← Back to all stories

Photo ofundefined

I live in the United States, but I don’t consider myself an American. I was born in Leicester, England and consider that my home. I’ve lived in the United States for over nine years and have just started the process of becoming an American citizen, so I can be a dual citizen of both countries. Even though I consider myself British, I know little about where I was born and much more about where I live now.

When someone asks me about where I'm from I can’t tell them much about England’s history or anything about the country, but I can tell them about my home and how I lived when I was there. I was very close with my extended family and spent time with them almost everyday. I would have picnics of all my favorite foods for dinner at my aunt's house all the time and would even do grocery store trips with all of the girls in the family. I went to a school with uniforms; everyone wearing the same royal blue color and everyone I knew had a British accent but this was the “normal” voice for me because it was all I knew.

Moving here changed my life in many ways, some good and some bad. I am now able to play sports I couldn’t play before, like softball, because that wasn’t really a thing in England. The only sport I experienced in England was football, or soccer, which I watched my cousins play and rugby, which my dad plays. I was able to make lots of friends, and it also gave me many more opportunities for my future. Moving here prevented me from learning about where I was born and from being able to see my extended family, but moving here gave me a new view on the world. It allowed me to realize that not everybody has the same voice and everyone is different.

My voice is a constant struggle for me because in each situation I'm in I have to decide which voice to use. When I’m with someone American I use an American accent, but when I’m with my family or someone who’s not from America I use my British accent. My “American accent” just kind of happened when I moved here because I would hear other people talk and since I was young I would try to copy them and be like everyone else. I would change my voice until I thought it sounded American enough and then that just became the way I talked.

© Emily Ross. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team and we can put you in touch with the author’s teacher.