My name is Husnain and I am not good at anything. In fact, I am pretty bad at everything except one thing. I am good at working hard. Working hard has been drilled into me ever since I was a little kid because of my parents and their struggles. Something important to know about me is that I am proof of the phrase “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

My family and I came to the United States in 2005. My life changed quite a bit when we immigrated. Although there are a lot of similarities between the United States and Canada, there are also quite a few differences. For starters, I had to get used to living in a smaller town. We immigrated from a big city like Toronto to a small town called Okemos. There is much less diversity, fewer things to do, and overall a different lifestyle. Another difference was dialect. In Canada, English is spoken everywhere. However, the use of slang and spelling was different. For example, the word “center” is spelled “centre” in Canada. My life did not change drastically, but there was certainly an adjustment period that took place when I immigrated.

Unfortunately, injustice takes place everywhere. I had a friend who was also an immigrant like myself and was getting used to living in the United States. Ironically, he was also from Toronto and moved to Okemos. He was being picked on and called a terrorist in 7th grade. In retaliation, he called the oppressor, who was white, “fat and ugly.” The two boys got called to the office and my friend got in trouble and sent home because “he was being emotionally insensitive” to the other kid’s health conditions. The worst part was that the other kid only got lectured and no real consequences. This is outrageous because this shows bias towards the white boy over the foreigner. Obviously, the white boy should have gotten the harsher punishment, but injustice and unfairness took place.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Changes in Life and Circumstances by Husnain is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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