Posted by : VANITY Blog Friday, 29 November 2013




As I  sit in front of my computer and stare at the blank document with that annoying cursor that is continuously blinking in front of me, I wonder and wander what to write and share to the rest of the world. But mostly, I am thinking about what I will tell you.

You see, there are a lot of things that I want to tell you. But I don’t know where to start and how exactly I am going to tell you. I want to say it in a way that you will understand –maybe not today but someday.  Someday when you finally figure out how to navigate your way into this place you now call home. Into the life that you are unfamiliar with but will later call your own. Someday when that frown and confusion will turn into smile and realization. Someday when you are the one sitting in front of the computer and thinking about what you will tell them.

If I am going to tell you something, it might sound like this.

I will tell you that it is okay to be nervous on your first day of school. It is okay to feel that heart pounding against your chest. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. And remember, that you are not first person that felt that way. And if they survived their first day – you will, too!

I will tell you not to feel awkward and perhaps a little embarrassed about your accent. It will always be a part of who you were, who you are and who you will be in the future. It will always be a reminder of a place you once called home, a part of your identity and something that makes you even more special.

I will tell you that as you adapt into the new ways of living in your new home, you may or may not have a lot of questions about your identity. You may question who you will give your loyalty to. You may or may not question where you stand and where you really want to be. So I will tell you, you don’t have to choose. You can have the best of both worlds. You can love both without being guilty. You can love your home country and your new home at the same time. No one will take that away from you because that will always be a part of you.

I will tell you that as time passes by, you will have a lot of experiences –good and bad. So the best thing that you can do is take something from it, learn from it and use what you have learned as you move forward.

I will tell you, that someday, you are going to look back and realize how far you are from where you started. And you may be confused right now, but I will tell you, it gets better.

But the most important thing that I will tell you is that it is always up to you. No matter what I say or what other people will say, it is up to you to make the best of everything around you. It is you and only you that will decide what to make of and do with what you have. It is up to you to paint the world as you see it fit. It is up to you to decide where you want to be and who you want to be. It is up to you to become the best version of yourself and embrace the experiences you will have along the way. It is you who can tell what you can and what you cannot do.

As I look up and read what I have written – or typed, I realized that I have a lot more things to tell you. But if I will tell you something, it will definitely sound like this.


- Janine

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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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