An abstract painting of an airplane window

D.A.F. Challenge

My first year in the US was so hard. I had a lot of stresses. When I was in the airplane coming to the US for the first time, I felt sad and mad at the same time and I started missing my friends. When I started school, I didn’t have any friends, and I didn’t speak English, so everything was a big challenge in my life. My first year in school was so hard, and I missed my friends a lot because they were so far away from me. It hurt when I would see all the girls and boys at the junior high talking and always hanging out with friends because I didn’t have many friends at the time. I have always cared a lot about my friends, and they are so important in my life, so it was really hard to be so far away from them.

I also had a difficult time with all the new rules in school. In Ukraine, I could do whatever I wanted. But here, there were rules that I didn’t understand because I didn’t speak English. One time, when I was at the junior high, I just wanted to go outside and be alone because I felt so overwhelmed all the time. So I left the cafeteria during lunch, and a teacher told me to go back, but I did not really understand at that time because I didn’t speak much English. So l said that I didn’t want to be in the cafeteria and I went and sat outside. Like two minutes later, a police officer came up to me, and he was really mad. He said I needed to come with him and he took me to the principal’s office, and the principal told me that I couldn’t leave by myself and that I needed to always be with a teacher and listen when they told me to do something. This was my first time getting in trouble in school, and I didn’t really understand what was happening at the time.

But now, everything is great. I have a lot friends, and l know almost everyone in school. I speak a lot more English now, my grades are pretty good, and I try my best in all my classes to make my life here easier.

An abstract painting of an airplane window

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