Perhaps you waited months or years before your paperwork was in order to come to the United States. Whether you were entering the U.S. through the family visa program or another program, such as employment-based immigration, you likely felt excited and nervous at the time. You may be one of many who made their initial journeys to Texas alone, or you may have arrived alongside several family members.
Regardless of the details of your particular situation, once you settled in, you wanted to feel at home; however, that may have proved more challenging than you’d expected. Life as an immigrant can be tough, but that’s not to say you will never overcome your obstacles and move on to create a productive, happy lifestyle. A key factor toward successful transition lies in the type of support system you have.
Ideas to keep in mind
You may or may not live in a neighborhood where there are other immigrants. If you do, it can be quite helpful to share stories and to glean advice from listening to what has worked and not worked for others as far as becoming accustomed to life in a new place. The following list includes several ideas that may be helpful as well:
- Try to not be so hard on yourself; if you set your self-expectation to high, you may only be disappointed. It is okay to struggle with language barriers, to feel nervous when socializing with new acquaintances and to worry about the many legal issues that can arise during or following your immigration process.
- Obtaining a valid Texas driver’s license may provide a sense of independence and help you to feel confident as you navigate your new surroundings.
- You no doubt will want to try to embrace some of the traditions and customs typical to United States living. However, it is not only fine but advisable that you make your house feel like home by incorporating decor, food and styles of living that feel familiar and comfortable to you.
If you simply do not like the taste of hot dogs, do not feel as though you must eat them because they are associated with traditional culinary festivities in the U.S. It is okay to be yourself; you may find that you enjoy some of the new things you try, but you may also decide that certain things are not your cup of tea, and that is fine, too.
What about legal issues?
Nothing can make adapting to life in the United States as an immigrant more stressful than to run into legal problems regarding your status, your job or a similar issue with a family member. Such situations can be utterly terrifying, especially if children are involved. If a crisis arises, try to remain calm and seek support from an experienced immigrant advocate.