New Environment Essay

Can anyone help me strengthen this essay? I want to make it sound more mature and less kiddy.
General suggestions and corrections will be appreciated. Thank you for your time.

"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." These wise words of Frank A. Clark truly reveal my belief about hardships in life. Without hardships and struggle, there is no practical learning in life. Once people overcome life's hurdles, they become stronger and ready to accept the new challenges that await them. To truly be a well rounded student, I believe that one must push past the hardships in life while diligently maintaining one's academic career.

Since as far back as I can remember I have always found myself to be entirely dedicated to whatever I strive for, whether that may be academics, sports, or any other goal oriented activity. I specifically remember once being told that I had a unique sense of dedication and organization for a middle school student. I was given this compliment by one of my 6th grade science teachers, while we were dissecting a pig's heart. I was primarily doing all the dissecting, while the other students in my group were gagging from the foul smell of the organ. I remember working very diligently, not letting anyone distract me. Simultaneously, I was directing my partners to start labeling parts of the heart on our group paper, and documenting the new things we were learning in the process. I made sure that everyone around me was actively participating and learning from our project. I have always felt that leadership potential inside myself, and always enjoyed the feeling of learning as a group.

Near the end of my 8th grade of middle school, I was given some distressing, life changing news. My parents came to my room, and told me that we were going to move half way across the country to Houston, TX. For a young boy about to start high school with his friends, that was probably the worst news in the world. Until middle school, the only place I had ever called home was the great city of New York. The thought of leaving family, friends, and everyone I loved scared me. Moving to Houston, a place I rarely heard of, besides when it came to basketball news, was one of my most difficult obstacles as a child. It was definitely one that would test my strengths and weaknesses, especially my ability to adapt to a totally new environment. However, days of pondering about moving to a new city and reassurance from my parents that the move was for the better, the thought became less frightening. I was going to have to learn how to make a whole new set of friends and adapt to the Houston lifestyle. So, after 8th grade I began high school in an entirely new city, away from all the friends I had made in my early childhood. I found myself to be more adaptive to the new life than I had expected. In barely a couple of weeks I had made many new friends and joined some school volunteering organizations such as the Octagon club. I was excelling academically as well, something my parents worried would be affected due to the change of location. I was really proud of myself for being so strong and having the ability to overcome the hurdle life threw at me. In this regard, I truly feel that I was put in an difficult circumstance, and managed to overcome it to the best of my ability.

Further on in life, when I was in the 11th grade, I was put to the test with some extremely hard classes, and handling a job at the same time. I had a tough schedule when I look back at it now. Not only was I taking honors courses, such as Physics, English AP, History AP, and Pre Calculus, but I was working as an after school tutor as well. Whenever my friends saw my schedule they said I was very courageous for taking on such responsibility at a young age. This was because my schedule was unique when compared to my friends'. I had friends who worked after school just as much as me, but they weren't in any honors or AP classes. On the other hand, I had friends who were in the same honors classes as me, but didn't work after school. One thing I made sure of was not to let my GPA decline at all; rather it became even better than before. I really felt like I stood apart from the crowd my age due to my performance. Although it was difficult initially, I felt that I could take up responsibility and manage to keep up with my academic work as well. I felt quite mature after my junior year in high school and ready for the other obstacles in my life.

Throughout my life, I have been faced with many obstacles that led to building up my character and making me an even better student.

Whether it was being able to adapt to a new environment or juggling between work and academics, I felt like I overcame the hurdles in my life quite effectively. These hardships tested me quite vigorously both as a student and as an individual. It really took a solid determination to push past all the struggles and maintain my GPA. I learned how to persevere academically without being distracted by all the complications that arose around me. I also learned a great deal about me, in terms of the subjects which I enjoyed and excelled at as well. I earned my best grades in my math and science classes, subjects which are the foundation of my major, Petroleum engineering. I feel that petroleum is going to remain cornerstone to innovations in the rapidly expanding industrial world, and I want to remain in the forefront of this field helping in designing new innovations for the modern world. It might sound strange, but I am thankful for the hardships, because I believe that without them I wouldn't be person that I am today. I believe that the struggles that I have endured have molded me enough to truly flourish at the University of XXXXXX and that I will be able to attain new heights in my academic career at this fine institution.

Adapting to a New Environment
Human beings are very adaptable. We can live in most climates of the world. In the past, people tended to stay in the place they were born, but now we move easily from countryside to city, from one part of a country to another, and even from country to country. Each place has its own customs and ways of lie. And countries also have different languages. When I moved to America from Indonesia, I had to make several adjustments to my life.
America has 4 seasons (summer, autumn, winter, and spring), while Indonesia has only 2 seasons (rainy and dry). I had never lived in a 4-seasons-country before. My clothes were all for the rainy and dry seasons only, I didn’t have any thick clothes for being in winter season, that’s why I had to buy some special clothes seasonally. I don’t think I could survive in winter if I only wore t-shirt and trousers. I had to adjust about how I dress myself seasonally.
Americans have different customs with Indonesians. For example, Indonesians have a well-known habit and that is about being unpunctual while Americans place a high value on punctuality. If you make plans with someone, you should be there when you say you will. Three to five minutes early is even better, because it shows that you are really looking forward to spending time with the other person. Most people will allow five or maybe ten minutes late, but more than that is considered bad form. Not showing up at all--called "standing someone up"--is considered very rude and, unless you have a very good reason, the other person may never want to make plans with you again. The rule to remember is show up a few minutes early or on time. If you must be late, phone the other person at once and explain why. Do not be late repeatedly, and never stand someone up unless you absolutely cannot avoid it. That’s why I had to adjust and leave the old Indonesian’s habit behind.
In Indonesia the laws are applied but they are not as strict as in America. For...

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