10 reasons not to move to the US.
The author of the Telegram-channel “Behind the Bugrom” specially for Lifehaker wrote about the difficulties to be faced when moving to the States and the price of overcoming them.
Every day I get questions from readers of my Telegram channel, the main one of which sounds uncomplicated: “Is it worth moving or not?” On the other hand, I found myself familiar with hundreds of American immigrants, followed their destinies and made several conclusions. I’ll try to answer first based on the experience of the second.
Everyone experiences immigration in different ways: one has an easy transition and causes methamphetamine euphoria, the other turns into a tragedy of all life. The difficulty of immigration for a particular person is determined by objective parameters: knowledge of the English language, the availability of a sought-after specialty, financial opportunities and available options for legalization.
These parameters can be measured (quantitative) and evaluated (qualitative): English has levels of ownership, popular skills are known to everyone (programmers, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, athletes, etc.), financial opportunities are expressed by a number with a certain number of zeros, and legalization options can be divided into easy predictable (family reunion, won lottery, received work visa, green card through investment) and complex unpredictable (marriage with a citizen, political asylum, job search givers in the United States and others).
According to these indicators, any immigrant can be located on the axis “bad – good”, and the closer a person is to the “bad”, the higher the probability that instead of the American dream, a Pompeian catastrophe will occur.
In this article, there are ten reasons why you should not move to the US if you found yourself at the origin.
1. The immigrant complex.
The immigrant complex is a feeling of own inferiority in relation to the local population, which affects self-esteem, efficiency and even health. The complex develops on the background of comparing itself with the environment: they know the language, I do not; they have documents, I do not; they have a good job, I do not; they buy a house, I rent a room.
Not every immigrant encounters this complex, but one who encounters experiences it hard, and many describe it as the most difficult period in life.
In my theory, it is the immigrant complex that is the cause of prolonged depressions among the migrants.
The weaker the position of an immigrant on four parameters (English, money, specialization, legalization), the higher the probability of developing an inferiority complex. The illness is not terrible for the reasons for its occurrence (the language can be learned, the documents can be obtained, the work can be found, and the house can be earned), but by what leads to the loss of dignity and faith in oneself, which practically deprives a person of chances of success.
2. Social downshifting.
If the bank account does not please the eye with a six-digit number, and the specialty does not involve a working invitation to the United States, at first it will be hard work and not always honorably.
In the US, the high cost of living, and therefore the savings of two generations can be eaten here in a few months. Since I do not want to spend an untouchable stock consecrated by my great-grandmother, I still have to live somehow, I have to go to earnings – and not always the first job turns out to be excessively intellectual.
Work in the restaurant is available to almost everyone, but it is hard and badly paid / Boone County Family Resources.
Among the newcomers without money and language are popular professions, whose owners rarely fall in the plots of Forbes: handyman, builder, waiter, cleaner, nanny, hostess, loader, taxi driver and guard. Many of them have already achieved something in their homeland – let them through acquaintances, luck or entrepreneurial abilities – but they already occupied a certain social level, which now has to say goodbye, moving to the bottom of American society. Not everyone can stand it.
3. The level of stress.
Stress is a natural reaction of the body to problems, and in a limited amount it is even useful, because it helps to mobilize. However, the stress faced by an immigrant is several times higher than the usual workplace or educational stress.
The difficulties of finding work, adapting, renting a house (which you are not in a hurry to pass because of a lack of credit history), opening accounts, obtaining insurance and surviving in a new environment can lead to a level of experience that is dangerous from a clinical point of view. I have repeatedly seen immigrants who fell from their feet with fever and other physical manifestations of stress, simply because they could not cope with emotions.
This “newbie stress” has a double destructive power: it is not only unpleasant in itself (like any super-strong stress), but it also finds a person at the most crucial moment when he must be positive and energetic. As a result, instead of a constructive and progressive solution to the problems of moving, a person closes in himself and struggles with an ailment that often takes the form of depression. And already depression is a clinical condition which practically does not pass without serious treatment.
About my experience of dealing with stress and depression I told in a separate article.
4. Level of happiness.
Every year I read the Global Wealth Report from the Credit Suisse Research Institute. The report for 2017 shows that North America accounts for almost half of the world’s wealth.
North America accounts for almost half of the world’s wealth and only 5% of the world’s population / Credit Suisse Research Institute.
But does this mean that Americans and local immigrants live happier than everyone else? It is not necessary: the level of well-being, expressed by wealth, should be reduced to the level of stress and other social problems that come complete with material wealth.
The rise in the standard of living that is usually accompanied by moving to the US (unless the immigrant does not leave Switzerland or Denmark, which is a very rare scenario, you agree) does not always compensate for the increase in stress levels. Since happiness is subjective matter, depending on many factors, a person can assess it only after the fact. Many immigrants after a while notice that before moving to their lives there was more joy. So is not this the main thing?
5. Social integration and language.
Have you ever felt invisible, not even capable of minimal social interaction? If not, welcome to the wonderful world of an immigrant who does not speak English.
Language is not only a means of communication, but also a basic component of the personality: if you can not speak freely, you become a dull version of yourself. Until recently, at a party, you could generate a joke for a split second, causing an affront to the whole company, and now you are forced to speak at the intellectual level of a three-year-old child and with the quickness of a century-old turtle.
Pyramid of Maslow’s needs.
Ignorance of English deprives you of full social integration. Old Maslow will not let you lie: once you are full, healthy and protected, you need love and recognition, which is difficult to find in a new country.
6. Difficulties of legalization.
Legalization in the United States is not only a matter of weapons, drugs and same-sex marriages, which you hear in the news, but also obtaining the necessary documents by the immigrant: work permits, social security numbers, resident cards and citizenship.
Immigration opportunities are different for everyone: someone wins the lottery, someone gets an invitation to work (and an immigrant visa), someone joins a relative who has already become a US citizen. Where it is more difficult for those who begin legalization already on the territory of the United States. The possibilities of such people are limited, and they are usually forced to look for a partner for marriage, to seek political asylum or – it’s scary to speak out loud, but I have to stay in the US illegally.
On the methods of legalization, I wrote in detail in the guide on immigration in the United States.
A blue document that many dreams about / The Boston Globe.
Such people remain in limbo for a long time: for some, the process of obtaining documents takes 10 years. At the same time, there is no guarantee of a positive decision, and in case of refusal the applicant is forced to return to his native country, although over the years he managed to settle in a new place. This can not be called otherwise than a tragedy: a person loses the most valuable and limited resource – years of life.
7. Cost of retraining.
I know a few universal professions all over the world: a programmer, a prostitute, a chef, a taxi driver, a waiter. But what should doctors, lawyers and engineers do, whose skills and habits are tied to a specific country, laws, norms, technology and language?
They will have a long and not always cheap process of retraining. It will be lucky if he restricts himself to testing and obtaining a license, but some specialists will have to go through the entire learning process and master a whole layer of new knowledge.
Moving to the United States returns for a desk / The American College in Spain.
The cost of retraining is a net loss of time, money and energy to get a profession that you already own, but in a new country. For some people, these costs can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars (imagine, for example, a lawyer or surgeon) and are an important factor in making the decision to move.
8. The immigrant’s handicap.
The life of an adult person is not only study, work, family and rest, but also a huge amount of “metadata”: our connections, acquaintances, convenient ways of solving typical problems and habits. A person begins to build up connections in school, continues at the university and finally forms an environment when entering adulthood.
An immigrant, unless he comes to the soil prepared by his relatives, is forced to seek contacts again.
Which clinic should I contact? In which district to rent a house? Where to find a good lawyer and realtor? In part, these problems are solved by the Internet and social networks, but, deprived of a huge array of “metadata”, a person in any case feels less protected.
9. Contradictions and security.
With apparent prosperity, the US is a country full of contradictions and conflicts: 325 million people share the same territory, but different political beliefs, religious views, cultural background, skin color and ethnicity. And although the American society, built on the principles of respect and tolerance, digests most of the problems, some still get out, including in the form of crime and terrorist acts.
Massacre on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas. Photo: REUTERS / Steve Marcus.
The problem of massacres in America is exaggerated by the effect of the media multiplier, but still exists. According to the statistics of murders in recalculation on the population, we occupy a place near Albania, Niger and Turkmenistan.
It’s not that it’s dangerous in the US. But we can say that in the US it is not safe.
10. Longing for home.
If you do not appreciate the homeland, and about nostalgic feelings read only in books, the best way to experience both the first and second is to become an immigrant. Yearning comes at different times, but most of the time, sooner or later, it happens.
The motherland is not only a territorial unit on the world map and a record in the birth certificate, but also a whole complex of social and cultural experiences: people, sounds, smells, places, events, culture, customs, holidays, memories, humor, cuisine, love, fear, taxi drivers, ice, first sex.
Most of the significant events in your life – bad or good – are most likely related to your homeland.
Many Russians, after moving to America, deny involvement in culture and the presence of the Russian matrix, but this does not prevent the Russian matrix from remaining in them and from time to time cast a voice in the form of bouts of slight nostalgia.
Moving to the US is probably the most serious decision in your life. To make it right, you can not build it on illusions.
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