By: Kathryn Vance
One in 2000+
Few teens get the opportunity to travel to London, England for even a short visit. What’s even more unique is moving there for almost two years, and becoming completely immersed in the new country.
Junior Fatima Omar did just that for her sophomore and junior years of high school, after her parents decided to move to London to be with the rest of their extended family. Omar is, however back in the States now for her father’s job.
One of the biggest challenges with moving to the new country was staying in touch with friends, Omar stated.
“A lot of it was online,” she said. “There was a lot of Facebook communication and Skype-ing.”
However, this was often difficult to manage due to time zone differences. Nevertheless, Omar said her contacts with her friends from home stayed strong throughout her time in London.
Being in a new country comes with various cultural and social differences, including much more use of public transportation and more walking to destinations rather than driving.
“The attitudes are much different,” Omar said. “There seems to be much more liberalism in England, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. The people in London are also more culturally aware, I think. There’s more diversity so they’re more accepting of other people’s differences, as well. But, the people are much friendlier here.”
Omar also said that the educational aspect of England is much different from what students in the U.S. face.
“Our school system is completely different from the system in England,” Omar said. “It also seems that people here are more concerned with getting good grades, as opposed to actually learning the material like they do in London. We also got to leave school for lunch, which was nice.”
While Omar spent time in the new country, she stayed in school completing her sophomore and junior years. However, due to the differing school systems set-ups, Omar is currently enrolled as a junior at NAHS to make up for the classes that she is required to take. According to close friends and seniors Stephanie Cotner and Chandni Bhimani, Omar is still “a senior at heart.”
While Omar was in London, she says that she missed the maturity of people her age the most. Now that she is back in the States, her number one complaint is that she misses the incredible food that was available in London.
While Omar may miss the friends that she made, she is happy to be back with the friends that she has known since she was little.
And for those of you wondering about those English stereotypes? Omar puts the myths to rest.
“They do have bad teeth, but they don’t say ‘I have to go to the loo’,” she said. “And they drink tea, but no one eats crumpets.”