The Struggles of Learning A New Language.

The Struggles of Learning A New Language.

At some point, we've all probably try to learn a new language. Either because it was a class or because we wanted to learn something new. Let's be fair. Most get unmotivated and here are the reasons why I have gathered from years of learning languages (either with a professor or by myself and observing the rest of my classmates giving up):


Having no one to practice it with:

I am currently going through this. I am learning French, and I have no one to practice with. It is very discouraging saying 'I know french' but when you have to talk nothing comes out. I have now made my life goal to find someone with whom I can talk French with. I encourage everyone t do so. It doesn't matter if it's your teacher. As long as there is someone you can practice with you can go long ways.

If you do find someone they talk too fast

Any language that isn't your own sounds like a riddle when you don't understand. Usually, it's your professor that talks too fast and has to translate everything he/she said because you or the rest of the class has confused expressions. When this happens, tell them to slow down and don't let them talk to you in English. Otherwise, it'll defeat the purpose of talking to them in the first place. Sure, you can ask them to translate a word you do not understand but try to avoid your native language as much as possible.

Or have no idea how to explain them what youre trying to say in a mixture of [insert language here] and english because they dont know english.

One evening during fall break 2017 I got the chance of running into a native French speaker, struggling with her camera and I was willing to help her. Long story short, half of the conversation was sign language and the rest words I thought would help. Ironically, her husband knew English but allow both us to struggle (she was learning English, and I was learning French). I would say, don't be afraid of this happening but do take your time. There is a language barrier that can be easily broken since you are learning. Just take a deep breath and try your best. Most native speakers are willing to help you with their language because they can tell you are giving your best.

You know how to write it and read it better than speaking it but whats the point when you have no one to text in that language

This is my struggle. I know how to write and read french better than speaking it. It was not until this semester that I have taken to sending emails to my french teacher in only french that I've realize that having a friend that speaks the language you are learning is a must.

You don't know what books to buy because you don't know what level you are.

At some point, we will all need to read a book in the language that we are learning. Here is the thing, do we buy a kids book or a young adult? The decision on what book to buy has to do with the level of understanding you have on the language. Most recommend that you start with children books and go from there. Or you can read a book that you have already read in your native language (i.e., Harry Potter). No matter what though, don't feel discouraged. As long as you try your best, you'll be conquering a new language. It also helps if you see tv shows and movies on the language you are learning.

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The Different Global Experiences Of LGBTQ+ Pride

A perspective on the different experiences of LGBT people globally and the need for young people to lead LGBT movements.


Section 162: « Any person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature »

Section 163: « Any person who attempts to commit any of the offenses specified in section 162 is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years »

Section 165: « Any male person who... commits any act of gross indecency with another male ... is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for 5 years »

— Constitution of Kenya (2010)

New York City:

I've never worn so many bright colors and rainbows in my life. It is June 30th, 2019, and my friends, boyfriend John, and I went to our first Pride today in NYC!

At first, I was not too sure what to expect: would it be a full-on dance party, people just marching, or a mix of both? Would John and I be stared at when holding hands, or would no one bat an eye? Would I actually fit in, or would I be under or over-dressed? Thèse questions dominated my mind as we made our way to the parade.

All of these worries disappeared when we arrived, as I saw everyone around wearing rainbows, angel costumes, or little-to-no costumes at all. Everyone was so supportive, and there were many LGBT couples as well, not only demonstrating PDA, but also not being afraid to show who they really are. I became further overwhelmed as I saw the crowds of LGBT people from different companies, offices, and politicians marching in the parade. I also got a lot of free stuff from Pride too!

The best parts were me feeling safe holding John's hand in public for the first time and seeing young children enthusiastically participating in the parade.

Nairobi, Kenya:

It is June 30th, 2019 and I am still in shock. In late May 2019, the Kenyan High Court in Nairobi upheld the criminalization of same-sex relations in Kenya. One of the judge's reasons was that Kenya needs to make its own laws that reflect its own culture (Burke). They also stated people like me are not « born this way », as there is no scientific proof of such, and that the law does not discriminate against people in regards to the Constitution (Burke).

When I heard this while in the Courtroom, I ran outside and wept heavily on the steps of the Court.

Did you know that since 2014, there have been 1,500 cases of Hate Crimes involving LGBT Kenyans, and that, according to a 2013 survey, 90% of Kenyans don't think society should accept same-sex relations (Burke)?

With people forced to go into hiding in Tanzania due to similar laws, I am very much afraid and don't know what to do.

I only hope the next generation can help us.

Gaborone, Botswana:

I have never been more excited and appreciative about today! This is because Botswana's High Court decriminalized same-sex relations earlier this month! This finally allows me to feel safer in my own country.

Justice Leberu said the discriminatory law detriments LGBT people and society as well (Fox). Under the former colonial law « carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature » resulted in a max 7-year prison sentence (Fox).

From what I remember, I screamed and cried tears of joy when hearing the verdict in the courtroom. I'm so happy!

However, we must continue to advocate for LGBT rights in Botswana. For example, by encouraging youth to stand up against homophobic family members, we can help create a better social acceptance in society.


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Do You Believe In Magic?

How else do we explain some things that happen in life?


There are some events in life that we cannot figure out. For example, how we know something bad is going to happen because we see some signs and before you know it- bam! Something bad happened. Or when you know it's going to be a good day because you feel it. How can we explain Karma without magic?

I have conflicted feelings about magic but I do not, however, throw that option out of the window. There have been unexplainable events in my life that the only explanation is magic. Just to clarify, I don't mean 'Harry Potter' and wand waving, although that would be very handy when cleaning my house and packing (i mean, come on, traveling would be 5x easier, plus we get to shrink our luggage). The kind of magic I am referring to is the one that makes us say, "life is a mystery" or "mother nature is doing it's best."

I have grown to believe that our actions and emotions can influence how much "magic" there is in our life. I mean there is karma. Karma is the whole "if you did bad, bad will happen to you" as well as "if you did good, good will happen to you." Sure, that sounds like several religious motifs but we live by them, right? There is also our belief in soulmates and love at first at sight and that's pretty magical. I know that not everyone believes in that, the same way not everyone believes in magic, but there is a little of everything for everyone, right?

I feel that I am in a magical point in my life. I am in a wonderful relationship (one that I am still in shock that I got to be with this amazing guy), I have overcome every academical challenge there could be (honestly, I think magic is the only explanation for my unexplainable jump of grades), I am miles away from home, so far away that if something bad were to happen I think it will take unanswered text messages and a news headline to let my family know something happened to me, assuming my friends do not tell them first.

My point is, right now in my life there are unexplainable events that make me conclude that magic does exist.

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