Is this good enough?
When I first read this essay prompt my mind was blank…I tried, but could not think of how I should begin. Was my life story even interesting? However, I was cleaning my room, and I found a picture of my grandparents in South Korea. At that moment I couldn’t stop myself from crying. Tear drops fell from my cheeks and onto the picture, and at that moment I knew what I was going to write.
Seven years ago I said good bye to my grandparents, and it was a devastating day for all of us because it was such a dramatic, life changing event. Before saying goodbye to my grandparents, it was just an ordinary day during summer break. The sun was shining bright, the winds were calm, and it was very quiet. As soon as I woke up, I jumped out of my bed and got ready to go outside. On a regular day, I would play outside until sunset, but for some reason that particular day, I just wanted to stay inside and watch TV.
In the afternoon, the phone rang and I was surprised that someone had called because my grandparents didn’t know many people outside of the town where we lived. I answered the phone and my mom started talking to me. My heart stopped and I could not speak. When I was seven years old I spent a day with my mom and my brother, which was the only time that I remember seeing them. It was shocking to hear that my mom wanted me to go with her to the United States.
There is a point to my short story. I was raised by my grandparents in a very small village of three thousand people in South Korea, and this is part of who I am. The village where I spent my early life was far away from the bigger cities. This might sound shocking but I did not know what pizza, spaghetti, hamburger, or other amazing foods were until I was introduced to them by my new stepfather who is an American. When I first saw my stepfather I thought to myself, he is a strange looking person. He appeared very tall; his nose looked long and pointy…not to mention he had blue eyes! It was very rare to see an American in a small village like the one I grew up in Korea. At this point, I was 11 years old and had no idea how to speak English, except for a few words. It was expected of me to go to an American school despite my lack of knowledge in vocabulary; I wrote and spoke in English, and before too long, I was speaking without any assistance. After attending two years in a DoDDS school on the military base in South Korea, I moved to Wichita Falls, Texas.
In Texas, surrounded by Americans, I felt like a stranger. The first week of school I wasn’t a very active in trying to make friends, however, the kids kept bothering me. I tried to stay away from the kids that wanted to become my friend because I was shy and I couldn’t understand half of the things they were talking about. Everywhere I looked, someone was looking back at me and I wasn’t used to this much attention. It wasn’t like the school in Korea where I could feel comfortable just being me. However, because I was constantly surrounded by Americans, I was able to learn to speak English more quickly.
Even though I felt out of place, I made progress by talking a little at a time. As I learned to speak more fluently, I made more friends and I was less shy towards others. That led me to try different activities such as track, football and basketball. I’ve played all four years and had much success. After the fourth year in Texas, my family and I moved to Ramstein, Germany, where I currently live. I have been living in Germany for about a year and half. During this time, I have traveled to many places and learned a lot about the German culture.
To be honest, I never thought I was going to fit in. I had to make two major changes in my life in just couple of years. First, I had to adjust to bigger cities or even a bigger town, and all the new things that I didn’t know about that most kids were exposed to like: video games, music, and many American cartoons. I also had to speak English instead of Korean and attend an American school instead of a Korean school. Sometimes I thought it was crazy, but it got easier as I tried harder and I started to blend in with the people around me. I committed myself to different cultures and a different life style and adapted successfully. I have a very good attitude towards everything that has happened to me. The hardest thing I have ever had to do was leave my grandparents, who were like my parents for eleven years. They let me make the decision to stay in Korea with them or move to United States with my mom and stepfather. The decision I made was to move to the United States and that decision to strive to have a better life in U.S. will always be with me.
In conclusion, I believe I have many things to offer a college campus and I am looking forward to learning new things and meeting new people. I hope my positive attitude, exposure to different cultures and strong commitment will enrich the community I find myself in after high school.