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by Christopher Da Silva
For everyone who has immigrated to Australia you will know how much of an emotional roller coaster the entire experience can be. As a seventeen-year-old boy from Port Elizabeth who prefers a life of structure, the immigration experience has been all the more daunting for me.

Leaving my loyal friends, my school (where I had been doing particularly well), and basically my whole life and support system has been just plain depressing to tell the truth. When you think about it, starting at a new school in a new country with just years eleven and twelve to complete is always going to be tough.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” A friend once told me this and I thought it applied especially well to me, someone who does things his own way rather than following the crowd. This has posed quite a problem to me here on the Gold Coast, as most of the Aussie teens I have met at school just have nothing in common with me. I just haven’t been able to find anyone with whom I can relate. It’s like I’m talking a different language which they can’t seem to understand.

During breaks at school I have wandered from group to group in an effort to find someone remotely like myself. While getting to know the various groups on the playground I was reminded of an American teen movie because of the various groups that could be found: There are the ‘plastics,’ a group of girls with fake tans and bleached hair that would talk about boys, clothes, hair, parties and other petty matters that made me want to vomit; Then there’s the group of guys who think they own the world. They throw their food, get drunk all the time and talk disrespectfully about girls. I clearly wouldn’t fit there either. The nerdy kids seem okay until you discover that they live their lives on their computer and rarely talk about anything else except maybe maths or science (which don’t really interest me). The emo kids consist of a gay guy, two lesbians, and some other strange people. This is where I fitted in the best, which is ironic because this would never have been the case in South Africa. The problem with the emo kids is that they’re all atheists and rebels and for anyone who knows me well, those are probably the last labels I’d be given.

After some long discussions my parents and I came to the decision that I needed to move schools, to somewhere that had other South Africans and a larger variety of personalities. I have chosen a school closer to home and I’m determined that I can make it work this time.

There is no doubt that moving has been incredibly difficult for my family and I, yet I don’t regret it. In South Africa I see the prices increasing and the electricity decreasing. This reassures me that we have made the right decision. The tunnel is long, but there is light at the end.

Posted in migration |
Posted by Christopher Da Silva
13 Jun 2008

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iv just recently moved here about 4 months ago and i completely agree with you, it is so tuff. it has taken me a whole term of skul just to start talking as much as i used to in my old skul bak in S.A. im also in grade 11 and it scares me to think that i only have less than 2 years to build a good relationship with friends at skul, especially when i had such awsum friends back in S.A. but even though it has been tough and i regret it sometimes, i would neva move bak and i still try my hardest to be positive about it. i think we just have to get used to the Aussie culture and the way they work and maybe they'll accept us to. we all just have to make do with what we've got and make the best of our situation. just remeber how fortunate you are to have gotten out of S.A when you did, alot of ppl wud kill to be in your shoes just so they can stop living in fear. i know wat your going through and i understand fully, but you only have a little longer in skul, so toughen up n stick it out. =] there ia alot worse that cud be happening to you.
Rating: 3 / 5
by in the same situation as you on 31 Jul 2008

There arnt any lesbians in our grade what are u talking about chris our school is fine
Rating: 1 / 5
by paul on 21 Jul 2008

From an Australia teenager's popint of view I have to day that even as an Aussie kid I found it ahrd to fit in at school. That's just how it is when you're growing up you have to grow into your group. It helps a huge amount to be yourself and treat others how you want to be treated. I know its old advice, but it really does help heaps. Tegs
Rating: 4 / 5
by Tegan Stockdale on 07 Jul 2008

RE: Change's comment. ok obviously you don't get where I'm coming from here. First of all, they didn't accept me, it turns out they just tolerated me because I haven't heard from them ever since I left te school despite my initial attempts to stay in contact. Secondly, I have a very strong Christian faith and when people call Jesus stupid and won't listen to anything else, this is deeply offensive to me. thirdly, I am not a rebel and see no point in rebellion, same with my friends back home and my new friends here. it is a complete waste of time and only prolongs achievements and goals in life as well as happiness and love. everyone deserves to be treated equally, but we do get to choose our own friends
Rating: 4 / 5
by chris (author) on 07 Jul 2008

My son is sixteen ,we have been here 14 months.He also started in year 11.He did struggle at first as the children are very different.The difference for him was he joined a soccer club and through that met boys similar to him.This allowed him to know which boys at school to mix with. He still feels that they don't have a complete commonality but in time he has settled in. hope this can help.
Rating: 3 / 5
by Robyn on 23 Jun 2008

so you joined the freaks! lol don't worry you'll learn a lot more about the real life in OZ. aussie youth subculture is defined by the music you listen to, the cloths you wear and the sports you play or dont etc.. soon you'll find ya spot heres some free advice....... some general rules for the aussie school yard are be YOU, they easily spot a fake stand up for yourself if hassled don't get too full of yourself (if you stick your head up above the crowd someone will knock it off) mates always stick together! esp. when times get tough (loyalty is rewarded) also to a lesser degree "mates before dates" chicks/blokes come and go but mates are forever never be a give up (no dobbing) THIS IS V.IMPORTANT!!!!!!! also expect some ribbing as its how aussies show love...lol any one over 30's the enemy and don't tell 'em life was better in south africa, or you'll be nigel no friends quick smart. as to your comments re: athiests, lesbians and rebels, it seems what your seeking is acceptance but what your doing is judging the only people who have accepted you as you. leave the stereotypes at home and treat people the way they treat you. a great soul once said " its the job of youth to rebel" (mao tse tung)
Rating: 3 / 5
by change on 15 Jun 2008

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