I tested into the highest Spanish class that my college offered before declaring a minor. I decided at the time, which was in May of my senior year, that it was a good idea. Throughout this class, I realized multiple things.
First off, I realized that college Spanish is way more difficult than high school Spanish. I was taught Spanish in a 75% Spanish and 25% english speaking environment in high school. But even in that, if I didn't understand something, I could ask my question in english and my teacher would answer my question in English. In college that is not the case; I may ask it in English but professors in college will respond and answer it in Spanish. I understand that you want to emerge the students in a true world of Spanish. But if a student doesn't understand something, I don't understand why a professor can't break and answer in English just to answer the question.
I also realized that learning a language is hard. Throughout high school, I really didn't have to work too hard in my Spanish classes. I did a twenty-minute review the night before a quiz or test and still got an A. If I tried to do that in any of my classes in college I would be looking at a 65% at the maximum. This was a shock at first, but after 1 test I was able to readjust. Because it was early in the semester and was able to get my grade back up.
I now understand the reason those who want to major or minor in a language have to really love it. As hard as the class is it is cool to learn a new language. It is also really amazing to learn about the culture and the people that speak the language and the beauty of the countries that we learn about. Learning a language has firmly supported and increased my desire to travel after college and throughout my life.
I believe that Spanish is a language that will come in very useful in the next twenty years or so. I am glad to have taken classes of various levels so that I can use it. I feel that because I have taken various languages I will be able to pick up and speak a broken version of it. It is my hope that many who speak it will be able to appreciate the attempt in the same way I am able to appreciate the attempt when someone tries to speak English.
Taking the Spanish class, has really increased my desire to travel and reinforced that not everything comes easily. When you go from having to study twenty minutes right before a test to three hours a day just to keep up, it is a big jump. But once you get used to it, it becomes the normal. Spanish will always be there for me to relearn and to take more classes on it if I so choose.