Family Is What Matters Most

By Candela Touceda  |   From : Argentina  |   School : Everglades High School

My name is Candela Touceda, I am 17 years old, and I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I moved to Baltimore, Maryland when I was only 2 years old after my dad lost his job in Argentina and was offered one in Baltimore. I don’t remember much about it, but I do remember missing my family terribly. My grandma would cry every time we talked on the phone and whenever they came to visit us or we went to visit them, the goodbyes were extremely painful and tearful.


My parents never planned to actually stay in the U.S., even though my brother and I were thriving there. We are very close to our family and being so far away from them was painful, so they were ready to take any opportunity to get back to Argentina. When my dad was offered a job in Chile, they didn’t hesitate. We were sad that we were going to be saying goodbye to our friends but we were happy that we were going to be close to our family.


Our time in Chile didn’t go quite as planned. I had no trouble making friends and adapting to my new situations, and my parents, too, made a lot of friends, all Argentinians. But my parents struggled to adjust, as Chile is so much more different to Argentina than they were expecting. My brother, on the other hand, suffered horribly. He really missed his friends from Baltimore and had a really hard time making new ones. In Chile, my brother was diagnosed with Asperger’s after meeting with several specialists because of depression he had fallen in because of the extreme bullying he was suffering.


We lived in Chile for only 3 years but he went to 2 different schools and was so horribly depressed that he had already planned how he was going to commit suicide. I only found this out when we moved to Miami and cried for hours when I heard it.


Eventually, my parents decided that the only solution was to return to the U.S. Therefore, my father went to his boss and asked him for a transfer. He was offered a job in Miami soon after.


When we came to the U.S. my personality changed drastically. Losing all the friends you have ever had makes it quite difficult to make new ones. I used to be a social butterfly, but i became very shy and developed anxiety, which made it very hard for me to talk to anybody I didn’t know. Because of this I dove into my studies and became a straight A student with only 2 close friends that I’ve had since seventh grade.


My parents and I have become increasingly closer, as well, because they have been the only constant in my life. Now they are my best friends and leaving them for college is one of my biggest fears.


I have also developed a new passion. My favorite thing in the world is reading. I’ve discovered that when my life gets boring or I’m tired of being myself, books have always given me the opportunity to live in a new world.


My journey has brought me to where I am now. I am a dedicated student with a passion for reading, who loves her family and friends with her whole heart and is grateful for everything life has given her.

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