“Buenos días, ¿cómo estás?”

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.


When my dad first began working in Mexico, I nonchalantly changed my schedule to include seventh grade “Intro to Spanish.” Naturally, I didn’t think twice about what would later prove a crucial decision—few seventh graders realize how such simple choices can affect his or her future. Now, a mere five years later, I realize just how important that choice was and how much it has affected who I am and who I will become. Choosing to learn Spanish has provided me with irreplaceable experiences which have given me insight into what I hope to achieve in the future.

My Spanish studies took me on a trip to Mexico City to stay with a family whom I had never met. After the first few rather awkward hours, my initial culture shock gave way to an undying respect for the hospitality of this family and the Mexican people. My “sister” gave up her room, sleeping on her brothers’ floor in order to make me as comfortable as possible. Her ten- and twelve-year-old brothers even went out of their way to include me in their habitual backyard soccer matches.

An everyday occurrence, trivial in most Hispanic countries, made me realize just how different the people and culture of Mexico are from those of the United States. At a routine doctor’s appointment...

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