By Enson Yu
To most Chinese people, moving to the United States is a dream because they think they can get more opportunities. Compared to China, the United States can provide a better life to its citizens. Also, people can get a better education here. Because of these reasons, my family decided to move to the United States.
About 20 years ago, some of my family members moved to the States, but it wasn’t until 2010 that my parents and I got permission to move here. On Dec. 18, we left China and flew to the States. I felt so sad when we left because I was leaving behind my homeland where I had lived for almost 18 years, but I also believed everything would be better with a new beginning. I would miss everything in my homeland.
We arrived in Seattle after an 18-hour journey. Because we didn’t know English, we were unable to talk to other people once we got off the plane. We spent a lot of time trying to find the exit. My uncle and aunt came to welcome us, and they drove us to their home. After leaving the airport, I saw a view that was very different from my hometown. There is a railway and not as many motorcycles here. There are many trees, and the air is fresher. This is Seattle! This is the new city where I will have my new beginning. I felt excited and was full of hope.
The first day in Seattle, my aunt brought us to Chinatown for dinner. When we arrived at the restaurant, I felt like I had returned to China. We had a delicious meal there. It was also my first time eating lobster. The seafood was delicious!
A few days later, we went to the relative’s home for a Christmas party. That was my first time at a party. All the adults were friends of my relatives and they looked like they were having fun at the party, but I was not used to such situations. People discussed topics I found uninteresting. So I had very little fun.
Now, especially compared to when I first came here, I am much more used to life in America. I can navigate through the city on my own without my aunt taking me around. I don’t stay at home all day. When I have some free time, I play basketball at the park. In fact, I met my first friends in America because of basketball.
I graduated from Franklin High School, and I appreciate my classmates because they gave me lots of encouragement and helped me throughout school. My English has improved, too, but I think I still need practice. This summer, I joined Northwest Asian Weekly’s Summer Youth Leadership Program and met many new friends and learned more about leadership and Asian cultures. It is the first program I joined in America.
With the support and encouragement I’ve received, I’m motivated to work hard here. I will try my best to better my future. I will study English and I will also try my best at my university. I hope I can eventually find a job so I can experience more of America. Immigration has been a turning point in my life. It was also a new beginning. (end)
Editor’s note: This story was written by a Summer Youth Leadership Program student, not a Northwest Asian Weekly staff member.