Reflective Essay: Moving To The Dominican Republic

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My parents and I moved to the Dominican Republic when I was thirteen years old. Living there as a young American came with many challenges. One of the biggest threats against foreigners was violence, and within a year I experienced it firsthand. A week before school began I was mugged by two assailants: a man on a motorcycle and another man on foot. I remember the day so well because it was the first time my parents allowed me to explore without supervision. I quickly learned why they were initially so protective of me, a rattling reminder that I was no longer in the same safe and familiar place where I grew up. As I walked down the street I heard a motorcycle behind me, but thought nothing of it. I did not bring any tools to protect myself, assuming I would be safe as long as I stayed relatively close to my house. But before I could blink the man on the motorcycle…show more content…
Throughout my life I have seen how this skill helped me in handling adversity and coping with personal tragedy. After the incident I was fearful, but found solace in my schoolwork, with school acting as the one place where I felt safe. My hard work translated into a strong academic performance. While to many of my classmates schoolwork felt like a chore, to me it was a reprieve from the stresses of my dangerous new home environment. But as I began to finally feel comfortable another issue came up. My parents divorced, and I was forced to stay with my father in the Dominican Republic while my mother moved back to New York City. I was a senior in high school at the time, and was told I had to finish my studies before moving. Despite my frustrations I once again channelled my energy into being proactive, knowing that this was the best way to act when faced with a challenge. The harder I worked, the better my chances of doing well enough to dictate my own life, to live where I
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