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  • Writer's pictureMr Dixon

COMMENDED: Coming of Age

Zara in Year 7 writes a letter with a twist: a message for her younger self. Of her letter, Zara said: There are two sets of twins in my family, but I only realised this was special when I was 4 years old. I was delivered onto this planet in Australia. Just after my fourth Birthday, shared with my twin sister, I took a 24-hour plane flight to London where my family had decided to move. I had no idea what London was going to be like, but all I knew was that it would be exciting and I would enjoy exploring a new world. And I did! Snow was falling the day I landed which I had never seen before. Here is a letter I have written to my younger, four-year old self.

Dear Zara,

You are at Melbourne Airport saying goodbye to your grandma. She has your little four-year-old body wrapped up in her huge arms while you are desperately trying to escape. In 24 hours, you will be wishing you had stayed there a bit longer. But you have a plane to catch to London and do not have time for slobbery kisses. You'll see her on the weekend anyway (you think). With your favourite toy, Blankie, safely packed away in your trunky, you race your sister towards the gates, without looking back for a final wave.

After you land in London, you take a taxi to your new home. You gaze eagerly outside the window, eyes wide open. Climbing out of the taxi, the freezing air strikes you with a fright. A soft, white globule falls on your nose. You have never felt anything like it before. You are not used to the cold weather and begin to think that this might not be much fun. But don’t worry; you’ll be making snow angels in the back garden soon. Arriving at your new house, you excitedly clamber in and explore. You run all the way up the five-flight staircase reaching the very top room (which will soon be yours). The only thing in the bare room will be two mattresses lying on the floor. Don’t make the same mistake I did by jumping up and down on them, or else you will have to sleep in a bed with a dip in the middle – a bit like a hammock – for the next year.

At this time, you have a lot of new things to get used to: a new country, city, house, room and soon, school. You will start school six months after arriving in London. On your first day, you walk nervously, holding hands with your Mum and sister to your new school - Belleville Primary School. For the first time you will be separated from your twin sister for more than half an hour. You will worry about who you will play, talk, and eat lunch with. It will be a tough year if you do not stop worrying like I did. Instead, I would suggest being brave and making new friends because you will find that there are many nice children in your class. If you try now, you will have longer friendships than I did and maybe make a few more.

As you gradually move up the years, you will become more confident and not always rely on your Mum. In fact, soon you'll find out that perhaps you shouldn’t rely on her at all. You see, there is one year where you will have a trip to a Victorian School. Mum will dress you up in a witch’s costume because it was all she could find that morning. Every other girl will be wearing a school-girl-dress, apron, and bonnet. You will feel like the odd one out. Everybody will be staring at you and think that you dressed up for the wrong occasion. The entire time, you will be worrying about your costume and may even cry a little. I want you to forget about that and just enjoy the trip because in the end, none of the other children will even notice. This is something that you will remember vividly in your next few years at Belleville Primary.

You are young, just four years old, and about to start a whole new adventure. What will seem new and unusual will become familiar and maybe even fun. Be brave and know that you will be fine on your own and you will not always need your sister by your side. Lastly, do not expect that mum will remember everything.

Have fun on your plane journey to London. Before you leave though, be sure to give Grandma a warm, long hug.

Yours sincerely,


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