Starting school was a pretty tough time for me. Since I had gone to an English speaking pre-school (you can read about that in the post about my 2 first years) and the school I was about to start was Swedish speaking. Luckily I could speak perfect Swedish, since I lived in Sweden, but I wasn’t used to speaking it regularly.
Most of the other kids had gone to pre-school together so they all new at least someone in the class.
I started one year early since my English day care only went to the age of 5 and school in Sweden starts at 7.
So there I was, one year younger, without friends, not comfortable speaking Swedish.
School was going to be great…
The first day went by as a daze, we got to know each other and the teachers presented themselves.
I was pretty lonely all day.
Day 2 after school I was in the after school play area looking around when two of my class mates asked if I wanted to join in playing with them.
I was so relieved and happy, I instantly said yes.
Their names were Oliver and Daniel, they had gone to pre-school together but knew no one else in our class.
We quickly became friends and started hanging out.
We lived in a very segregated area
Before I continue I want to tell you about the different groups in our area.
I grew up on an island by the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, the island, Lidingö, is connected to Stockholm by a bridge that takes about 2 minutes to drive across.
It is a very nice place, close to town but still calm with a lot of green areas.
Therefore it has become very popular for people with an “over-average economy” to live there.
All communities in Sweden are required to take in immigrants though so on Lidingö have put them all in a place called Högsätra.
My school was right by Högsätra.
This meant that most of the kids came from poorer backgrounds (which was great, I didn’t have to put up with snobs all day).
Oliver and Daniel, the friends who invited me to play, were from a richer background but their families lived closer to Högsätra than any other school so they were put there.
My family has a decent economy, over average for Sweden but way under average for Lidingö.
The mix is what made me popular when I started school
Because my families economy made me okay to spend time with for everyone and since I was both Swedish and second generation immigrant (my dad is from the U.S.) I became a good bridge between the richer Swedish kids and the rest of the people at school.
It is sad to have to write about this, but it was a very obvious segregation at my school.
Next week we will be discussing more about how life was at school.