The beauty of movement

Junior discusses starting a new chapter amidst international move


Life is full of surprises and altering changes. It is a human being’s natural habit to adapt and to be able to move on with their life, whether they are big or small.

One impactful change some may have to go through is restarting their entire life from scratch. Moving cities, countries or continents is never easy. Adapting to different environments and cultures is as complicated as it is life-altering. Stepping out of the comfort zone and starting from scratch can transform one mentally and physically, leaving them a new person. Recently, junior Alejandra Vazquez experienced all the side effects of these powerful changes when she moved from Mexico.

Vazquez soon called Cypress, Texas her home after immigrating from the heart of Mexico, Mexico City. After finding out her days in Mexico were limited, Vazquez experienced conflicting feelings within herself. She was reluctant to leave her family and friends, but excited to start a brand new chapter of her life.

“I couldn’t wait to go to a new school with new people,” Vazquez said. “I was also a bit sad and skeptical about leaving my family and friends.”

Moving houses, let alone countries, puts immense pressure on a person. Vazquez had a positive view of this new beginning in her life. The idea of going to an American school thrilled her. She was ready to face any bumps on the road along the way, some big and some small.

Language barriers and culture shock were two things that she struggled with the most. But in the end, overcoming those obstacles was like scratching the surface of a fresh new life awaiting her, ready to provide her with limitless opportunities and timeless memories.

“I’ve met people that are now a huge part of my life,” Vasquez said. “I also have had the opportunity to improve my English, because even though I went to an English immersion school back in Mexico, speaking English 24/7 is different and a little harder.”

The lack of familiarity she experienced with the people and environment also played a huge role in her daily life, even though she visited the United States prior to moving.

“There are times where I feel like I’m in a completely different world,” Vazquez said. “Some culture shocks were the self-checkout machines at stores. Back in Mexico, self-checkout machines weren’t a thing. Another is the safety measures we have to take at school to stay safe. In Mexico City we only had earthquake drills.”

The thought of new beginnings excited Vazquez as she talked about the delight of decorating her new house and buying new furniture, as if every piece of that furniture foreshadowed how different her life was going to be, or how very American it was going to be.

“Adapting to this place as my new home was really fun,” Vazquez said.

Making friends is one of the hardest things to do after immigrating. The differences between body languages and culture make communication hard. But as Vazquez implies, the key to communication is open-mindedness.

“I think I am more open-minded now than I was before,” Vazquez said. “I think I have learned to connect with people more easily, especially since I had gone to school with the same people all my life before moving here.”

A difficult but rewarding journey of moving inspires immense growth in a person. Maturity levels increase, and oftentimes one’s mindset completely reinvents itself. One can learn so much from meeting new people rather than staying with the same group of peers all their life. Moving provides one with the blissful opportunity to open up their heart, take in as much knowledge as they can from new people, new things and new surroundings.

The memories, friends, different culture and challenges are all the exciting elements of moving. It can be hard, but being in a completely new environment allows one to hit the restart button in
life. However, through the whole process, Vasquez emphasizes the importance to hold on to the things that one cherishes the most. She says it keeps her going on the days she feels isolated or alone.

“Value intangible things more than tangible things,” Vazquez says. “When you’re moving, you inevitably lose a lot of tangible things, even the most important ones. Holding on to those things will become extremely important, and at times, needed.”

From someone who has moved across continents and has experienced all the highs and lows of moving, Vazquez is thankful for all the opportunities she has been given and encourages others to embrace change rather than running from it.

“Learn to be more open-minded, because the possibility of going through a change that will affect every single aspect of your life can be a good thing,” Vazquez states. “However, you really have to be willing to let go of some things to get better ones.”