In seventh grade, all the students in my middle school were told to pick a foreign language to study, either French or Spanish. I didn’t give it much thought and knew immediately that I was going to pick French, because my mother had studied it for four years when she was in high school. I looked forward to picking out my French name that was used in class, but other than that, I was neither ecstatic nor dreading the fact that I was going to be learning another language. Little did I know how much learning French would end up meaning to me in the future.
So as eighth grade began, I started French class and immediately found learning it to be quite simple. I just picked up on it easily because for some reason, it made sense to me. I was soon speaking French in simple sentences and excelling in the class. I then continued to study French throughout my first two years of high school. I then had a decision to make, do I decide to continue to take French class, or do I pick up other electives? I chose the former, and ended up taking AP French, in which I was only one of six students in the class.
Throughout my entire time studying French in high school, I don’t think I appreciated my teacher enough. She was strict about using French at all times during class, and it really forced us to think about how to use the language to explain something. I remember getting so frustrated when I could not understand something in class, but now I realize how that was all part of the process of learning a language. She definitely knew what she was doing, and she is one of the reasons that I continued to study French in college.
As the vision of college neared, the summer before my freshman year I decided to minor in French. I therefore became a biology/pre-physical therapy major, with a French minor. Yes, I know it is a weird combination, you don’t need to remind me. Now that I am in my eighth year studying French, I am practically fluent. It really is a cool feeling, being able to express basically any thought in a language other than English. That is because language in general is such a beautiful way to unite people. Language itself is such an amazing thing. I mean, think about it, we make these sounds that end up making what we call “words” that make up what we call “sentences” that other people just somehow understand. We don’t even have actively process words in normal conversation, it just sort of happens in our brains, and we can reciprocate thoughts back. There is just something so mesmerizing about language and how it works. That is why I firmly believe that everyone should learn another language. Being able to express thoughts in ways other than my native language is a skill that I will forever be grateful that I have, and I cannot wait to use it in the future.