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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

I Call Myself a Dreamer

By Adriana C.  |   From : Mexico  |   School : Shawnee Mission North High School

I Call Myself a Dreamer

The first day of school in a country outside of my own was hard, but I learned that hard does not mean impossible. Being in a panic but also being anxious at the same time is unusual. However, this is exactly how it felt to meet the infamous public school of the United States.

It was the first day of school but only for high school freshmen. I took the bus at 7:00 a.m. I was extremely nervous, and I knew that my mom was anxious too. She and my dad accompanied me to the bus stop. When I got out of the bus at school, all the students had to go to the auxiliary gym. That moment was literally the beginning of my nightmare. To be honest, I wanted to shed tears and run away. I wished to be invisible. I remember that I was standing next to a wall and a girl came to me and told me, “What is your last name?” Now I understand what she said, but in that moment I was not certain. I did not understand any words in English, honestly, I felt completely foolish. Just then, I found a boy who spoke Spanish. So I asked him, “¿Qué es lo que tengo que hacer?” and he explained to me that I had to find my schedule. After that, he introduced me to three girls. We went inside the gym to see the “Welcome to the freshmen” program. I did not understand anything, and I did not know anyone. I looked around the gym thinking “¿Qué es lo que estoy haciendo aquí? Esta no soy yo.” It was that moment I had a homesick problem. Really I do not remember if lunch was after the assembly or between classes. Anyways, I remember that I did not eat anything during lunch because I felt too melancholic. Everyone around me was speaking English, and I did not have an idea what they were saying. In fact, I thought they were gossiping about me. I wished to be in my home with my mommy. A short while later, one of the girls helped me find my classes. I met a sweet, cordial and friendly teacher. She was wearing a blue dress with white lines. Her name is Ms. Andrade. Also, I met a tall and fancy teacher Mrs. Madrigal. They are my English teachers to whom I am very thankful for helping me.

The worst part of my nightmare came at the end when I took the bus home. I got off the bus one stop too early, so I got lost. I was not far from my home, but in that moment for me, I was a thousand miles away. I was walking around the streets, really I was in a panic and two men outside of a house looked at me in a creepy way. I was scared and almost in tears. Suddenly, literally, an angel appeared. She was an old sweet woman, and she talked to me. That angel did not speak Spanish, so I did not how she would understand me. She hugged me, and she was so sweet with me. I had my uncle’s phone number in my notebook. She called my uncle, and he picked me up. That woman hugged me again. I said goodbye to her and thank you so much. Afterward, I got home my mom and hugged me tightly as she asked, “¿Cómo estuvo tu primer día de escuela?” I lied to her, I said “bien, nada mal,” but really the day was awful and shameful.

I used to cry while I was taking a shower or before going to bed. To tell this story and write about it is sorrowful. To be honest, my eyes are full of tears as I write this anecdote. Despite this story being difficult to write, it is good to tell the world one of my stories as an immigrant in the United States. Maybe people around the world have already passed through a similar situation as mine and will understand me. But others who cannot relate can benefit from understanding the challenges of being an immigrant. The last point that I cherish to say is; go for your dreams and goals. We are already champions. We can go for more, and never give up when life is hard because hard does not mean life impossible.

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