Discovering My New School

December 23, 2007
By Brian Ryu, Canaan, NH

“Welcome to your new school!” a boy greeted my family into my new school, in a new town, in a new country. As you know, moving into a new school is difficult. In my case, it was a boarding school. Getting to know a new school was one of the most difficult thing ever, especially in a new culture. The harder was the new culture.

Living in Canada for a long time affected me when I moved to New Hampshire, USA. I was no longer greeted, “What’s up, eh?” or something like that. Hockey talk no longer existed, but football and baseball came into my life for the first time ever. One of those “Toonie dress down days” left my life. It was all one dollars, two dollars…it was total strange.
Moving to the other side of the continent was awkward for me too. Being a Korean- born, I always was proud of my culture in Vancouver, where many asian immigrants dwelled. However, being on the east coast, many European-heritaged guys said something like “oh, there’s that Korean kid going,” whenever I passed by. They always considered themselves “Americans” although our history teacher reminded them that we were all immigrants. I wonder why the new settlers excluded the Asians. I guess we just act and look different.
However, I was treated well as soon as I settled in, except for those little “roommate fights” guys always have when they get to know each other. But, I won’t go into that today…maybe another day. Being a boarding school affected my life a lot, especially how the campus was set up. Before, there would be just one building with a grass field and a small playground. But now, it was totally different.
There was a football field right in the middle of the campus, with different buildings for each subjects, which I found really cool and got me excited. Later on, I found that it was just a annoying thing especially when you could use the five minutes to study for a test in the next period! The athletic field was about 2 minute walk away from the nearest building and the ice rink was just untalkable, but I guess being a youngster, I get used to things quickly.
Another big change was the new schedule I got. With sports everyday, I discovered my new strengths. For the first time ever, I participated in a Cross Country meet. I always thought cross country was a individual sport, on the other hand, I discovered that it was a sport which you face yourself, everyone else in the meet, and guys from other schools. I learned cross country strategies, helping my team greatly. My friend and I always wore long white socks for cross country meets. We had fun time sprinting into the front at the beginning and blocking the whole trail so that nobody except our teammates can pass us. Times were changing for me. In elementary school, where you could always win without using your teammates, it was too easy to win. However, by now in middle school, we all learned to sacrifice ourselves in order for the team to win.
Anyways, “discovering” a new school, in a strange town, in a foreign country was hard for me. You’ve gotta admit, it’s hard for everyone. Especially when it’s a total different kind of school, in a rural area, on the other side of the continent, in a country where they aren’t familiar with your culture…however, through this discovery, I taught myself a lesson: we all look the same in the inside. I learned one of the most important lessons of my life when I came here. Believing that the quote “don’t judge a man until you walked in his moccasins” as a petty one, I always ignored that proverb. However, as soon as I experienced it personally, I learned it quick enough. When coming to this new school, I was left out…until I proved myself that I was worthy enough to join the community with pride.
Currently, as I write this, I am just like all the other guys at my school. I have great friends that care for me, I have a roommate that argues with me everyday, I have a floor leader that yells me into bed everyday…I finally belong to the new school I attend now.

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