Two weeks ago I left my home country and flew across the ocean to start a new life in a completely different environment and what can I say? I’ve loved it so far. Especially the breathtaking sunsets…
The first two days of school left me tired, overwhelmed, and slightly scared of what this year will hold but I didn’t let all the feelings bring me down. I know it’ll get easier with time and I’ll be fully enjoying every day once I get used to it. For now, school days might seem harder to me, but at least I appreciate my free time during the weekends more. I do.
This Saturday we went shopping at the mall nearby with my American sister and grandma (to look for some clothes that our school dress code allows us to wear) and then helped with the preparation of the family supper we had arranged for the evening. Eight members of my host family and the foreigner whom they’ve decided to take as their relative (me) ate dinner, we played board games and just spent the evening together as a family. Not only have I experienced what has helped me feel a lot more accepted and like home even in a foreign country full of strangers, but I also got to talk to new, interesting people. I was able to listen to their stories and viewpoints on life matters which, after all, is what I’m here for and what might help me shape as a person in the future.
Sunday was the day I struggled a little. I had nothing planned and could spend a lot of time by myself, just with my thoughts. As I was alone in my room with places and people that I miss in my mind, I started feeling a bit homesick. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by the loveliest people possible and as soon as they glimpsed there was something vaguely wrong, they tried to help me feel at least a little better again. My host dad suggested we go on a walk around town to let our lungs inhale some fresh air. Thus we talked it all out while walking the dogs while we talked it all out. It was something I didn’t know I needed but at the moment it helped me a lot and, alongside a family game night, made it much easier for me to get through the difficult day.
My first actual week of school started on Monday and it felt to be never-ending. Yet, I made it through the whole week, survived all of my classes, and realized that I feel relatively smart in (almost) all of them and that I’m not truly an American citizen since I failed the citizenship test we took in History class during one of the first school days. I experienced a fire drill, got dress coded, talked to new people, made a few friends, and spent time with them walking around town or watching boys’ football practice. I also finally got my first ever true Nebraskan piece of clothing – a sweatshirt – with Nebraska Huskers lettering! We had volleyball practice every day, except for Thursday.
Thursday was our first game day of the season. After school, the whole team got on a bus and went to Minden. So, I got to experience riding the iconic yellow school bus! On the contrary, I did not play volleyball. Once we arrived at the school, ready to play, they told us there won’t be any Junior Varsity games, so we just sat there in the crowd and cheered for our Varsity team. They lost both when they played against Minden and Hastings, nonetheless, the atmosphere was staggering and, all in all, I’m more than happy that I was able to see how involved and passionate about the sport everyone is.
Friday was probably even more exciting than Thursday and the volleyball game because the school pep rally took place in the afternoon. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this particular occasion but it turned out to be quite a fun event! There were cheer and dance performances during the official program, and almost all students were there to support one another while each sports team was introduced and wished the best of luck for the upcoming season. then we took team photos and because we’re just a bunch of teenage girls somehow playing volleyball, it took us a very long time to find the perfect spot and lighting for our photos. 😀 The rest of Friday night I spent hanging out with my friends, they took me to the so-called haunted bridge at the edge of the town, and then we slept at one of their houses where we just ate American candy, played guitar, and talked all night, thereunto planned a couple of adventures we want to execute together throughout the year.
Every day of this week and the week before has been wonderful and full of exploring new things, every day I have learned something new about local people and their ways of living, and each one of them I’ve tried to enjoy as much as possible. It may not seem like it now but the year will fly by so fast that I won’t even have time to absorb all the moments of future memories.