Where do you start? Breath in, Breath out. That was step one, we are alive and well, the most important part of this process. Are you nervous or did you shake it off during the permanent resident period? Hopefully, you have already started assimilating during the permanent resident period, if not there is always time. So many variables to add to your equation. How old were you at the time of arrival, how long have you been here, your native language, current profession, male or female, working or unemployed, and the list goes on and on?
Realize you are not alone on this journey, as more and more people embark and continue to move forward. For the youth on this journey, be strong. There will be moments when people pick on you or give you a hard time for not speaking the language or being different. Some genuinely view you as a threat and just something beneath them but don’t let this get to you. Most immigrants went through this initiation process. We do not condone or agree with any bullying or abuse. Use all the resources around, if you don’t know the language and the culture, get working. There are many programs in the app stores, YouTube, and the internet that are free and they help you learn the language. Watch American music, sports, shows, and news to learn more about American culture. Try turning on the subtitles while you watch programs. Be careful with what you see on the news and on the web. There is a lot of propaganda and people use immigrants as shields to satisfy their political needs and to advance careers.
For the youth continued, study hard and try out sports, arts, sciences, math, etc. You never know what you like if you don’t try it. Always put yourself in a position to succeed. Form a group of people in a similar situation as yours to help get through the hardships. Parents don’t be so hard on yours children. They are living in a very stimulating time, have patience. Also, Get involved in community activities. Hard work and volunteering go a long way in the eyes of most Americans.
A good citizen is one that adds value to a country whether native or not.
For the older crowd, not the old crowd, you can apply all of what you read in the youth section. Learn the language, it does not matter how old or young you are. Start working on your career and financial outlook. Money helps you advance in society and gives you comfort. Do any job you can find and get good at it. Always thinking about it and what your doing is helping you reach your goals.
Also, A lot of cultural assimilation occurs during your leisure time. What are you doing with your time off? Are you going to local events such as sports, theater, music, parades, etc. These will help you become a part of the American culture. Learn the language, it does not matter how old or young you are. Again, do not give people another reason to criticize you and have a better way of defending yourself with words.
Tips to help you assimilate.
- Learn English
- Eat the food
- Voice your opinion
- Watch American movies and shows
- Go to local events
- Visit museums that display American history
- Read the constitution
- Understand your neighbors
- Listen to the music
- Share your culture with others
- Embrace the change
- Know that many are facing similar or worse challenges