I believe in myself. I believe in my ability. I believe if I think I can do it, then I can do it. I have told myself that I am like a duck. Ducks can walk, not too slow and not too fast. Ducks can fly but not as good as other birds. Ducks can swim but not as well as fish. I used to be happy with that; living like a duck – being an average girl. One day I realized what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be. Could I make it? I asked myself, and I wondered if I could do that.
I wanted to come to the U.S. in order to get a Master’s Degree. Can a C student study abroad? I wondered what should I do? Finally, I made a decision; I have to come to the U.S. I have to study English. I want to follow my dream. I think I can do it. My mind keeps on telling me, I can do it, I can do it, and I want to do it.
I still remember the first time I arrived in Boston, MA. Nobody understood what I was trying to say, and I did not understand them. How ashamed I felt! To encourage myself, I went to a library and picked up tons of books. I needed to study, and I need to keep on reading. The first book I read in English was the Davinci Code. The reason why I picked this book was that I had already read it in my language so, I though it would be easy for me to understand, but it was not. I gave up after I had only read 5 pages in 10 days. It is a very hard book for a foreign student who is just starting to read in English. The vocabulary, the written style, and so forth are difficult in and of itself even if I had read the other version before. I almost gave up – for those who have never studied another language, I can tell you reading in another language is so hard, – but I did not give up. I went back to the library and picked kids’ books. Easy to read, easy to understand, and they are interesting. I developed my reading skill and kept on reading step by step from Kindergarten books to young adult books. It takes time to catch up in a language, but I really enjoyed it.
My friends said watching movies and TV would help me improve my English ability. I did, and I went to the movie theater. The first movie I watched in English was 300, Sparta. This movie drove me crazy. I did not understand a single word they said in the movie; I felt like I was so stupid. I think I should start at the beginning. Take one step at a time. I started watching kids’ stuff again. Mickey Mouse, Cartoon network, they are my best friends. I kept on watching them until I felt comfortable enough to watch young adult and adult movies. Cartoons help me a lot in my language development.
I am not telling you that I am now an expert in English, but I still continue practicing. I can tell you it is hard to learn another language, but I do believe in myself. I do believe in my ability to conquer the problems. I am doing it, and I believe I can do it. I do what I believe in. I believe in myself.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.