Even after moving to far away places, Vinod Rajakrishna keeps the memories close to his heart


Lucky amongst the more than 1,000 students at FHC, Vinod Rajakrishna has had the opportunity to live in several places throughout his lifetime. And, through these experiences, Vinod has developed a strong sense of character.

Vinod has lived in three other places besides Michigan throughout his life—two of them being out of state.

He was born in Michigan, and, at the age of seven, he moved out of the country to Shanghai, China. After living there for three years, Vinod moved to the very sunny Tampa, Florida where he lived for another year. Heading out of the country again, his most recent destination was Shelton, England where he lived until about half-way through the seventh grade for a year-and-a-half.

Within all of this traveling, it seems like it would be difficult to maintain an exceptional academic record and social life, but Vinod has learned to adjust during his ever-changing life.

“[The moving throughout my lifetime has] not really [affected my academic or social life],” Vinod said. “Academic-wise, it takes a little bit to get used to because everywhere has really different schooling styles, and how you learn is really different from everything.”

Fortunately, living in so many different places has allowed him to evolve his learning style throughout the course of his academic career. 

“[My favorite learning style that I experienced was] probably England,” Vinod admitted, “because it is completely different compared to here. We went to school from eight to six, and we also had school on Saturday—which sucked, but it gave us the chance to get close to people because you would be basically around them for your whole day, and we would get really long breaks.”

After traveling to all these different places, Vinod still carries many memories with him to this day. Even though he was living his early years in say Michigan, he can still recall specific situations; whether they were good or bad.

“In Michigan, when I was 3, I cracked my head open on a wall,” Vinod said. “I had to get 7 staples.”

Vinod still has the scar from the mishap to this day, and even though this is definitely not the fondest memory of his childhood years, it just goes to show that he has carried many memories with him—no matter what kind.

Another memory he recounted was something physical from his days playing soccer in a league in China. 

“[In China], I played soccer there,” Vinod shared. “I won ‘best player in the district’ which was definitely my favorite moment there. I had a league that I went to every Saturday, and I was only like ten or eleven so it wasn’t really much, but we just went there every Saturday for a really long time. And then, I didn’t really realize it, but at the end-of-the-season awards, we won the league. They told me to come up, and they gave me this big trophy which I still have today.”

Although he has physical remembrances in the forms of a scar and a trophy, he can still recall more emotional and visual occurrences as well.

In Vinod’s days in England, he went on one special school trip that he still can look back on today—even in the absence of a physical object as a reminder.

“As a school trip, we had to climb Mount Snowdon,” Vinod said. “I think it was like 12,000-15,000 feet, and we got to do it as a school which was really fun because we camped there for like three days.”

In moving from place to place, it can be easy to lose a sense of self within all the different places visited. For Vinod, being open to new things and seeing new cultures has only helped to define him more.

“Just be yourself no matter what,” Vinod stated. “Don’t try to change who you are and what you are doing—even if you go to a lot of places, just be yourself because that’s how you are going to make friends.”