after I opened up. I learned to use forks and knives, to keep my shoes on in the house, to do make-up, to cheer during a football game, and to sing in church. I was introduced to new concepts and interpretations from classes such as Psychology and Human Services. I came to realize that good grades aren't the only things that matter. Here, personality, interest, and ideology together define who I am. I learned to go outside, sprawl on the grass, and inhale the fresh, sweet air. Like air, learning was vital to life and I couldn't deny it. I also had "teachers" from all around the world. I gained the knowledge of K-pop from my Korean friend, anime from my Japanese friend, and European culture from my German-born Swedish-Spanish friend. In America, I wasn't just learning and adjusting to one culture, but hundreds of cultures. I was becoming a global citizen. More importantly, I learned a new way of living. I learned it when I opened Google without a VPN, when I saw families with more than one child, and when I heard people speak out against the government. Before I moved to America, these things were just words on a piece of paper; I didn't know they truly existed. Each day was a new discovery, such as when I came to understand why my Mom named me Siqi. In Confucian Analects, Siqi means to be humble and to keep learning. I used to think my name was weird, but now I realize that no other names express my attitude towards life better than Siqi. With all of this new knowledge, now I am the mentor. I'm encouraging my friend back home in China who is preparing to study in America. I am sharing with her all my adventures, challenges, and insights about this "New Land." "I wish I was brave like you," she says. "I was just like you before: scared and lost. I know it's hard to take the first step, but the next step, and the steps after that, will be easier and easier." Looking back, the timid girl who was controlled by fear is no longer there; instead, she is running fearlessly under the sky, seeking the truth and exploring who and where she is.