My Journey to the US

A lot of people when they meet me, they ask me why I came to the US, why I stayed or just how I got here. I arrived in the U.S. in August of 2014 for an exchange program that was supposed to be only 6 months. I went to a private high school in a very small town called Granby, Massachusetts. The whole idea was to do only one semester to improve my English and just to have the experience, but I stayed for the whole year. I realized when I finished my junior year here that it didn’t make sense going back home anymore, so I stayed and graduated high school. After that, I applied to college, got in and kept living here.

It’s crazy for me to think that I am currently in my fifth year in the United States. I feel happy, sad, nostalgic and weird all at the same time. I think of all the things I have been through. A lot of people don’t understand what is coming to a country without knowing the culture or speaking the language fluently. It is scary to put yourself in a foreign place that you don’t know or if it will work out for you. There are many ups and downs, but I certainly think that there are way more benefits to allowing yourself to this kind of experience. First, you grow as a person. I say this because you get to know yourself very well since you are technically living by yourself. You learn what it is to be independent and to solve your own problems. You notice who truly cares about you and who doesn’t. You open your mind to other cultures, knowledge, and people. It enriches you! Of course, the downs are missing your family and friends and not having that support that you always had. Sometimes you are not accepted, and that is ok. You learn from those experiences. I came to the U.S. alone, moved to college by myself and sometimes I know that many people couldn’t do that, but I did, and I am proud.

I think that coming to the U.S. and staying was probably the best decision I ever made. Yes, I have been through a lot and still am, but I think that this whole adventure made me a better person and made me open my eyes to the world. I wish everyone could have the opportunity to feel the way I feel. It is truly amazing seeing myself where I am now and remembering where I once was. I know I still have a lot to live and deal with, but I know I can get through it because honestly the harder part already happened. The message I want you guys to take from my “journey” is that you never know what effect a simple decision can have on your life and that we are able to do more than we think we can. Allow yourselves to live and learn from everything you experience.