I moved here my senior of high school four years back. On my first day of school, there was a lot of culture shock from the moment I walked in. I was used to wearing a school uniform, so coming here and watching people dress differently every single day was a big adjustment. It seems trivial now, but back then it was very tough. The school wasn’t racially diverse and I think that made it a little bit tougher. When you interact with kids who have no exposure to diversity, it is very hard for them to understand where you’re coming from. Questions like, “how do you know English?” or “ did you learn English in India” showed that lack of exposure could make it hard to understand a person. Other than that, it was very overwhelming because you don’t know a single person and don’t know how you’re going to survive the rest of the year. It’s kind of scary at that point because you don’t know if you made the right decision but now it’s too late to go back. Those are some of the thoughts going through your head. Everyone was super nice but it’s very difficult to feel comfortable or feel at home because everything seems so superficial. It took me a while to get used to stuff. So, the first day was really overwhelming but I think its important to remind yourself that though it’s going to take a while to get used to things, you made the decision to come here for a particular reason.
* The contributor of this story has asked that their name be withheld.