By Noor O, IYLEP 2014, Exchange 2
Yes, gosh, I did and it is awful. It starts when you leave the USA and realize that you won’t be seeing these people anymore but you try to reassure yourself that you still have your old friends and your family back at home. Then once you are back at home, you realize that these people who you thought will make you feel better can’t do that, your friends don’t want to listen to your stories and your family don’t understand what happened to you and the change in you. You start to try and not talk about what happened until it becomes your little secret, a secret that you can’t share with anyone because no one will understand it. The secret slowly turns into some kind of a dream, something unreal. You freak out and start going through your photos everyday trying to prevent it from turning into a dream but then your present is the one that turns into something unreal. You freak out even more because nothing seems real anymore so you decide to forget one of them and since you can’t forget your present then you start to forget your secret but it freaks you out, too, because you don’t wanna forget the one month where you felt alive and the one month that is better than your whole life..but you can’t live like this, torn between two things. It takes a lot of time, more than a month for me and maybe less or more for you, when you start to find a balance between the two, it is still a secret and it still seems unreal sometimes but you are not trying to forget it and it is not making you cry everyday. Would this ever end? No, I don’t think so, it will always be like this. We will always remember it and ache for the memories that we could never live again and cry for it but we are living the present and we can move on and work toward making something or achieving something that is even better than this experience (though I doubt there would be something better but we try to assure ourselves that the best is yet to come).
By Noor O, IYLEP 2014, Exchange 2
My life lesson was my ‘self worth’ and I’d like to imagine that I learned that lesson well, maybe not fully but at least to some level. Self worth is to know who you are and what you are capable of, that you are worth it just as every other person. That you have ideas and opinions that matters just an any other person. I learned my self worth as a person and as a teenager. I was always told there that if I want to take care of others then I have to take care of myself first and it kinda got stuck in my head, making me realize that as much as I gave room for others that I should give room to myself as well, that what I’ve got to say is as worthy as what they are going to say. To realize yourself worth it to realize your rule in this world, in your community. To realize that you, as a person, has a lot to offer and it is as important as what everyone has to offer. While to realize your self worth as a teenager is to realize that you are capable of everything despite your age, that you don’t have to be forty-something with a lot of a money and a big company to be able to make something worthy in your community, that our rule in this community as teenagers is as important as everyone. In our society, you are often bullied or hated of acknowledging your self worth.
BY: Muntadher Alsaeed
I haven’t faced any culture shock in USA or even in Iraq ! I really love my country and I feel like I belong to here to this community , ! but i really miss my great friends that i met in IYLEP i don’t know if that is a culture shock but i really miss every single moment that i spent with them :) !