SAussie Teens Settling into school - Part 2
by Christopher Da Silva
Its been a roller coaster six months since I stepped off the plane at Brisbane International Airport, and I say with great relief that life has become gradually more enjoyable and, wellliveable. Before moving schools I was faced with the decision of whether to fly back home and seek refuge with my grandparents, or try another school. Deep inside I knew that returning to South Africa would be like a man trying to conquer Everest but retreating a few hundred feet because the challenge seemed too daunting. I decided to put the matter in Gods hands; all I wanted was a happy school life and some real friends. Simple as this request may seem, it felt unfathomably distant for me, distant as a miracle.
Miraculously enough my prayers were answered ten-fold. I now have a pleasantly busy life and a fantastic school filled with some truly amazing people and for this I am eternally, sincerely grateful.
For any teens who are in a similar position as I was, I have some pointers inspired by my own experiences in Australia. While its not fool-proof and bad experiences in a new country are inevitable, it is what I have learned thus far:
Finding the Right School
Finding the right school is a gruelling process, especially since you will never know if its right until at least a couple of weeks of attendance. You should ask locals (friends or relatives) about the best schools and come up with a short-list. Once you have a short-list, get your parents to arrange appointments and tours of the schools. While at the schools, observe the behaviour and attitude of both staff and students, and inquire about the schools specialties, extra-murals, success and mission. If you find a school that fits what you want then you should try and arrange to meet and talk to some of the students.
Finally (and unfortunately for some) your parents should agree on the school of your choice. If they dont some form of bribery may be necessary from your side.
This country is blessed with just about every extra-curricular activity you can think of. Whether it is sports, cultural activities or church youth groups, there is something for everyone and youll do well to get involved with as much as possible. It helps with focusing on the present and future of your life in Aus, rather than dwelling on past memories of home and wallowing in depression.
In doing these things your new life will become a lot more exciting and socially complicated, just the way it was in South Africa. Hopefully this will help you realise that moving back is the wrong decision, and ultimately Australia moves one step closer to gaining the prestigious title of home.