I had traveled a long distance from Ethiopia in order to be with my parents who had been here for four years, hoping America would help my future. Anxiety started taking over. I was on my way for my first day of school in America. I was scared, nervous words can’t describe how I was feeling. I didn’t know anybody.
I realized I would probably never see most of them again, especially the British counselors, many of whom had never been to America before that summer. Of course I could go back next summer if I wanted to, but it wouldn’t be the same. Everyone would be replaced with a whole new group of people that I would come to know and love then never see again. As these realizations hit me, I started to feel numb. After saying goodbye to everyone, fetching my luggage, and scrubbing off the mold that had started to grow on my shower basket, I slumped over to my mom’s good old gray Kia Sportage.
I started thinking of all the things that would change, such as a new school, new neighborhood and new friends. My parents, my sister and I were inside the airport now heading over to the security check. My brother wasn't with us because he couldn't wait to get to California and start his new university, his love for California started when we went for a trip to Los Angeles. After we went through the security check we sat by our gate and waited. “Check it out, so many planes are landing” my sister exclaimed.
Coming To America Moving from my village in Nairobi, Kenya seemed like a very distant and unimaginable situation which I gave no thought to at that moment in time. However, that soon changed when the news of our departure to a new country came to our doorsteps. My family and relatives were happy for us and as they gave their farewells but I felt longing to stay and not leave a place where I called home for so many years.
A four year ago, I moved from Ethiopia to United State. When I was little I always wanted to go school in the U.S., so, we moved the summer before my freshman year in high school. I was enjoying summer, I visited my sibling in Washington and spend half of my summer in their house, I loved it. School started in August that year and I was excited. After a week of school, I realized what people saw when I talked.
It was 7:05am on a Thursday morning, when I had woken. I lied down in my bed gazing at the ceiling as my obnoxious alarmed screamed at me to get up and prepare for another day of school. I was beyond exhausted. It was November 17th. Thanksgiving break was just around the corner waiting for me to relax and get my mind off the prison we call school.
At 5:45 AM the alarm on my phone blared some generic default tone that I had never gotten around to changing. This was probably the earliest I’ve ever gotten up in my entire life. I groggily removed myself from the pile of blankets on the floor that I had been sleeping in and headed for the shower, brushed my teeth, washed my face and searched my near empty closet for something to wear on my first day of school. Although I was absolutely exhausted and there was yet to be any furniture in my room, I was thrilled to be transferring to Pattonville High School in midst of my junior year and living in a bigger house in a better community.
It was a normal morning in my house. As usual, my dad woke me up and I got ready for my day. I moped out to the kitchen where my breakfast was waiting. When I walked onto the bus and arrived at school. I walked into Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School and walked into my first grade room.
Fifty-two chapters, thousands of girls, timeless friendships through sisterhood, one big family. I’ve always known that I wanted to move away from home for greater opportunities and experiences. Although my parents were very optimistic about my decisions and the route I chose, it was difficult to leave home. The five-hour flight alone, the lonesome nights without my family, the horrifying first day speeches and upperclassmen, having no car to get around, and maybe the possibility of not liking your dorm roommates.
I thought to myself “why is this school huge.” As I enter the school, I slowly walk looking at all the other kids, most are in groups and everyone is talking and laughing and smiling when i’m walking alone, not talking to anyone and forcing a fake smile on my face. I feel very small, like I was an ant roaming around in the wild. “ I should of stay at my old school”, I whisper to Bensalem High School. As I walk forward
I’ll never forget how I felt the first time I walked into Prairie Ridge High School. I was surrounded by approximately sixteen hundred other students and I knew exactly none of them. I had never been that alone before and when I walked through the cafeteria doors, I felt the first seed of doubt that maybe I should have stayed in Union, with my mom. At that moment, I wanted to turn around and run out of Prairie Ridge, hop in the car, and drive the four hundred miles back to my friends, my teammates, and the majority of my family. Instead, I took a deep breath and sat down.
Right when I woke up, I jumped out of my bed and just remembered in my mind that I’m immigrating to america. I was excited like those 10 monkeys jumping on the bed, but I felt sad because I had to leave my friends and family at Israel. I went on a horribly boring car trip to the airport. I
As I saw the world of America as soon we landed, I knew that I had an opportunity to succeed if I tried my best. My mom, my dad, my brother; no one knew how to speak English. We had to get help from my aunt to find a house and fill in the application for attending school. I attended Strawberry Point Elementary School in San Francisco without knowing any English. I was scared, yet determined to succeed.
Imagine what it is like to be seven years old moving to a country where you don’t know anyone, you don’t understand the language, and everything seems foreign. When I first arrived to the United States, I didn’t have friends due to my inability to speak English. It wasn’t an easy journey, but my determination to achieve the American Dream gave me strength to keep going. I decided to take English courses during my free time, and now I am a great writer who is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Why am I still going to this charter school which doesn 't provide transportation? Why couldn 't my dad be here picking me up instead of the hospital? My future seemed highly uncertain and my grades were dropping. I tried my best to power through my newest challenge. I reminded myself of a past challenge of working through and successfully adapting to America.