My New Page
My New Page
Couple of years ago, my uncle said to my mother in a conversation, “the world is like a book, he who doesn’t travel, reads only one page” At that moment, I felt a deep relationship with those words he had said to my mother. I had just moved to America. I had lived in Nigeria since my birth; I had no idea what life was like outside Nigeria. However, I always imagined what it felt like being outside home. Then, I thought to myself, America’s my new page.
In March of 2012, I came to America from Nigeria with my father and three of my siblings to reunite with my mother. After a week, I was admitted into Lincoln Way North High School to as a freshman. The school was so different from my old school back at home. The students, way of life, sense of humor, rules and regulations, thoughts, and educational system were all different. Sometimes, I felt shy to talk to people because I have a thick Nigerian accent. It was difficult for both my fellow students and my teachers to understand what I said to them, even my name was difficult for them to pronounce. It was depressing, yet, I still tried to adapt to the American way of life by spending my time asking questions to some student that I managed to gain contact with.
After that semester, I decided to play soccer in the summer; it was my favorite sport. Since my team mates couldn’t say my name right, I reduced it from Chinemerem to Nem. The name Nem was a lot easier to pronounce. After some days of practice, they got to know me more and so did I know more about them and their country through some interactions we had. I participated in the soccer summer league, and during my first game I scored a goal. The match was between my team and Joliet Central High School. I got a thru pass from my team mate, and then I took the shot right into the goal while one of my opponents approached me. I rejoiced, running straight to the right corner flag of my opponents’ goal post, then I slid with my knees on the ground, shouting “goal”. My team mates all rejoiced with me by running after me and tapping my shoulders and my head. At that moment, I knew that I was accepted by those who I met in America and I have successfully blended into the new society I found myself.
Later, I was able to speak to the understanding of my peers and soccer team mates. I made it into the Junior Varsity soccer team of my school. Sophomore year started really interesting for me. I made new friends, met new teachers, and learned more about my new environment. More students and teachers wanted to know more about me, because they found me to be an interesting person. I still had problems in understanding some things about the culture in America. I finally mastered the humor the people around and was able to tell jokes and get the full feeling of belongingness.
In conclusion, my problems of fitting into my new environment was all gone. I was happy to finally see myself more similar to my peers. America was my new page, I loved it, read it and understood every part of it. A page could be read from a book, yet it won’t be loved or understood by its reader. Now, I have learned so much in America that I am able to see vividly both the differences and similarities of people in America and Nigeria.