This I Believe

Hani - Lake forest, Illinois
Entered on December 12, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Do you think you are happy? Everyone wishes to be happy. It is never an easy thing to attain. I thought I was not happy in America because it was difficult at first for me here. It was a challenge, something new.

I decided to study in America because an English translator is my dream. It was not easy to make this decision because there were many precious things that I did not want to lose in Korea. It was hard to give up fun with my friends, but I thought there were more important things than hanging with friends in Korea

After I came here, I went through a hard time because everything was so strange and I felt like there was no on I could depend on. However, it was definitely real and I had to survive here because there was no way I could run away from the situation. Whenever I felt like I was getting weak, I remembered my parents and how badly I wanted to come here. Even though it was embarrassing to speak English clumsily, I tried to not care about it. As the time passed, I got less shy to talk to friends in English. One day, I dreamed in English and even though I don’t remember what it was about, it made me happy because I heard that dreaming in English means you are becoming fluent. A few months ago, I thought that I should give up becoming a translator whenever I saw Americans talking to each other so fast without stopping and using slang. It seemed there was a certain world I could not join because I could not understand what they were talking about. Becoming a translator seemed too far away from me to be possible. However, I decided to get new confidence on my dream. I know it will take a long time to achieve my dream, but I want to believe in myself.

At first, I did not say anything during homeroom and I hated myself not saying anything but just see other people. I had so much to say and keeping it all in my mind was hard. I sometimes thought, “Was it a wrong choice to come here? Why do I have to get through hard things when I enjoyed my life in Korea?” I had to bear my tears endlessly. But, I talk to friends, joke and laugh with them. I am not saying everything is settled down, or my English is enough to communicate. But when I try to challenge and change myself, it makes me happy. What makes me happier than anything is when I imagine my parents proud of me.

I believe happiness depends on you and that no matter what the situation or the challenge, you can achieve it. This I believe.