Far away from Home

Leung Wai Huen, Lucy (’21 S2)

You might know someone planning to go abroad for further studies or even emigrate for a new chapter of life.  I am that “someone” in the latter case.  My family left the city we grew up in a year ago, and moved to a foreign country across half of the earth, the United Kingdom. 

Bittersweet feeling 

Was I nervous?  Definitely.  Why wouldn’t I be?  I had to live in a place that I had never been to and complete my studies!  Being a complete foreigner and stranger in the new home, there were, still are, tons of challenges that must be faced.  It was a bittersweet feeling, leaving all the great people I have met and places with precious memories.  Yet, the excitement, the enthusiasm for changes, the energy, especially when I got off the plane, realising that a new era of my life had started, was overwhelming.  I was lucky that I got to bid decent farewells to most of my close friends, spending our last moments offline.  The next time I could see them might be several years later.  Who knows?

Across 9,000 km, with a time difference of 7 or 8 hours, it would be impossible to spend time with my friends in Hong Kong as we did before.  Back then, we spent at least 3 hours together, having lessons, during breaks and going home.  Given the time difference, it becomes harder to talk directly to one another.  If we cannot meet offline, then why not online?  We make video calls at least once in every holiday we share to have direct conversation, rather than texting. 

My first Christmas in Maidenhead, UK

A different culture 

Adapting to a new environment is one of the hardest things to face when moving to a new place with a different culture.  I have been here for 1 year; I am still not used to the socialisation “system” here.  Back in Hong Kong, from my experience, I never had a large friend group with more than 5 people in it.  Even if I did, we split within.  However, the locals here tend to have a larger friend group, something I am not familiar with.  Even now, after almost a year at school, spending every break and lunch with the ‘gang’ of friends, I am still adjusting to such a massive friend group ‘system’.  Moreover, the locals have an indirect way of speaking.  You have to guess what they mean.  Personally, this situation is hard to handle, as again, I am not used to such socialising ‘system’.  I believe it takes time to completely fit into the social environment here, especially when we have contrasting backgrounds of growing up. 

Visiting the Chessington World of Adventures in July 2022

My plans

One year is not long, but I cannot say it is a short period.  Moreover, I have finished my first school year here.  However, most of my Year 10 life was devoted to schoolwork and tests, plus the preparation for my GCSEs which are happening in less than a year.  To be honest, the only solid plan I have right now is to do well in the GCSEs and get the grades I need for the subjects I plan to do for A-levels.  However, I do hope to spend more time on music, perhaps composing some songs, and doing performances if I have a chance to.  Moreover, I look forward to exploring and travelling around the UK to enjoy the scenery and cultures.