We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

← Back to all stories
Photo ofManita Tamang

When I was twelve years old, I was living in New York City with my mom and dad. We had been living there for two years before they decided to get separated. After my mom and dad got separated, my  mom’s little brother came and helped us move to Fargo, North Dakota. We didn’t take anything from our old house because we didn’t want my dad to think that we stole anything from the house while we were not living with him.  To get to Fargo it took almost twenty-four hours by car. It was my first time traveling that long in a car. I was sad that we were moving to another state and leaving friends and behind. When we arrived in Fargo, I was happy to see my cousin and aunt after so long. We lived with our cousin for more than a month because we didn’t have a place to live. My uncle and aunt helped us look for a place to live. We were looking for a house that would be nearby my cousin’s house. We looked, but we couldn’t find the right house for us. We wanted to find a house as soon as possible because the school year had already started. My family didn’t know how hard it would be to find the perfect place for us to live; that’s why I missed school for a month. Finally, we found an apartment, but it was farther from my cousin’s house than we wanted. Still, we decided to move because we couldn’t stay in our cousin’s house forever. I felt very lonely when we moved because I didn’t know anyone in the neighborhood or the apartment building. In the beginning, I was really scared to live in our apartment. The people who lived in the apartment building were total strangers to us.  After moving, my sister and I started going to school. I thought we would be in the same school, but we ended up going to different schools. My sister went to high school and I went to middle school. I felt sad that we were not in the same school. On the first day of school, I was really scared because I didn’t know what would happen there. At one point during the day, two girls came and talked to me. They introduced themselves. I was so happy to meet new friends. It helped me feel happier to know that people were friendly. One of the girls stayed with me the whole day and helped me. She showed me my locker, classes, and the cafeteria. I even had new friends to eat with during lunch.  As the time passed, I started to meet a lot of Nepali people that lived in our apartment building and near us. My family and I are originally refugees from Nepal. I met some good friends near my house that understood what it was like to be different from the rest of the community. In school, I was happy because I started to meet a lot of Nepali students. I was surprised that I met friends that spoke my native language. I used to be very sad and lonely in the beginning, but after I made some good friends, I became so happy. I began to enjoy school, and each morning I would want to go. It was hard at times, because I only had one parent. Luckily, my uncle and cousin, as well as friends helped my family a lot.  My attitude towards life has changed. I used to become sad when I recalled my days back in New York. Sometimes, I just want to forget that time of my life. It was a hard time for my family. When I was little, I never imagined that my parents would separate. I hope that in the future, everything will work out for my family. 

© Manita Tamang. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person’s teacher.