We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofMichael Vien

The most difficult thing I believe I've experienced is moving away from a place I called home. The first time I moved, I was fairly young, like around 8 or 9. It was difficult for me as I was very scared about losing all my friends and not being able to make any new ones. I would be moving from California, all the way to Oklahoma, which at the time I thought would be so horrible and so different. It was a two day trip with various stops. Finally, we arrived at my new home, but I was fairly concerned. We were in an area that was somewhat far from other people's houses, making it very difficult to make any neighborhood friends.  It was summer time, so I wasn't able to go to  school.   I was incredibly sad at first, as I thought  I would go a whole couple months without any friends. The only thing I could do was play in a fairly large field, which in retrospect,  was actually an incredible thing. When  the first day of school arrived, I was fairly nervous, as I watched kids get  together and greet each other, talking about how they played with each other during summer.  It made me feel more and more like an outsider. But once class started my fears went away. A boy named Ryan talked to me and soon we became really good friends. Meeting Ryan  made it very easy to eventually befriend most of my classmates, and soon enough it was like I’ve  known these people for sooo long. Soon after this, my family and I went from the first house with the large field, surrounded by a mini forest to a house in a nice little neighborhood. I made many friends in that neighborhood and I felt so happy. However , due to some family troubles, I had to move back to California and move in with my grandmother. This time, I wasn't as scared though, as I felt that if I was able to make friends in a place that was brand new to me, I would be able to make friends in a place that was fairly familiar. When I went back to California, school was already halfway through the year, and I ended up finding some friends that I knew before I ever even left for Oklahoma. Through this experience I figured out that even though you may feel like an outsider, there is always someone there to be your friend.

© Michael Vien. 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.