A girl looks at a picture frame with pictures of her family. Pictures of friends hang on the wall. Textbooks show that she is studying.

R.G. Photo Memories

Before coming to the United States, I took some pictures with my family and friends. I brought the pictures to America and put them in the best view on my desk. When I first came to the United States, I had good expectations but I also had fears. I didn’t have relatives and friends in America and only my family. I learned a lot about racism from Korea, but I didn’t think I would suffer. However, when I came here, I learned that there are some American students who really hate Korean students. One time, my first year in the US, an American student who didn’t know me started swearing at me and using racial slurs, but I couldn’t say anything because I didn’t speak enough English. I felt really embarrassed and terrible. I didn’t tell anyone because I was worried that student would find me and bother me more. Whenever something like that happened or I felt sad, I would look at the picture of my family and friends and I would wish I could go back to Korea.

However, if there are mean people, there are also kind people. A kind person came to me who was not good at English first, talked to me, and we did homework together. I felt encouraged thanks to kind people, and I was able to adapt to America with their help.

I also had a hard time at school. I wasn’t good at English, so I needed to bring my dictionary all the time. But some teachers didn’t want me to use the dictionary on the test, so it was really hard for me and I got bad grades. I always translated English in Korean in class and at home. I have to find words in Korean, so I can’t keep up with the class and pass the day when I have homework. I also looked at the pictures on my desk when I was having a difficult time in school. Studying English was so hard and I missed my friends and family. When I looked at the photos, I felt that I wanted to see them and that I had to work hard, and they helped me get through the difficult times at school. Now, I still have the photos on my desk, and I feel happy when I see my precious people smiling.

A girl looks at a picture frame with pictures of her family. Pictures of friends hang on the wall. Textbooks show that she is studying.

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