This story is by Yuqi, a special young man from China who is studying in high school in America. The story says much at this time. We are grateful to Yuqi for writing it.
LOOKING back on my life’s journey, I cannot believe that I have been living and studying in America almost four years. I knew that I was the luckiest person in the world when I got my green card and moved to America with my father. By obtaining that great opportunity, I was not conceited and I knew there would still be lots of obstacles that I needed to overcome.
At the beginning of my high school years, I was like an explorer who was in this new world and trying to discover things that were new to me. In order to develop my language skills, I took two ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes everyday for my first two high school years. I was amazed how 26 letters combined with each other could form words with logical meanings!
The beginning of the learning process is always tough, so I was permitted to have an ipad with a translation program which made it much easier to communicate with other students. But I did not like carrying the ipad at all. The reason for that was not because I was worried about how people would look at me, but because it limited my expression. I did not want to spend time on the ipad just figuring out how to tell someone that “I want to go to bathroom”.
I wanted to be treated as a normal high school student who could express his thoughts whenever he wanted. I wanted to just express myself and get past cultural misconceptions, but that is very hard when you cannot express yourself freely. But with the help of others I no longer need the ipad and have learned to express myself with confidence. Looking ahead, my life's journey is continuing. It might be a long path, but I am ready to explore and to contri- bute to my new world. —Yuqi