WHITBY, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom – I woke up on Friday, June 24 to take my math exam and headed for the bathroom to brush my teeth. I saw my friend, who is Polish too, and lives in the same boarding house.
She says to me, “Do you want to hear the news?” I see her face and I instantly know the results of the voting that has been killing us for weeks.
It is a strange feeling, to be a citizen of the European Union in a different country, the first state that decided to willingly leave the EU.
As I watched TV later that day, I saw British people on camera arguing that it was “the immigrants” without saying any more about what the issue is.
Like many other foreigners, I am living in the UK knowing that to a lot of the British, I’m a problem that needs to be solved.
I tried not to think about the implications of the Brexit vote during my exam – integration of hyperbolic functions was hard enough – but it was difficult. My high school graduation was just a week away, and in September I will be starting university in Scotland.
Therefore, I found it important to find out what actually will happen once the UK leaves the EU.
Of course, they are not going to shut the borders and not let everyone in. I know this. However, economic implications are going to affect living in the UK as an EU citizen.
What about inflation, and prices in the shops? Will I still be able to afford to live? Will I have to get a job, and if yes – will it be possible to get one?
It is ironic that to finish the degree I have already applied for, I might have to ‘steal’ another job.
Finding out that Scotland is planning another referendum on leaving the UK – which now sounds likely to happen – was another shock, but it is highly understandable as the majority of that country voted to stay.
What I’ve written is highly personal, but such a huge scale event has to be taken personally. It’s especially true when you start noticing contradictions directly around you.
I attend an international school with lots of English as a Second Language students coming every year to polish their language. Strangely, our ESL teacher got very enthusiastic about Britain leaving the EU, even though most of her pupils come from there.
Besides, she really enjoys traveling around Europe, she confessed to me the other day. What exactly shaped her opinion, I will never know.
Joanna Koter is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.
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