A Year of Change, A Year in Paris.
Coming from an isolated world in a small city I know as Salt Lake City, Utah I needed a new experience. I needed to experience something that would give me hope, something inspiring, something that would challenge me and force me out of my comfort zone. I found this something special. Little did I know, this experience would change me and give me more knowledge, appreciation, and passion to take with me on my journey of life.
In my junior year of high school I had the opportunity to move to Paris for a year. I attended the American School of Paris and lived with a family. Living in a foreign country on my own at a young age forced me to immerse myself in the culture. The school I went to was diverse to an extreme. I aspire to be like these kids. Speaking four languages didn’t seem to faze them and it wasn’t a rare occurrence.
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I learned new things everyday whether it be about the Serbian national soccer team, or Paris fashion week. I was in shock at the intelligence of my peers. The way they carried themselves with confidence, and poise. The way they could hold sincere conversations, which I was not used to due to the gossiping maturity level of a normal American teenager, amazed me. These kids want to do something with their lives, they have dreams and goals and I never knew by the end of this experience I would like one of these kids.
Paris alone is the most visited city in the world. Everyday I would walk to my bus stop and see the different types of people. This was so different than what I was used to in Utah. I matured so much through living on my own. I was forced to forget my emotions at times and focus on what was important. What was important was learning to live in a different society I was not used to, and immerse myself in a different culture. I came away with so much more than I came with because I challenged myself, and proved to myself that I can succeed in this world without necessarily being with my family, but depending on my own emotions, and ways of being. Even on an academic level, my work ethic changed incredulously. In Utah I had never learned a good work ethic because I had never felt like I had been motivated and driven. In Paris I was so motivated and driven by everything around me. It forced me to challenge myself, because my workload was not something I had ever known. I now take what I learned at my school in Paris and apply to my school in Utah. I can take all that I learned from Paris and take it with me to college. I have seen and experienced the ups and downs, the language barrier, diversity, and culture. I have respect for other people, and I am more open to new ideas and more aware of the world around me. I know I could have never found this if it wasn’t for Paris.