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Migration refers to moving from one’s place of origin to another be it over a long distance or in the same region (Hernandez, 28). Migration is said to be nomadic and often, different people have distinct reasons for migration. They range from security, opportunities and migration can be either voluntary or in voluntary. The US is often associated with better opportunities and hence attracts many people to move to this country (Kasinitz et.al., 220).
When my family and I moved to the US, I was 14 years having just graduated from the tenth grade. Migration brings with it a lot of challenges and experiences that I had never experienced before. I believe that new experiences are supposed to make an individual and help them learn new things that are important us (Aswad & Bilgé, 67). Migration put my family through a lot of challenges which included living with my uncle. At that point in time, my parents did not have great jobs like back home. We had to adapt to new situations at an early age. As a child of an immigrant, my siblings and I had to go through many things and many challenges that affected us both psychologically and emotionally.
This refers to the feelings an individual develops when he or she is exposed to new events, cultures, and happenings that they are not used to (Kasinitz et.al., 220). When we went to America, I was shocked to see a 15 year old girl pregnant. This was a very big surprise to me as in Pakistan that was a taboo. When I joined High school, I experienced extremely different cultures that were so alien to me. Back in Pakistan, much as we were free with our teachers, there was some level of discipline that we had to observe. I was shocked to see students put their legs on top of the desk while the teacher was teaching. Being a Muslim, sex education was very alien to me, the simple fact that in America they teach sex education was very shocking. Seeing students have pre-marital relationships was another blow on me since back in Pakistan, such relationships are not only forbidden but they are also against our culture.
According to the book Balgopal (99), children like us have the best and worst times ever when we migrate. They assert that these children are most likely to end up in criminal acts and all sorts of wrong things, and somehow, I believe in this. The transition to new things and new events may be too overwhelming and in a bid to fit in people may indulge in all types of activities (Suárez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco, 112). The new ideals in school and at my internship were so unspeakable but they did not make me change to adapt the negative ideals. On the contrary, they made me work even harder.
Many are the times when I was frustrated; when I moved to America and joined high school, the teachers and administration took me back to the 10th grade. The fact that we were also living with my uncle was frustrating because I could not cope with the new changes. Back at home, we had a very big house and lived a very comfortable life. The fact that my parents did not have decent jobs at first, meant that we had to depend on their savings in Pakistan for several months. As a result, we had to forego many things. My parents were forced to go back to school before getting any form of decent employment. I was also forced to work as I studied in order to supplement the little money that we had. This is something that I was not used to and thus it came as culture shock to me.
My social life changed greatly especially after moving to America. Back in my country, I was used to a polite atmosphere; respect in school was a very natural thing for us we had been exposed to a British system of education. In the US, however, these are things that the students in America did not really take into account. The fact that the students are open with their teachers is scaring but I learnt that with time you get used to talking with the teachers openly. I made new friends and they helped me understand the American culture and thus improving my social status.
According to Hernandez and Donald (34), a research carried out on the lives of Immigrants shows that among the factors that affect immigrants include education, idiom, the economy, job openings and bias on some sectors among other things. These did affect me when my family and I moved to the US. Though we did not face discrimination or language barrier, economy, social changes and education had an effect on us.
Just like many other immigrants, my family and I migrated to the US in search of greener pastures (Balgopal, 99). So far, we have achieved all those and more but somehow we have all experienced the changes in a different way. We have come to adapt to the American culture with time and are now adjusting to a new life. We all are trying to adapt to the changes that affect us day in day out. Compared to the theories of sociology, we do face the challenges that any immigrant faces in this life. I have learnt to positively embrace the challenges that come with being an immigrant. We choose to go with the positive and that is what has kept us going.