Relocating to new areas can be a scary and huge adjustment for anyone. For Lauren Gale, the comfort of knowing that her family was with her was her rock.
With Lauren‘s father being in the Canadian military, she moved six different times in her primary school years.
In moving six different times I really got to experience a lot of different cultures in my life. I do think that experiencing many different cultures has made me into the person that I am today. It has made me really accepting and interested in different forms of diversity.
With Lauren’s dad being in the military, she has experienced certain advantages regarding her track career. When she visits her family, she has access to a lot of U.S. Air Force fitness centers in Colorado Springs. Lauren enjoys certain perks like this as a result of her being a military brat. However she has expressed that there are some downsides as well.
It has been really cool to have a military ID. I get access to the bases and other military events and discounts. But it states on my ID that it is not valid for federal identification.
With Lauren not having citizenship in her new home — the U.S.A., her ID does not allow her to vote here. However the fact that she resides in the U.S.A. means she can’t vote in Canada, either.
It’s actually really weird because I would love to be able to vote. I feel like every vote counts and I wanna be a part of making a difference. Also on the flip side it’s weird because I’ve been in America for so long. I’m more familiar with American politics than my home country’s politics right now.
Cross cultural endeavors
Lauren’s moving to the U.S.A. at a young age has caused her to experience a lot of confusion regarding how she identifies herself.
As mentioned in part one of this series, she struggles with trying to fit in. This is a result of pressure to be what society wants her to be. Her not being able to vote in either country has a part in this confusion as well, because each country holds a great significance to her. Not having U.S. citizenship has caused a lot of trials and tribulations throughout her and her family’s life. There is always a lot of paperwork and hoops that she must jump through everywhere she goes.
Along with these obstacles comes the troubling possibility of her father getting stationed back home to Canada. Him being sent back before she can finish her degree at Colorado State University will cause further trials.
My visa is currently under my dad’s military posting. So it’s not the typical F-1 student visa. Once he gets posted back to Canada I need to switch my visa. I would have to switch it from a NATO-2 visa to an F-1 visa. I’m hoping it will go through but it could be weirdly declined with covid and everything.(Lauren in 2020)
It is no question that 2020 and 2021 have been stressful years for everyone. Lauren claims that it has been also very hard for her to be away from home, with all of her family being away in Canada and her being in the United States. It has been a sensitive time for her not being able to visit her home country. According to Lauren:
I think after the global pandemic is over I would really love to go home. Really get back in touch with where I come from. Because no matter what, home is home.