And I should've gotten a horse...

Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.


A flock of students surrounded me. I felt fear and confusion. I could hear them asking me questions, but I barely understood anyone; this, in short, was the beginning of my first day of school in the United States. I walked into my math class and my teacher offered me a candy; I took a red one from the basket. She said, “Oh no, that one is hot!” I had no clue what “hot” meant. The teacher found a translator: Heat. Not helpful! Long story short, I ended up eating the candy anyway and found out the hard way that hot meant spicy. Nonetheless, these small everyday experiences changed my perspective for the better.

I was raised in France, and when I moved to the United States in 2010, getting used to my new environment was a big challenge. I had to leave the house I had lived in for my whole life, the friends I knew since kindergarten, some of my pets, and my family. I didn’t speak English at all and knew nothing about this new world. It’s hard to imagine a new life at 11 years old.

I never thought I’d get the help I got from my new American friends: Every day, I would find a sheet of paper taped to my locker, with pictures and words, to teach me English. It took me a lot to learn English in four months, writing down new words over...

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