The best-selling author and motivational speaker Roger Crawford once said, “Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” I have encountered numerous obstacles in my life, but none were as difficult as learning my second language, English. When I moved to the United States in 2009, I knew no English. Thus, my dad enrolled me into a bilingual school, hoping that I would learn English quickly with the help of Chinese-speaking teachers. Instead, all of my classmates spoke in Chinese and so I learned English much more slowly.
By the time I entered high school, my relatively poorer English skills prevented me from doing homework efficiently and making friends. After half a year, my teachers noticed how depressed I was. They helped boost my self-esteem by complimenting my academic achievement.
That was when I realized I had strengths, too. I began striving for excellence, because I realized that my dedication and hard work would ultimately be recognized and rewarded. Gradually, more classmates talked to me and I began to feel like I belonged in my community.
I am grateful for this challenge as it opened my heart and taught me to be determined. Not only do I like making new friends, I also like challenges. Even though some challenges seem beyond my reach, I demand myself to do the best I can. I don’t always succeed, but I see each challenge as a learning experience. I know that, as a Chinese proverb says, an intense storm is always followed by a beautiful rainbow.