A story of a nigerian girl in Sweden12:19 AM
"They all seem so cold, boring and sophisticated", that was the first thought that came into a nigerian girl`s mind just arriving in Sweden and meeting a bunch of strangers who were to be her school mates. I thought my first day in school might go wrong but I was deadly sure I was going to make new friends, after all, while I was in Nigeria, I had always been surrounded by friends or I`ll say people who really wants to talk to me.
As I walk into the school premises, the first thing I noticed was that everyone were looking good, most of them in their long trousers, long hair, and long nose. I took a look at myself in the mirror, then I realised I look nothing like them. My nose weren`t long but short and wide, my hair was black, afro and not long at all. I had on some clothes which really had no style compared to these people. I still had too much confidence in me that I didn`t really pay attention to these things. I followed a teacher who walked me to my class. As I entered the class, all eyes seems to be on me and they were all staring up and down at me checking out the details of everything I wore. I just smiled at them back anxiously and took my seat beside a beautiful girl who later was going to be a friend. This was only the language school where I`ll be learning the swedish language until I can join the normal class.
Six months after lots of study time, novel reading, embarrassing conversations in swedish, I was finally qualified to go to the normal class which was held in swedish. Lest i forget, I made friends with some beautiful african girls that were taking language classes together with me. They were amazing and we had funny times together. But now we won`t be seeing that much any longer because I will be taking normal lectures now. I didn`t think too much about that because I had strong hopes that I was going to make other friends.
My new class was horrifying. The class was already divided into groups, groups consisting of long terms friends who refuses to let in other people in their little triangle. I ate alone during lunch, I had no partner during group works and I sat alone during breaks while everyone sat together having fun. I was too shy to make a statement of attention or try to do weird things to make them notice me. The language barrier was my worse enemy. Even though I could speak, I couldn`t speak as fast and clear as them. I felt if I said something, they were going to laugh and point out every word I said wrong so I held my tongue.
Things got better when I learned a trick, an escape.........
Watch out for Part two
Part Two - Laughing helped me through.
After I kind of sort out that I was never going to belong in any of those groups so I just stopped trying to fit in and I started to focus more on being me which is the best thing I know how to do anyway. I didn`t see any group anymore, all i saw was just my classmates. I would hangout with one today and another tomorrow, they all bacame my friend. I started to talk more in swedish and anytime someone wants to point out that what I was saying was wrong, then I`ll laugh hysterically and say to the person " can you speak my language, yoruba, so if not this is not my language too. I am only trying to learn so stop being so childish". What happens after that is mostly that the person gets irritated and just leaves. Everything started to be so funny, when I get frustrated I just laugh and when I am going through the hallway, I keep smiling at all of them. They were probably wondering why she is no more in her insecure look, but well no one ever came to ask me but their faces said it all.
I had to read all my subjects in swedish so it was extra difficult for me than the others but I kept on telling my self I can do it with a smile on my face. After a year I was one of the best in my class and by the end of the year I received an award that i`ve been one of the students who had really improved academically. On the day I received this award i had no idea something like that was going to happen to me. My teachers were extremely helpful, they told me I could do it that I should just continue being me. As i walked to the stage to receive my prize, I could see my classmates, their sisters and brothers, their friends, all of them whispering into each other`s ears. It was all like a dream. After the graduation party, a lot of my classmates actually came up to me and congratulated me. They were all, after all, nice people.
Some months earlier we were to choose which "gymnasium" (which is kind of like senior high school) we want to go to. Funny enough I chose some really good schools which I thought I was never going to be admitted in but I just did it anyway. So later after some couple of months the result were out and all of the schools I chose wanted me as well. I opened my mouth and could not close it. It all felt unreal. I did it and yes I made it. Finally my battle is over, I thought.