The Student Journalism Site of Millard South High School

We Are Millard South

The Student Journalism Site of Millard South High School

We Are Millard South

The Student Journalism Site of Millard South High School

We Are Millard South

Health science program helps Brazilian student readjust to the U.S.

Health+science+program+helps+Brazilian+student+readjust+to+the+U.S.

For most students, transitioning into high school is already hard enough. As a student, you’re forced to learn new studying skills, make new friends, and explore new opportunities and interests. It can be overwhelming and stressful. However, some students are faced with even more complexity with this transition. For some students, they didn’t just have to move schools, they were faced with moving to a new country. One of these students is senior Julia Matos.

Matos is originally from Omaha, however in third grade her and her family moved back to where her family is originally from: Brazil. Matos describes the transition to Brazil as healthy and exciting.

“I was excited to explore the culture my family always talked about and tried to show me when living in the U.S.” Matos said.

 Though, there were some challenges she did have to overcome when she first moved away.

“Living there started out a little hard just because making friends was difficult and having to speak a whole new language was a little hard.” 

However, she eventually began to love the new country she had moved to, saying that “little by little” she made it through, as she began to fit in, make friends, and discover more about herself. Eventually, she had found a new home in Brazil.

In the summer between her freshman and sophomore year, Matos and her family moved back to America. However, unlike her experience of moving to Brazil, transitioning back to America wasn’t one that was filled with as many fortunes. 

“It took a huge toll on my mental health,” she said.  Unlike when she first had to move, she now had “huge commitments and amazing friendships,” and said she wasn’t ready to leave them.

Once again, Matos was faced with making new friendships and forming new connections. For her, this was the hardest part.

“Making friends and adjusting to a new lifestyle was one of the biggest struggles I had to face,” she said. This struggle eventually sent her into “some really difficult times.” However, she was once again able to overcome the difficulties of moving to a different country, “I slowly found my way around things: I made new friends, I found new programs, I discovered new passions and I just let myself be happy,” she said. 

Matos also was able to find success in her new environment, eventually joining the UNMC High School Alliance program, which has introduced her to new career paths and important skills that she plans to build her future.

“The program pushed me so hard and made me dedicate myself, as well as showing me that my hard work will always pay off,” she said. 

According to Matos, the people in her life were some of the biggest contributors to why she was able to find success here in America. 

“My teachers, my parents, my family. All of them have always been there for me and supported me through hard times and have helped me get out of my slumps,” she said.

Now at the end of her senior year, Matos has been given a chance to reflect on her time spent in both countries, and she has grown to cherish both experiences. Her unique childhood has allowed her to explore her culture and grow more proud of who she is and where her family is from. And as challenging as her experience may have gotten at times, Matos chooses to live her life grateful for it all, saying it has connected her with “so many amazing people” and that it has taught her skills that she feels is going to help her succeed in the future.

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About the Contributor
Dillon Stice
Dillon Stice, Newspaper
Dillon is a senior and this is his second year on his staff. Outside of newspaper, Dillon is involved in drama and in the school’s varsity show choir. He also enjoys watching soccer, researching politics, and diving into the art behind music and film. 
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