I still remember the day when I received my acceptance letter to the University of Guelph. I had tears in my eyes and I jumped out of my seat and I started running to my family members to share with them that finally I made it to the University. I always had a dream to go to University. It's just that I had to prove to other people.
When I was a little girl in Afghanistan, I was very shy and quiet. One day my family had to leave Afghanistan and we went to Pakistan because of war. I was broken inside because I lost the opportunity to live in my own country. I had to learn a new language. I remember I used to pay attention to other peoples' body expressions in order to make sense of new words. My new school had higher standards. Because I wanted to be a good student, I had to study every night and all day to achieve the first position in my class. I became friends with another girl in my class and we would challenge each other to achieve more in school.
A short time later my grandmother sponsored us to move to Canada. The transition for me was not that easy. I had to start from the beginning again. Students in my class would avoid having a conversation with me or ignore me. I still remember one day it was lunchtime and the group of girls I used to hang out with “please leave their group.” I was very hurt with their words because all of a sudden I did not have any friends. As I entered the new high school, I felt discrimination again. I noticed that I was not making new friends. I tried to focus on my academics. I used to go for extra help and I wanted to go to University, but people told me that I should consider college instead of University.
I started volunteering for Immigrant Services as a front desk receptionist and people really liked my work. I won the multicultural youth award. When I received my award I was very excited, I was in the newspaper and I made my family very proud of me. I also got an award from Immigrant Services from the same year. I decided not to listen to anyone and I applied to University and I was able to get in. Volunteering changed my life. I became a more social individual, and I wanted to give back to the community. Currently, I am a part-time student at the University of Guelph and working with Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington to help out other newcomers in this country. Now, I can say I am a proud Canadian who is involved in the community and who has many friends.