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To just about anyone who reads this, I imagine that when you hear 'foreign' when referring to a place, you may think of picturesque countries with beautiful sunsets. For me, it all happened backwards in that sense.
To me, South Africa was my home. I was born there and lived there for 12 years, the best years of my life. In October of 2011 my parents decided that we were all better off in England.
Now don't get me wrong, England has so many thing to offer. I can freely go on public transport without fear of danger, I can feel (relatively) safe in school and every day life and, well, I don't stand out like I did back home. All in all, England was just a much safer place for my family and I to have a future that was free actually possible.
Here in the Western World I doubt that anyone would ever have even imagined that I come from Africa, I barely have my accent anymore now that I'm 19 and I'm about to head off to University to study Forensic Psychology. Of course, my first few years in this country weren't so easy. Being a girl who was a year, if not two older than everyone else in my class (due to a different schooling system back home) you can only imagine how awful it is to be the first one in your group of friends or even your year to, and I quote, 'blossom.' Yes. My first year of high school (year seven) I was almost 13 while everyone else was 11. It's not fun. You're the first to try and skip PE and no teacher seems to understand why you feel like you want to throw up at the same time every month.
Being a young girl and faced with so many cultural differences can be scary. Especially when it is at a point in your life when you feel so incredibly insecure with yourself and just about everything around you. You kind of learn to put on a fake smile and put up with things you really shouldn't have to. Boys and girls are equally mean, and I'm very sure that is the case whether you are a foreigner or not. Most people never go through life hearing people tell them to 'go back to your own country' or other similar phrases and remarks. It hurts.
I can understand that it's difficult, but we should learn to at least try and get on with others. Maybe it sounds ridiculous coming from someone who still doesn't quite understand the culture I live in now, but see how things can hurt others, especially when they didn't have a say in the matter. Long story short, we need to stick up for each other when it's right. The females of this world can have such strong bonds and we need to let that show and not take shit from people when we certainly don't deserve it.