While a person might be afraid because the rain Is oaring heavily, a rose will always find that rain necessary to open Its petals and to beautify Its environment. The storm might come In the night and roughly shake this fragile rose, but at dawn moistened and sprinkled with fresh dew, we will see a strikingly beautiful rosebud slowly opening its petals to the world. Just as a rose, we will always need the storms in our lives to grow and be mature. Eventually, after each tempestuous night there will be always a new glorious dawn to renew and reassure our strengths.

I have gone through many challenges in my journey to a higher education; however, none of them prevented me from growing personally. As a rose I was transplanted from a green yet needy soil to a cemented wealthy firm land. Unfortunately, one of the two gardeners who were supposed to take care of me spineless withdrew from his duties. Even though I was stroked with disappointment, I accepted the love of my only guardian and courageously chose to fulfill my dreams. Whereas my father turned his back on me, my mother and I managed to survive without him.

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She dutifully worked overtime and I baby-sat a few times. The real issue came when I decided to go for a bachelor’s degree. I didn’t count on the support of my father, and my mother’s financial situation was unstable. My mother as always was more than willing to support me, but I was not going to place that huge burden on her shoulders since she was having penuries at home. My teachers in high school and my boyfriend cheerfully encouraged me to apply for scholarships.

At the beginning, I was extremely concerned because of my immigration status, but I found out that there was plenty of help for people like me. Eventually, I was awarded a few scholarships and discovered that I had the potential to surpass any obstacle in order to achieve my objectives. As my rosebud was starting to bloom before a complex world, I found myself surrounded by a gloomy environment that could dry me out at any moment. When we are In the process of learning, we want an environment free of noise and problems.

However, living in one of the most violent, uncreative areas AT Los Angels, Tanat Is literally Impossible. Being garden In teen criminal elements of South Los Angels I could sense the hatred among opposite gang members and the destruction of young people due to drugs, alcohol and gang disputes. I not only saw all of this in the street but sadly within my family. It was devastating to see how my brother and cousin were unavoidably involved in illegal drugs and alcohol because of the peer pressure in the streets.

When I was about to do my homework in the small room that my mother, my brother and I share, a problem erupted thanks to my brother’s bad behavior. I could not concentrate on my homework, and the fear of seeing my mother and my brother arguing froze me. However, this problem did not discourage me; on the contrary, it reinforced my desire of acquiring a higher education, so I could take my family out of this problematic atmosphere. Besides, it inspired me to better my community by becoming a teacher who could help and guide me through an imperfect world all of these young people.

Learning a new language was the most intricate barrier I had to overcome. Coming to the United States knowing only a few words in English, made my years in high school even more difficult and painful. Sitting in the classroom, I could hear and sense the mocking of my American-born classmates who did have a much better accent. Nevertheless I didn’t give up; I decided to continue with what I have started even if that meant to restrain my pride. I would spent whole hours in the library Just trying to put together an essay or writing any other paper.

My strategies were to spend time in the school library and, as I was advised by a teacher assistant, to devour books during the summer. These tactics paid off at the end because I passed the California High School Exit Exam in the first year of being in the country. Besides I graduated with honors and received numerous recognitions in my English classes. When I became more confident about my English I was assigned as a tutor to my peers. I was able to bridge the gap between cultures in my school cause I brought Latino culture to Asian students and other minorities.

I immersed myself from my limited society to a wide multicultural world where I could make friends with anyone in need of help with their English and Spanish classes. The setback of a new language helped me to gradually develop a hard-working attitude and socialize with people my age from all over the world. The rejection of my father, the negative influence in my inner-city neighborhood, and learning a new language were some of the impediments throughout my high school years.

However, one of them distracted me from pursing my goals and growing into a mature, responsible person able to endure any hardship. As inexperienced young people, we think that life is as beautiful as a rose garden, but we abruptly clash with the cruel reality. To appreciate the beauty of a rose you have to hurt yourself with the sharp thorns of it. Likewise to grow and to become a wiser person we have to go through many adversities. Just like the rainstorm can impact a rose, the trials can polish our personalities and strengthen our characters. Nancy, Thank you for such a treat!