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An International Student’s Journey to Getting All A’s

Submitted By: Wencen Zou

I believe that all students from China who settle in United States have the same problems that I have experienced, including: a new living environment, a new school, a new population group, and the most significant—a new language.

In my experience, this is the toughest problem that often frustrates the students from China. In my own experience, an example of this difficulty is that “if I want to be a person who pick up the trash, you need to learn the English of classification of the garbage first”. Even though picking up the trash may seem like a basic task, you begin to realize how important English is in our life now, even you want a relatively simple job.

To all the students here, my advice is that if you meet such a problem, do not try to evade or escape from this difficulty. The more we delay the worse and difficult our time will be. Furthermore, by confronting your difficulties, you can feel more connected to the school population and learn better by figuring out how to overcome such hardships.

In the past, I always complained about English because it made my feel frustrated. Now, some of you may ask: if you feel that you are not good enough, how can you possibly get an “A”? It’s possible, but it requires you to follow a few steps. Your level of English has a direct correlation to the words you may get confused on. What I do is I take out a notebook and collect the words I don’t know as I do my homework, then you can study these later on and learn the new words. The next step is reading. After you finish your work, take out the textbooks that you have, and just read them. If you encounter any unfamiliar words, don’t forget to put them into the list that you have when you doing your homework. After half an hour, then review the words you don’t know. If you watch an English movie, get used to the sentences that show up on the screen; one or two movies a week is the best for building up your vocabulary. Those only take an hour to finish, but if you can handle it every day, every month, it will not only help your English, but also your endurance in learning English.

The last thing I want to say is don’t study for the sake of studying, study for yourself.

About Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a senior at Monta Vista High School. He moved back to the States in 2012 after living in Beijing, China for two years, and currently lives in Cupertino, California. This cross-culture experience has enabled him to encounter a vast variety of environments in which part of his writings are based on. He is also currently an officer in HEARTS, a nonprofit organization, and a VP at Silicon Valley DECA. He also has a passion in web design, computer science, badminton, and writing.

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