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Alexander’s Story: Navigating a New Chapter in Life


Alexander’s Story: Navigating a New Chapter in Life

My name is Alexander Meyer, and I moved to Canada in 2017, nearly seven years ago, at an age when choices were not mine to make. As a ten-year-old, I bid farewell to my childhood in Germany, compelled by the dream my parents envisioned—a future not only for themselves but also for the success of their children.

Germany, rich in opportunities, lacked a connection to my cultural and religious roots, a void that was magically filled upon stepping onto Canadian soil. Surprisingly, this new land felt like home. The people and community welcomed me with our shared history and background, something I had rarely experienced in Germany. The transition was swift, almost effortless, turning the prospect of moving to an entirely new country into an adventure and a new chapter in life. Still, it was new to me, but I embraced the change so quickly that relocating to an entirely new country felt like a seamless transition. While the immigration process typically entails numerous legal hurdles, my age favored me. My parents took charge of all the regulatory tasks, turning the entire experience into an exciting adventure and a new chapter in life.

To my amazement, even the educational transition flowed effortlessly, predominantly because I was blessed enough to come from a geographic location where, even though the dominant language was German, I found myself in a location that offered abundant opportunities to delve into the world of English.

The immigration process was lengthy. I was not always involved, but I could see how stressful it was for my parents. When you ask me what I thought of immigrating to Canada as a child, the key memory is the length of the process, which consequently speaks volumes of the difficult process one must brace oneself for to settle in Canada.

Thankfully, in the meantime, my family acquired Canadian Citizen status. The passport feels like an immense accomplishment, especially after the many preliminary steps towards acquiring permanent residency and later gaining citizen status. Finally, Canada feels like home, just like Germany did. It embodies a breath of ease that constitutes the end of continuous struggle. When we received our citizenship, it felt like an accomplishment to have ultimately completed the process of transition from immigrant to Canadian citizen. Additionally, the reassurance of being a citizen provided an extended aspect of freedom to make decisions, exempting us from the continuous stress of whether our applications would get approved. I know and believe that gaining citizen status is not the end of the road, but it is where the journey to achieving our goals as a family has started.

My country of residence before moving to Canada is not what is associated with immigrants. My home in Germany did not lack the fundamental aspects necessary for a sustainable lifestyle, especially financially, materially, and most significantly, in terms of safety. Regardless, many immigrants, such as myself and my family, are attracted to the huge reputation Canada has established for its accessibility to a vast array of opportunities. These opportunities, however, do require a grassroots initiation. Moving from a two-story house in Germany to a basement in Canada was a drastic change of lifestyle. At the time, I might not have been so conscious about it, but reflecting on it sheds light on what it really means to give up your life and move to a different country.

Luckily, my family’s presence and togetherness were an immense support during the transition period. That being said, initially, I wasn’t too happy or excited about the prospect of moving to Canada, leaving behind the life I had become so accustomed to and all the relationships that I had built as a child, yet to comply with my parent’s decision to immigrate was the only available choice I had. When you are in that position as a child, many things occur that cause you to lose track of your feelings.

Looking back, my family has come a long way. Being a university student, I view my Canadian past as a journey of dedication, starting in grade nine and building my academic path toward a bright future in Canada. I transformed from a passionate soccer-loving child into an adult whose academic goals are his priority. Perhaps the opportunities of Canada have shaped my focus, or maybe it was the journey that has brought me here. Regardless, I am forever grateful for all the adversaries my family has overcome to establish our position in this country. I am grateful for the possibilities that might not have been a part of my life had my parents decided not to immigrate to Canada. I am grateful for the diversity and acceptance this nation has welcomed us with. Hardships are a part of all transitions. Immigration is not easy, but thankfully, Canada has become home; it has accepted us and provided us a foundation upon which we can build a healthy lifestyle and look forward to future prospects.

Please note that certain facts have been altered for anonymity.

This story is a collaborative effort between Harleen Singh and Vipasna Nangal.

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