I consider learning English my biggest accomplishment yet, for it has opened many important doors in the corridor of my life; doors that lead toward my future. In spite of the initial culture shock and the repercussions of the loss of my old life, I was able to learn English and adapt quickly to my new environment. This allowed me to develop passions and an opportunity to take the next step in my life. I know that adaptations come easily to humans, but I am proud of my most important accomplishment. English alone paved my future.
Arriving in the United States without knowing the language proved to be most difficult. I had a hard time communicating with my own surrogate family. As a result of my deficiency I spent four months without formal schooling, struggling to learn English through children’s books. I was determined to learn enough English before venturing into middle school. Once there, things became even harder. I knew I needed to speak English to gain access to the most powerful learning opportunity: a relationship with my English speaking classmates. Sadly, I became socially isolated for the majority of seventh grade, which forced me to adopt every possible way of learning English. I had to learn to communicate better to enter the social life. I slowly began to gain friends which, together with ESL classes, became the foundation of my English skills. The rest of middle school and freshman year were spent perfecting the basics of the English language. I began to open the doors to my new life in the United States.
I slowly became more fluent in English, enough so to explore my high school classes in greater depth. I was also able to explore many other interests in music and art in collaboration with friends, something that is an essential part of my personality. Learning English well enough to communicate and form relationships set my life on track for happiness, yet this was not enough to set my life on a course to success. I still had not discovered the door toward an education after high school. It was not until mid-Sophomore year that I stepped through this door to consider undergraduate education; this glimpse showed me that there was more to school than mere academic success. I could finally envision an expedition into the medical field. This helped me earn a place in Santa Rosa Junior College’s Summer Health Careers Institute. There I shadowed a number of medical professionals in different fields of medicine. Stepping through this door reinforced my passion for medicine.
Learning English allowed me to excel in school and earn exposure into the medical field. In retrospect, my past years and past experiences have made me truly thankful for being in a country full of opportunities, and truly thankful for everything that lead me here. Most importantly, I am proud to have learned English for it opened the path to my future.