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A New Beginning

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February 22, 2004, a date I will always remember. This particular date left a mark in my life considering it was the day when I had to desert the life I was accustomed to in the Philippines and migrate to Guam. I remember feeling more concern than excitement. I could not conceive that had to start all over again, make new friends, attend a completely new school, live in a different country, and most importantly leave my eldest brother behind. I recall begging my mom to let me stay back and live with my relatives. I was just so scared that I even thought of missing my flight. I thought migrating to Guam was the worst decision that my parents could have ever made for me. I assumed they did not care about how I felt and ignored my feelings completely. The first few months were hard and all I could think of was my brother and the upcoming school year. The flight was exhausting and I spent most of my time thinking about the people I abandoned. A few hours later, the plane landed. The first impression I had on Guam was it was extremely small compared to the Philippines and it was not what I expected. I remember thinking “No wonder why they call it a dot on the map." The beautiful surroundings did not stop me from feeling sad and think about everyone and everything I left behind. The first few months were a drag and I spent most of it acting like I hated Guam so much and that my parents made a very bad choice. I did not give up on trying to convince them to go back to the Philippines. They never listened to me and kept saying that we had to stay because life on Guam is so much better than what we left behind. After hearing this, I knew I had no choice but to try and give the living in island a chance. Though I was very hesitant at first, I tried to enjoy the beauty of Guam, but I still was hesitant about attending a new school. I was shocked to hear that I had to attend Middle School being we never had that back home. I was convinced I would have a hard time adapting to the new school, especially knowing I had to speak another language. I dreaded the first day of school. I was too embarrassed to talk to students considering I did not want to show my thick accent. To be honest, I was scared that they would laugh at me and call me names. The day seemed long and exhausting, and nerve-wrecking. Even if was already sixteen years old, I insisted for my mom to accompany me to class. First block was English, and it was not terrible. The teacher asked me to introduce myself, but I declined at first because I was too scared to speak. Knowing that I had no choice, I spoke slowly to avoid my classmates from noticing my Filipino accent. I’m guessing the person sitting next to me noticed my nervousness because he suddenly tapped me and said, “Don’t be scared, we’re mostly Filipinos here.” After hearing that, I felt like a thousand weights were lifted off of my shoulder and I felt relieved. I was shocked on how friendly the people were. After a few months of attending school, I met a lot of people and even started joining competitions such as the school’s Science Fair. I enjoyed staying after school with my friends and I was inducted to the National Junior Honor Society. My middle school life was filled with memories and I felt like it went by extremely fast.
It’s now been six years since I left Philippines, and I can finally call Guam my new home. Now that I think about it, all I had to do was give this island a chance and that changes are sometimes necessary. I am not saying that I had completely forgotten about my family and friends back in the Philippines, but I’m already accustomed to my life here.





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