Mingrui (Lily) Gong Amount of time in America -- 2 ½ She came here in 2013 right before her 14th birthday. When her dad and she first got here, they realized the transportation system was really different from China. In China, you could take a bus or taxis and go wherever you wanted to go, but in America almost everyone had their own car. They went to her dad’s professor’s house for a day or two. They were surprised that families that weren’t wealthy had houses. . In China, only wealthy people could afford a house. Many families in China, like her family, only had an apartment with two or three rooms.
When she went to a public school in her freshmen year, she was so afraid to talk people because she thought that people would judge her by her accent and English mistakes. She was scared on the first day of school; nobody seemed to want to talk to her.. She felt like she was a stranger. After a while, she started to realize that she couldn’t join a single conversation at the school. She was alone and the only thing she could do was study. She remembers that, in her government class in 9th grade, she didn't understand anything the teacher said. She was shy and the only joy she had was when she practiced with the orchestra and did community service. When she came to Athens Academy as a sophomore, only one person said hi to her on her first day. Nobody ever asked her interest or what she felt of being here. She felt lonely but it got better when she connected with religion.. “I started to realize that nobody can ever judge me; only God can judge me,” she says. When nobody came close to me, I would come to them.” But if someone came here, she would tell them to come and find her. She would be willing to introduce the school to him/her because she understands how it feel to be ignored when you are new.