Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Most ten year-olds have a themed birthday party, Minecraft, Disney princesses,shows, you name it. However, I had spent my birthday 18 hours on a plane, emotionally tense and sleep deprived.
Growing up, I wasn’t exposed to diverse groups of cultures and traditions likeI have been for the past seven years here in the US. I didn’t have the privilege of experiencing the cultural differences that the city of Lancaster alone provides and understanding them on a deeper level. Before, I only knew of one culture, one language, one lifestyle and that was Nepali. I was ten years old when I moved to the US. Now, the kids my age have a wider understanding of politics and pop culture, as well as current events around the world; whereas, when I was their age, I felt as if I’d been in the shadows regarding those topics. I only knew basic conversational English such as “Hi! How are you?” and “I’m fine. How are you?”. I didn’t understand giving high fives and hugs; everything was strange to me. Even now, the weather, the people, and the language are all still strange and will continue to be because none of it is what I was used to back in Nepal.
Still now, I find myself comparing America’s norms and traditions to what I knew in Nepal almost every other day. I consider myself lucky to have come to the U.S. the time that I did, when my communication abilities were still not fully developed and I still had time to learn as much as I have. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Frederick, who understood the situation I was in.She took the time out of her day, either during recess or lunch and she sat with me one-on-one to help me with my daily conversation skills. As I learned English, she would move my seat around so I had a chance to get to know everyone in my class and be friends with them. She also did this to get me out of my comfort zone and prevent me from sticking to my cousin, who was also in my class. When she discovered I was interested in music, she got me in the school chorus and orchestra. Although I didn’t continue participating in orchestra, I have been in the school chorus ever since.
Mrs. Frederick had also asked me to present to the school board to help me with my public speaking; I don’t remember many details, but I do know it was a great honor for me and made my parents proud. I consider that to be a great achievement. At the end of the school year, I remember she gave me a huge box of books and told me, “Sadi, I’ve put the books I saw you reading during the school year as well as ones that are similar to them in the box. You make sure you read all of them over the summer, alright?” and sent me away with a tearful hug. I ended up reading all of them and got placed in honors classes in middle school because of the level of reading I had achieved. Not only did I gain the privilege of being in honors classes, but I developed a love for reading. All thanks to my fifth grade teacher.
To this day, whenever my friends or teachers realize that I’ve only been in the country for seven years, they’re genuinely shocked. It’s a good feeling to have, considering how hard I’ve worked to get my language skills to be on the same level as the rest of the kids my age. In the end, I feel that I am forever indebted to Mrs. Frederick, for giving me the push I always knew I needed to survive in this strange new world that I am now a part of.