Being a foreigner in any country can be a bit intimidating experience. Being the new girl in school is even worst. Especially when you start in April which is more than mid-way through the school year. The first few weeks were something else alright…
When I moved to America, and I started high school it was a somewhat horrible experience but I stuck it through like a pro (yeah me!). Upon disclosing my background, and opening my mouth (only for a strong, thick Jamaican accent to leave it), I was faced with prejudice and stereotype from some of the kids at the school.
I expected this naturally, but some of the questions I got showed plain ignorance on my American teen counterparts. I got questions like:
“So, did you know what house is before you moved here? I mean, did you live in a hut? Did you have flush toilets there (Jamaica)?.”
The questions would immediately be followed by snickers from the person asking the questions and friends. I was even told I would look better and pretty if I wore dreadlocks. Excuse me, WHAT?!
I know I am from a third-world country, but they had third world behaviour. I was like wow! The better part of me wanted to give a sarcastic response and be #PettyBetty by saying something truly mean. But of course, I did not respond to the questions with callowness. Instead answered their questions like a sophisticated and educated individual, and pushed through. The rest of my time high school time at that school, I aced my classes, made the Principal’s List and was even first in the entire 11th grade. Third world girl with a first world attitude and mindset.
However, I met some of the best people ever (excitement!). I met a once in a lifetime friend. One of the best ever. I also met a lot of people from the Caribbean, and we had a good thing going. So it wasn’t all bad.
Until next time…
– Tiffany ♥