Posted by : Unknown Friday, 29 November 2013

1)      Early excitement

At this stage, you are very excited about a lot of things. That’s normal. You are new to this country, so you try to imagine all the amazing possibilities that can happen to you in this new place. You think about the new friends you will make, the new places you will visit, and the different type of freedom you will experience in this country. For those of you who moved from a tropical country, you might be excited about winter and/or the snow. (I must admit I was at the beginning!) Then come winter, you'll be disappointed to find out that the snow melts so fast because of rain.

2)      Shock and longing

At this stage, you realize that moving from one place to another is not that easy, especially if this is your first time doing so. After being excited for the first few weeks, you now feel overwhelmed. You now know that your life here will never be the same as your life in your motherland. You realize that it will take a lot of time before you build friendships as meaningful as the ones you have made in your home country. You start to miss your best friends and relatives back “home”. Feeling like you can’t cope up with the changes that are fazing you, you constantly debate with yourself trying to figure out whether moving here is the right choice or not. Tears may or may not be part of this stage.

3)      Gradual adaptation

After being overwhelmed with your new surroundings, you now realize that there’s no better person to help you with your adjustment but yourself. You now start making friends with people who understand you and whom you understand. You slowly let go of your fears. You begin trying out new things, becoming involved in your community, and exploring the city you’re in.

4)      Optimism and renewed excitement

After letting your guard down, excitement starts to fill your mind and heart again. You are once again excited about the numerous opportunities that this country offers.  You start discovering your potential, which empowers you to remain involved in your school or community. You now regularly hang out with your newfound friends, and you enjoy their company a lot. Waking up for school is now less dreadful than it was during the first month of school. Now, you look forward to living a new exciting life in this country—as a student and as a youth.

5)      Continuous swim between the currents of two (or more) cultures

You are now well adjusted to your life in this country, but that does not mean that there will not be times when you will suddenly miss your motherland again. Every now and then, you think about what your life could have turned out to be if you did not emigrate your home country at all. You will constantly ask yourself where your true “home” is. Oftentimes, there will be no clear answer. That is okay, because here’s the truth: the country that you left, and the country that you are now in are, in one way or another, both your homes now. Do not worry about being confused as to where your true loyalty lies. Even though you now are having a blast in this country, you will still long for some memories that you created in your native country. You can never entirely abandon your love for either country. So there’s no point debating where your true home is. Just remind yourself of how blessed you are to have two places that you can call home--not everyone is given that chance.

- Sean

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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.





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