I remember my first day arriving in the United States as a very confusing day for me. I think being so young, I was not aware of what was going on around me or where I was going. My parents told me we were going to the US and at the time the only thing that I knew about the US and the only vision I had of the US was New York City. Coming from an Eastern European Balkan country, essentially that was the only thing displayed in the media. Being so young I did not really know anything. I did not know that English was the language that was spoken. I did not know anything about American culture or that there were even states. I thought the whole country looked like New York. I was expecting skyscrapers and yellow taxi cabs when I landed. But I landed in Detroit and I remember being greeted by my family. I did not really know who any of them were or why they were so happy to see me. But, I remember looking outside the car window when driving away from the airport and asking my mom why the houses looked so small. I was so shocked because I had grown up in downtown Athens and this was the first time I had seen a suburban town where all the houses looked the same. I remember turning to my mom and asking her why the houses were so small because the only view of a house that I knew were apartment complexes in downtown Athens. So, I was really confused and I had no concept of what the suburbs were. My first day here was filled with confusion. I did not know what anything was or why it looked the way it did. It was on another extreme of what I was used to and I think it created a lot of confusion for me. If I had to wrap it up in one word it could be confusing. And that in itself created a lot of fear due to the fact that everything was so foreign and new. It was terrifying not knowing what to expect or have a visual in my mind of what it was supposed to look like.
* The contributor of this story has asked that their name be withheld.