Maria Silva – My Story When I Move to the US
January 6, 20
When I Came to the US
In 2018, my family and I decided to come to the United States. The reason for that decision was that in Brazil at that time, many companies were losing money and firing employees because they were scared of collapsing. One of the employees that were fired during this devastating event was my father. He worked in this company for about 10 years of his life. When the company announced the people who were fired, my father was one of the chosen ones to be fired. The reason for that is that he had a payment that the company couldn’t afford anymore. After that not only did my father’s life change, but my whole family did. Even if my father was without a job, my mother still was working and with the amount, she got from her job she could pay the bills and everything. My father tried to apply to other companies and get a new job. But, things weren’t going right, all the companies only offered lower payment and so many other things that wouldn’t add to our lives. So, one day when my father was showering, something came up in his mind. The thing that came to his mind was, “Why not live in a different country?” One of his biggest dreams was to live in a different country, and he thought that this moment would be the best opportunity to make a new life. After this idea came up in his mind, he immediately went to talk with my mother and ask her what she thought about his idea. So, after he said what he thinks to my mother. She looked at him and said, “Let’s do it.” After this moment they started looking up places, schools, the best countries to live in, etc. At that time I didn’t know all of that was happening, I just knew about this idea of living in a different country on a Sunday, I don’t remember when exactly but I remember them asking if I would like to live in a different country. The moment I listen to that question, I froze. But, out of the blue, my mind told me to say “yes”. So, I look at my parents with a smile on my face and I said “Yes, I would love to” (I”m not going to lie, but one of my biggest goals in life was to live in a different country, so for me was just a cue for achieve this goal) I was young and a lover of different cultures, languages, places, etc. That was the best thing I could listen to on a Sunday.
After all this process, my parents remember a place where they had some friends that lived there for many years. So, they contact their friends just to ask some questions about the place and do some extra research about it. These friends guided my parents a little bit and gave my parents a little bit of brightness on that crazy journey. So, after months of searching, watching youtube videos, and much more. My parents decided to come to Massachusetts in the United States. My father choose this place because he said that the opportunities this place could afford us and the things it would provide us, would give us a better lifestyle than we had in Brazil. So, now that we know where to go, we had only one issue which was to find a place to stay. My parents at the start thought of staying in Airbnb for a time and began the search for a place to live after we come to Massachusetts, but out of the blue again my father find a Youtuber that lives in Medford, MA, who talks a lot about the place he lives and tell to his viewers that is an excellent place to live because the place is close to supermarkets, stores, and so many other things. My father thought that would be perfect, but he still worry about finding a school for me. After he searched the area of this place, he saw that the place the Youtuber was talking about is next to a school. So, he decided with my mother to move to this place.
The journey finally started, my parents set everything up like buying airplane tickets, setting up the place we will stay, some documents, etc. Everything was set up, so now I just wait for the day to come. On February 2, 2019, I and my family arrived in MA. I remember that day like yesterday, it was a very cold day and there was a lot of wind outside. I remember when I passed the doors of the airport to meet my parents’ friends that went to pick us up, and I felt this new air but not the one I smell when I come to the US on vacations, but an air of a new beginning. So, after that, I and my family spend half of the day with my parents’ friends. We went to our new home, we went to the supermarket and everything. After that days passed and my parents were a little bit busy, setting me in school, buying things for my home, etc. At the start, I remember how excited I was with everything. After some weeks we got here, and I finally was able to go to school. So, a day before I went to school I bought some materials, etc.
On my first day of school, I remember getting in school I think in the first period of the day in McGlynn Middle School. A teacher showed me the school, my locker, and my first class of the day. When I get in class, they present me to the teacher and the students of the class. One of the students in that class was Brazilian, so they asked the student to help me with anything in class and translate some things for me if needed. The thing is that I came to the US knowing a little bit of English because I studied in Brazil for 4 or 5 years, but the thing is that the English I learned is very different from what actually it’s. So, my first issue when I got here was the communication, and a little adaptation to the new environment. My parents had the same issue as mine with the language, etc. But, with time we improve and got better. Back on my first day of school, it was normal, I met new people, made some friends, and learned some things. I adapted very quickly to the school because of my friend Ana whom I met on the first day of school, she introduced me to her friends and so many other people. She helped me in all the classes we had together and asked her friends that had the same class as me that she wasn’t in, to help me if needed. That was very cool of her to do, and I’m very thankful for all the help she provide me. After a month, I met some other Brazilians that went to McGlynn too, after me. I became friends with them very quickly and after that, we always stayed together to help each other. Something interesting about that is that I am still friends with some of the people that I met at that time.
After some months I was living here and had all those crazy experiences, I will not lie, I missed my friends and family that were in Brazil. I believe that was one of the most difficult things for me after I move to the US. But, with time things heal, not completely but we get used to it. So, I completed 6th grade again (I already had finished in Brazil, but because of the way the school year works here I needed to go back 6 months to go to the next grade). I don’t remember my vacation that year but I believe I did nothing much. After vacation, a new school year started, and I met some new people, etc. At the start of the year, nothing happened or changed. But, in March 2020, things got a little complicated because a pandemic had started and everything. At the start of the spread of the virus, we only get a week of school off, but then they always reschedule the day back, so we only stayed on remote for the rest of the year.
In 2021, things got better, so the school decided to go back in person but we need to use masks, etc. The whole year was a little bit chaotic but nothing compared to 2020. In 2021, nothing much happened because of the pandemic, and everything. But, at the start of my 8th grade, I met some incredible people who I am still friends with today. In the middle of 2021, I graduated from 8th grade. I received some awards and got one of my art projects in the museum of the school or something like that, I don’t remember. But in September of 2021, I went to high school, and that’s when a new phase of my life started.
When I got to high school, things were a little complicated because I didn’t had classes with my friends. So, I felt a little worried because I was scared of the idea of not making friends, but the year went well. I made new friends, got into volleyball and tennis teams, got good grades, etc. I end 9th very grateful for all that happened because the years before were kind of a mess and chaotic. But, 2021 to 2022 was very fun and good. At the start/middle of 2022, I believe we stopped wearing masks in school, and so many other places too.
At the start of my 10th grade, I decided to change some things. I was thinking of joining clubs and things that would be cool to be part of and things that would help me be out of my comfort zone. So, I remember that in 9th grade I wanted to join CCSR but because of my sports, I thought it would not be possible. But, I learned that it could be possible to do sports, and clubs at the same time. So, I use this opportunity to be part of the club. I like to help others, and CCSR does a lot of this, helping others, etc. So, I used my opportunity to join the club and do the same. In the first meeting of the club, I saw that they had programs to help students that come from other countries and need help with translation, etc. A year before I got into the club, I signed a paper to help Brazilians that come to school with translation, etc. So, I found it interesting, and it gave me the motivation to join the program.
At the start of January of 2023, the club announced a project that they were thinking in create a book with stories of students that come from other countries. I found it interesting, and it gave me the motivation to share my story because it could help or make other students feel more comfortable to share their stories too, for others to see it and show others how different the experience of moving to a different country could be. So, that was basically the Maria Silva story (me), and I hope it can help others or make them comfortable sharing their stories with others like I just did.