Education > How I overcame social isolation by letting go negative thoughts

Posted on June 9, 2017

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A shares his experience of becoming a migrant in foster care, who let go of his fears, to embrace positive opportunities

Earlier this year, the charity Coram Voice launched its third annual creative writing competition Voices for children in care and young care leavers. The competition provides a platform for young people in care to express their creative talent and improve understanding of their experiences.

Second place migrant young person award in this year’s Voices competition was A, 17.

A young teenager, with no understanding of the English language, enrolled himself at college at age of 16. All he could say was “hello”, “hi” and “how are you?”; nothing else.

He was interested, enthusiastic and passionate about education, and wanted to widen his knowledge. But the fate and bad situation in his home country took the entire opportunity from him.

That young teenager was me, whose unknown destiny drove him here, to the UK.

When I arrived from a war torn country, to a developed country, it was extremely tough to find my feet. However, my teachers and key worker supported me to avert my feeling of being in a foreign country; the feeling that there was no place for me as a young migrant.

For a while everything was as tough as you could imagine, from social isolation, to the language barrier and indecisiveness. Life was continuing, but it was dull; I neither had the courage to speak with someone, nor was I daring enough to make friends.

They advised me not allow the word 'I can’t' into my vocabulary. With this new thinking, things started to change.

As a result of the language barrier, I was feeling isolated most of the time in college, and lacked confidence. Most of the people in my class were fluent in speaking the English language. I had to motivate myself, but it was not working. I was overwhelmed by difficulties.

Let me describe it in one word: miserable! My teachers and key worker always encouraged and inspired me by their motivating, powerful and wonderful words.

They advised me not allow the word ‘I can’t’ into my vocabulary. With this new thinking, things started to change. I convinced myself that I had to learn the language, as I didn’t like to be dependent on someone else.

I began listening to news, English podcasts, music, reading the daily newspaper. I attended college regularly and on time. I started going to an English speaking club, and many other activities to drag myself out of this situation; and all of them paid off.

One thing I love about this country is, there are opportunities available for everyone to pursue their lofty dreams, and to choose their career in any field they wish to. I found people absolutely nice and friendly, contrary to my earlier doubts. I saw that lovely and kind people still existed, and that gave me hope for humanity.

I’m delighted to tell you that my efforts have started to follow my dreams, and I have achieved what looked impossible a year ago. I became the student president at college, and passed my course with good grades.

Achievements inspire me to work hard towards my future goals. A substantial credit of my success goes to the support of my friends, teachers and my keyworker.

Judges’ comments: “It ends in a hopeful way and the school imagery is very powerful.”

For more information please visit: Coram Voice

We have not included the writer’s name to protect their identity.



One Response to How I overcame social isolation by letting go negative thoughts

  1. Shakira June 9, 2017 at 11:56 am #

    Wow – it’s fantastic that you feel welcome here, and that you learnt English AND passed your course!

    You’re so talented and driven, and if you put your mind to it, you can do anything.

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