Prajeet Pounraj embraces moving and all of the new experiences it brings


From India, Japan, California, and finally Michigan, it seems like freshman Prajeet Pounraj has traveled everywhere. Through it all, he remains positive about every move.

Prajeet grew up in India but found himself moving all over the world, his family following wherever his dad’s job took them.

“I have experience moving schools,” Prajeet said. “I’ve moved schools almost every single year since I was a kid. I’ve been to nine schools already.”

Prajeet moved to the United States after his brother, Hitesh, made plans to attend UC Davis, a college in California. He lived there until this year, eventually making his way to Michigan.

Despite moving all over the world, Prajeet does not see it as a bad thing.

“I like moving to new places,” Prajeet said. “I get to know more people– more places. It’s like traveling around the world, and I love traveling.”

Even though Prajeet moves to a new school every couple of years, this doesn’t affect him. He sees it as a transition– simply a thing he’s adjusted to. No matter where Prajeet goes, he finds friends in all places.

Back in California, Prajeet’s family would often rent a farmhouse and fill it with friends and family to celebrate holidays, something that he has yet to experience in Michigan due to how recent his move was.

“I know more people in California, so I used to spend the holidays better there,” Prajeet said. “Here, I spend it with three to four families. Over there, we’d have 13 families in one house for the whole night. It used to be so fun. [In Michigan] it’s small, but okay.”

Despite the vast changes such as the differences in the way classes work and on which side the driver sits in the car, he has found things to enjoy here in the Michigan like snow and the lower driving age.

I like moving to new places. I get to know more people– more places. It’s like traveling around the world, and I love traveling.”

— Prajeet Pounraj

Everywhere Prajeet goes, he tries to bring different aspects of the culture from the places he visits with him. His favorite so far is India’s.

“My favorite part was the religious holidays because you got to do something fun,” Prajeet said. “We burned fireworks. We’d throw colored powder at people and squirt water. In festivals, there’s a lot of fun things you can do.”

Prajeet loved that everything was so close and that he could access just about anything without a car. And although most people would like to stay away from busy streets and large crowds, Prajeet enjoyed it, along with the amount people he could meet.

“India is a very crowded place,” Prajeet said. “It’s very fun being there because there’s a lot of people around you. It’s more interactive, and people there are very nice. The place is full of cultures– it’s a multilingual country. It’s pretty cool.”

In India, Prajeet learned to speak four of the 22 spoken languages, not including the computer languages he also picked up after his brother found a passion for programming.

Prajeet looks up to his brother Hitesh, enjoying the same things he does and taking on his brother’s passions.

“If [Hitesh] likes something, I live under his influences,” Prajeet said. “When I was a little kid, I got it in my mind that if he likes cars, I just want to be like my brother, so I like cars. That’s why I got into a car craze. He [also] used to love computers and all types of electronics.”

Although his brother has moved on from his passion for programming, that’s one aspect Prajeet did not copy. He has learned two computer languages: C++ and Python. He even made some of his own games, one being a version of the game Flappy Bird.

Despite the constant changes in scenery and having to say goodbye to new-found family and friends, Prajeet makes the best of the moves. He keeps his favorite aspects of the places he’s been to with him and embraces all the change that comes with moving.

“I wouldn’t say [the moves impacted me],” Prajeet said. “I would say it was more of a transition. I’ve been the same in every way. I get to meet new people, new behaviors, new cultures. It’s not really a [negative impact] towards me.”