Sometimes my name tag says Taylor 2.0. It’s a running joke with one of my coworkers; basically, we were arguing about who is better at their jobs, and I said, “You’re Taylor and I’m better, so I’m Taylor 2.0 now.” So that’s been my name tag ever since. It’s a fun joke at work and everyone says, “You don’t look like a Taylor.” And I say, “I don’t look like Taylor, but I’m Taylor 2.0, so that’s a different person.”
Hockey has definitely changed me as a person. I used to be so introverted and keep to myself, not have many friends, not talk to people. Hockey opened everything for me.
I’m from Rajasthan, India. Cricket is a religion in India and that’s what I used to play, amongst other sports, but when I came to Michigan Tech, I watched my first hockey game in October 2016 and I was like, “Okay, this game is something.” So I slowly started to follow the game, then I learned about Mitch’s Misfits and I joined them, and that just pushed me into hockey. I see my parents in Hockey Coach Joe Shawhan and his wife, Lauralee. Since we met, they’ve never let me feel like I am away from home. They have never thought of me anything short of a son and they always tell me that I am family. I probably can’t repay all the love I get from them.
I’ve been home twice since coming here, the summer after my freshman year and last fall for my sister’s wedding. My mom misses me a lot, she always texts me and calls me, “Please come home, please come home.” My dad is pretty opposite, he’s like, “Why do you want to come back home? Enjoy your life. Go visit different states, go explore the US. Just explore.”
I chose Michigan Tech because the number three has been a very lucky number for me. Michigan Tech was the third school on my list, I got accepted into Michigan Tech on February third, which is my birthday, and I left India for the US on August 3rd. I casually applied to Michigan Tech because it was a free application. I got accepted, learned as much as I could about it, and thought, “This place just feels right.”
Snow played a big factor because I had never seen snow in my life. Rajasthan is a really hot place and I was like, “Yeah, I need snow. I should see snow.” But when I came, I was like, “Oh, this is snow. This is the UP snow.” My surroundings went from like 45-50 degrees Celsius to like -10 to -15 degrees. It was fun adapting to it. And I had never been to the US before I applied to college, so the first time I came to the US was coming to start school. There’s only three things that force me to stay here: good education, so-good people, and hockey. You take one of those things out I might survive. If you take hockey out, I will definitely not survive.