YOUNG VOICES: Help newcomers to make them feel welcome

2013-07-29T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Help newcomers to make them feel welcomeAlyssa Dillon nwitimes.com
July 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

I have experienced moving to a new place more than once, and settling in isn’t very easy. Finding your way around a new, unfamiliar school or town, with new, unfamiliar people is nerve-wracking.

Moving to a new location can be overwhelming, especially for kids, which is why making new people feel welcome is important.

I know what being the new student feels like. You don’t know anyone, and it’s hard to make friends because everyone is already in tight-knit friend groups formed long before you arrived. 

Being new to a town is similar to being the new kid in school. Your neighbors are strangers, and making friends is more difficult because you aren’t forced to see any of them because of class schedules or lunch time.

I can put myself in their shoes. I understand how they feel. I know how difficult those first few days are and how much I would appreciate someone coming up to me on the first day and offering to be my friend, or even simply starting a conversation.

Mother Teresa once said, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do." I’d like to imagine that smiling at someone causes a positive domino effect. If one person smiles at someone, that person would go on to smile at someone else, and thus more people’s days are brightened.

When we moved into our new house, our neighbors brought us a gift and welcomed us to the neighborhood. I thought it was the nicest thing, and it made my parents and me feel like we belonged in our neighborhood and that the people here were all very nice.

When another new family moved in down the road, we brought them a gift and welcomed them to the neighborhood, just as our neighbors had done for us.

Having a diverse population helps make a town feel like home to anyone and everyone, and having friends or neighbors from different cultural backgrounds can help people gain an insight to new religions or traditions different to their own, which is why it is important to accept people no matter who they are.

It is crucial for everyone to help make new people feel welcome in their new school or town, for the town to develop a reputation of being a nice place to live. If everyone did his or her part, everyone would always feel welcome.

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