While a high school education is a given for many Australians, a refugee who was resettled to the United States from an Australian immigration detention centre feels overwhelming survivor's guilt for living a life that most asylum seeker inmates only dream of.
Having just graduated from the Truman College of Chicago, Imran Mohammed Fazal Hoque is now up to speed with other students and looking to further his education at university, reports news.com.au.
Ahead of him is opportunity and hope — the chance to make the most of all that his new home offers.
It is a far cry from where he found himself until a few years ago, languishing in what he described as "prison" for four years on Manus Island.
He is a Rohingya refugee who fled his home country of Myanmar at 16, only to be detained on Manus Island at 19.
These days, he still keeps in touch with the men he came to know on Manus. They are a world away and the starkness between his existence and theirs fills him with pain, he said.
"I feel powerless and I feel guilty sometime, because they are still suffering on a daily basis but I am doing everything I can," Imran told news.com.au.
"It's really depressing when you talk to them because I was in their situation.
"I talk to them and call them and try to give them hope — I just don't want them to suffer with depression all day long, because I was there."
Imran had a sink-or-swim move to the United States, where he says he fought to overcome a number of difficulties.
He knew no-one and had to leave the family he had made on Manus, many of whom remain in the detention centre.
"All of my brothers and sisters who are still stuck in limbo, I just want their safety," he said.
"All they want is their freedom."
Imran was resettled in Chicago, thanks an agreement with the Obama Administration that promised to take 1250 refugees if Australia accepted more asylum seekers from Central America.
With Imran's new-found freedom, he worked tirelessly to fast-track the education he missed out on and advocate for refugees, often writing of his desolate experiences on Manus.
On his high school graduation, Imran posted on Facebook that his "eyes are still full of tears".
"No words today. I just want to thank all the wonderful people who have given me encouragement, support, motivation, and love. I couldn't have done it without all of your love. It is just the beginning. Heartfelt gratitude to the US," he wrote.
He has become a source of pride and hope for his family, most of whom remain in asylum in Bangladesh, a country that has absorbed the brunt of Myanmar's refugee crisis.
Imran particularly misses his mother, who he has not seen in eight years.
"It was really tough for me to explain things to my mother, like how I came to the United States," he said.
"Sometimes I take videos and send them to her, so she believes I am not on Manus, I am not in prison, I am free, I am living my life and pursuing my dreams."
His mother lives in limbo in Bangladesh, where according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the "latest exodus" of Rohingya in Myanmar forced more than 723,000 people to flee to the neighbouring country in search of safety.
"Most arrived in the first three months of the crises," the UNHCR said.
The Rohingya are a stateless people not recognised by Myanmar's constitution as citizens, nor as a minority. While the Rohingya were largely found in Myanmar's Rakhine state, today most live outside of Myanmar by necessity — to escape persecution.
Imran said that graduating high school was an overwhelming experience — a feat that many Rohingya refugees would ever achieve.
He is the only person in his family that has been able to study.
"I had never had the opportunity to go to school and I graduated from high school in seven months," he said. "I'm very happy, it feels unreal."
Imran said going to school in the US was not without its challenges. He had to learn a new education system, embrace technology and overcome cultural differences.
"I never had the opportunity to go to school and the education system is really different here. The teachers had no idea about my past."
When he first began his high school diploma, Imran said he did miss the occasional assignment as teachers would send all the information by email.
"I came from a [part of the] country that has no internet and no electricity, so you have to tell me," he said of his initial time studying.
"Everything was sent by email … the first couple of months were really tough but I worked really hard, so things make sense now."
Imran was dedicated to learning English while he was on Manus Island, with case workers smuggling him banned paper and pens so he could learn.
He took the opportunity to hone his speaking skills with staff on the island, a move he says helped him when he was resettled in Chicago.
"I was not allowed to have papers and I didn't have any books," he said.
"When I was there I used my fourteen hours a day to … chase all the teachers, all of the case workers. I wanted them to talk to me in English so I could improve my English, instead of focusing on the torture that was in place."
Imran said he will continue his education in the US, while advocating for refugees.
"I will do everything that I can to help or change their situation, I will continue to work for my brothers and sisters," he said.