Jordan adapts to life in America

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While getting to know Jordan Rosema (10), here are some things I learned: He is from South Africa, he has an accent that sounds in between British and Australian, and he is always carrying around at least one fidget spinner. But, there is a lot more to know about him.

If you ever go to a restaurant with Jordan, he will call ketchup “tomato sauce” and napkins “serviette.” Evidently, the hardest part for him to adjust to was American terminology; he has had to adjust for people to understand him.

“People say it takes around two years to adapt to a new country, so we are halfway there. We are still adapting and things are changing for the better” said Jordan optimistically.

Another major difference for Jordan was the difference of scenery. Walking outside of his house in South Africa, he used to see tall, grey barbed-wire fences surrounding houses. This was set up because of the safety issues, said Jordan. In America, this is pretty different with safer neighborhoods. Many people don’t even have fences around their houses here.

Looking past South Africa, Jordan is pretty involved in school and is only a sophomore. This year at Vernon Hills, he is on the boys swim and dive team, involved in FBLA, and sometimes plays a couple of ping pong games after school.

The first time I met Jordan, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew of him, but I hadn’t genuinely gotten to know him. He was walking down the hallway with a big group of friends, airpods in his ears. I noticed he had two white fidget spinners dangling from his backpack, and it brought me back to my middle school days with that toy. My friend and I said our hellos and we started small talk. He was a very open guy, and I felt no judgement from him. We need more people like this.

One of Jordan’s close friends, Rachel Melster (10), clicked with Jordan right away and has formed a good relationship with him this past year.

“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Jordan” Rachel stated. “Right when I met him, he was very easy to talk to, and we got really close really quickly.”

Another one of Jordan’s close friends Alan Sogolov (10) saw the quick adjustment that Jordan made after moving here. Alan explained that, at first, Jordan did not have many friends, but quickly opened up and became friends with a lot of people.

Almost adjusted to the new school, Jordan has bundled up a big group of friends and almost everyone I asked knew Jordan somehow. He is always walking down the hallway with someone and seems to always have something to say. Involving himself in many sports and clubs, Jordan is set up for a quick adjustment at Vernon Hills High School.