Falling Down, Getting Up: Moving Forward in America
When I came to America, as I got off the airplane and walked through the gate, I saw people with different colors of hair, people with different colored eyes. a lot of people walking by. Some people were talking on their phones and some were with their families, smiling. Suddenly, it hit me: The place where I stand right now is in another country. I have to use another language which I wasn’t really familiar with. My parents used to be the ones who were in charge of me, but now I realized, everything is on me. I have to plan everything -- what should I eat, what should I do -- because no one is going to help me to live in this country, a country I never knew before.
It was 6 pm in the afternoon. The sky was mixed with orange, red and blue. It was so beautiful here, Unlike Shanghai, where most days I only saw two colors -- grey and white. And I was alone. Here. I could never forget the sky from that day.There were times in dreams that I think my friends and family are just hours away from me and I could just take a bus to meet them. But after I wake, I realized we are thousands of miles apart. Nobody is here with me. But it’s okay. This is the process of growing up.
When we came here as international students, we knew that we were going to leave all of our family members and friends. There wasn’t going to be anyone to accompany us. We knew we were going to be independent. We knew that we would fall down probably thousands of times before we could fit into the environment. We knew we had to start all over again, as if we were 6 or 7 years old, when the world was new. We had to learn everything from the beginning. We had to learn how to grow up by ourselves. We all went abroad alone at the age of 14 or 15, when most young people struggle with friends and school. For us, most of these problems had to be overcome very early, at an accelerated pace, and without our parents to guide us. Most people would consider this to be a bad thing, but we consider this to be a good thing, something that has made us stronger and given us the ability to look at the world through other people’s eyes. We have stumbled more than other people, but, with each stumble, we pick up a piece of treasure that we will carry through our lives.