2024 – Marcos Paredes – Mountain Ridge HS

Mar 26, 2024

Story of my life.

Moving to a new house or school as a kid is always hard, now imagine having to move to a whole different country with a language you don’t speak and having to leave your friends, family, and home behind. I moved to the US when I was 11 years old, and I remember being scared of my first day of school and telling my mom I didn’t want to go and I wanted to go back to my country, back then I didn’t understand my mom didn’t leave her family behind because she wanted to but because it was the best for me and my sister.

My first day of school, I found myself in a classroom with a teacher that understood Spanish and that was enough for me, even though she couldn’t speak it. It was really helpful to have someone that could understand me and respond even if it was in english. My first month there was really rough, kids laughing at me because I didn’t talk to anyone and even though I couldn’t understand what they said about me, it was easy to look at their faces and realize they didn’t like me. I remember crying and being so frustrated about it.

Even though I was really sad about having no friends I never thought about isolating myself or staying in that depressed mood, I used those feelings and turned them into fuel to learn and be able to talk to others.

I started doing everything in english, listening to music in english, watching tv in english with subtitles in spanish or vice versa so I could connect some words, and after 8 months of doing all these things in a daily basis I was able to understand my teacher now and understand what all those mean kids said to me, but I was also so happy and proud to understand those kids that wanted to be my friends and invited me to play with them.

I was so excited about going to a store with my mom and telling her ¨don’t worry mom, ill translate for you¨ in some way I was happy to tell her that the effort she put into leaving her country, family, and life was already giving good things.

Learning English changed my life in many ways, and I know it can sound a little dramatic or “too much¨, but it really did. After two years of ups and downs and sometimes feeling like I would always struggle when talking to people, I was able to call myself fluent.

I met new people and made many friends, I was also able to help and defend people that were in the same situation I was two years ago, and I finally felt like I belonged and after dealing with people that told me to go back to my country and people that made me feel bad about myself or “stupid” because i couldn’t speak their language, I can say I’m glad I never gave up because I showed these people I could and I understood they would be in the same situation as me if they would move to a different country, I learned how to not pay attention to those negative comments or mean things and never keep trying for the things you want to achieve.

I always try to be kind to others now because I know how it feels when everyone is mean to you, but I also know how pleasant it is to have at least one kind person around, and I don’t lose anything by being kind to others.

After 6 years I can look back and realize all these things I went through turned me into the person I am today, I try to always be kind to others and I don’t let negative comments get to me because I know what I’m capable of as a person, I never give up no matter how many times I fail because that’s just how life goes. mistakes and failing shape you as a person, and today I can look at myself in a mirror and say I’m proud of the person I am, and the actions I take.

This has been my biggest challenge and even though it happened a long time ago it still is something that stays with me and made me a better person and made me understand how important it was to help others whenever they are alone or how a simple translation can change someone’s day.

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