My first experience of wanting to read and write on a daily basis was in 7th grade when I was introduced to the app Wattpad. The app on its surface was nothing too special, only being made for people to be able to read and write books. Of course that’s what it was back in 2012 when I had first joined. Now it’s something more with writing contests being hosted, people being recognized and publishing books and getting movie deals or getting paid by Wattpad for the writing that they put up there; it’s really expanded into something amazing. Back in 2012, I had just made an account due to a recommendation from a friend. She was already reading books on there and she had told me I should read this one book which she had lent me her phone to skim over and I was really interested. I then made an account and it quickly became an addiction for me. I just wanted to read all the time. The books that people made on there were more interesting than any hardcover book I had ever picked up. I downloaded the app on my phone and was reading to and from school, in the middle of English class on the laptops we were given, at lunch and eventually I began to write too. My first-ever story, still incomplete to this day, was supposed to be a twist on “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare and it essentially followed the plot that it was never the families that hated each other, but Romeo and Juliet did. Despite nobody actually reading my stories I wouldn’t get discouraged because it made me learn about myself as a writer. I was very descriptive when it came to writing my stories and would have pages just full of imagery. Somewhere along the line it helped me begin to do better when it came to my writing projects in class. If not for Wattpad I probably wouldn’t be at all interested in reading and writing like I am now nor would I be any good at it.
Reading and writing nowadays can be frustrating. Ever since I was a kid, reading and writing essays wasn’t really kind of my thing. I mean , who wants to read and write nowadays? We have phones and computers for that. (Even this homework is on computer). Technology has grown so much that we don’t need pen and paper to make notes. A simple on a phone can do it all. I used to take hours during reading because I would not understand the sentences. I would read a passage and forget about it. Hence, it used to take me longer than usual to understand a passage then write a piece on it. And sometimes I still do. And during writing, I Used to spend so much time planning on what to write, then rush into writing and trying to finish because I don’t have time anymore. I never really liked writing. However, after coming to this country , I started off with hardship. I realized what life really is. What being an adult really is when I had to take care of my entire family. I had two jobs and was paying all the bills and feeding the family. It was stressful. But I never complained because they are my family. I lived in Michigan for a year then I moved to New York to study and Pursue my dreams. But things got even worse over here. I have a lot of friends here in New York that are always there for me. Due to few personal situations I had to go through , I noticed, talking about it really didn’t help me relief my stress. So I decided to write. I wrote everything that was bothering me as if I’m talking to someone. I started Writing all my problems down as if I was sharing my deep secrets to someone. I felt kinda peace from it. I noticed that the thing I never really liked, is the thing that really helped me out through all the stress and other issues I had. Writing just helps me stay calm because I’m all alone and writing whatever I want with no one bother me- just me sharing my feelings to help me relieve from stress.
Junior year, I had the option of taking a Spanish class or French class, it was a no brainer which one I would obviously select but little did I know my Spanish was very imperfect. Growing up I honestly do not remember which language I spoke first because I was mute, I refused to learn how to speak but I knew that Spanish was never my strong suit, sure I knew how to say things but it was never anything complex. I remember taking a Spanish class in Junior year, thinking it would be easy but I struggled not with reading but mainly with writing and sometimes speaking. It felt kind of embarrassing, although I knew Spanish I would always ask my friends Jessica and Ana for help. I feel like I just don’t get enough practice and so with time I started losing my accent and begin to stumble on words or give up and say what I meant in English instead of Spanish whenever I talk to my mother. I knew that this Spanish class was gonna be helpful for me but I definitely took it for granted, I would sit in the back of the class and fool around with my friends and make jokes not realizing I should’ve paid attention to the lesson knowing it would be beneficial. My family members would text me in Spanish and yes I understand it but I never know what to write simply because I don’t know how to say a lot of things in Spanish. Even having conversations on the phone I wouldn’t say much to a family member because I don’t want them knowing my Spanish isn’t as good as theirs, I would love to communicate with them more but I get frustrated and instead have my mom or my sister translate to them.
Ever since I was in middle school, I loved to read. It was a mix of genres like mystery, drama and even sci-fi. One of my favorites was greek mythology and the fiction books that came with it. During sixth grade I became obsessed with reading these fiction books based on greek mythology and I’m pretty sure everyone knows these books but they were the percy jackson books. Besides the five books that came in that series, there was another series that was a sequel to the percy jackson books that followed up on the character’s journey. For most of my middle school years, I remember trying to sneak in as much time as I could into reading these books. If I could, I’d get through 100 maybe even 200 pages in a day or two if I had time to read it at home. I’d sneak it into my locker in gym and inside my desks in almost all my classes. What I started realizing, towards the end of seventh grade was that my grades started to drop. Math especially was the one subject I started to do bad in and I was always good at math. My mother blamed the books, but seeing as to how I was so young, I didn’t blame the books because I kept thinking they were good for me. Seeing it now, they really were good for me because I despised reading, especially long books. Those books had more than 500 pages each and I read all of them. They were my escape from school and everything revolving around it.
I was raised by heroes. Heroes who escaped the world of darkness to raise me in a world of hope and light. My parents Elbadry and Noura, are two of the bravest and unselfish people that I have ever had the privilege to know. Sacrificing everything to move to a new and strange land, they picked up and touched their entire lives to make sure that my life would be bursting with infinite opportunities. Being one of four children, I found it surprising how they were able to give equal amounts of love, understanding, and attention to all of us. It seems to be strange, but I believe they have more to offer.
My father works hard in this country. Some might even say that for a while, he struggled, and he did. Having lived through half your life already, and changing everything for the benefit of your family is not an easy task to adjust. It didn’t help that people in this country treated us differently because my parents didn’t speak or understand the language. Religion played a role, as Muslims we were hated upon and treated differently, working in a non-native country wasn’t easy. However, he endured and attempted that we thrived in this exotic country. As i watched my father work hard, while I didn’t do much as I grew up, I have tried my best on improving my self in school. One of my favorite subjects is math. Having to take an English class was a bet struggle for me just because i never liked to be told to read or write. i received an email from City Tech that accepted to the college, but first, need to take one semester at BEOC program to help me with my writing skills. Mr.Cameras inspired me on how to be in love with writing and educate me with reading. The girl I was that had a headphone on and listened to music on the train every day now opens a book or randomly search something online to educate my self about life.
During my time in school, mainly around elementary school, I used to write little comics during my spare time in class, sometimes at home but mostly in class. I don’t really remember the grade when I started, but I was always into writing those little comic strips and writing these stick figures getting into little adventures in modern times. It was fun. Come high school, I was in a play writing class for about 2 years. I enjoyed it, even if it was the same recipe for both years but it was fun. Fun to act, fun to judge, fun to watch other people act, overall it was a class I enjoyed. Writing these long prompts for plays that would be over 10 pages long, sometimes 20! I still have my play writing prompts somewhere on google and I like looking back at what I wrote back then. I’ve had some sort of a thing for writing if I’m given enough time to complete a task. Finishing it up, getting those errors fixed and even adding some more detail to the writing if I see that something is missing from it. Essays can be a pain sometimes but they pretty easy to write once you know what to put down on that paper or keyboard. I like writing, it lets me express myself and to really just pass the time if I’m bored. It’s a hate/love thing, but I can handle it. Looking forward to see what this year will make me write about.
As a child, one of the many things that interested me the most was scary stories and horror movies. I remember vividly during my elementary school and middle school day’s searching only for the genre horror/ mystery in the book fairs. Therefore, after reading so many stories, it wasn’t too long afterwards until I decided to make my own. I didn’t anticipate the amount of writing I did and genuinely thought I was not going to finish, but somehow I ended writing practically a whole book. I was probably in middle school at this time and got a black and white composition notebook and started to write my “scary” story in it. Which now I look back and to be very honest it’s not the scariest, however this was the first time i was writing something outside of school and on my own. I had all these ideas, settings, characters, plots ,conflicts, and with all of it i was putting them together and making a story. Like many stories, mine didn’t take a day, it took a long time especially with all the changing and revising you do ,but I made time for it whether it was during school or after or even between classes. This was technically the first writing I was invested and fascinated in. I worked on that book for over a month and I remember one of the most difficult things being the title, and til this day the book shall remain untitled. To sum up, this experience made me realize how much i can love writing and how i don’t have to limit myself on WHAT to write.
When I had to take the Chinese Lote in my junior year of high school. After taking 3 years of Chinese at the time and having a Chinese influence with a 95% Asian school located in Chinatown of all places. I came to the point where I need to recollect all my previous Chinese knowledge in order to pass the test. The Chinese Lote consisted of 2 parts, the oral and written, which were separated in separate days. I remember the oral part of the test the most even though it counted for the least amount of points in the test. There was tension in the air, classmates flipping through their notebook pages and rushing through google translate for some last-minute studying. Those three years of suffering in Chinese class listening to my 老师(teacher) all came down to this moment; if you don’t include the ap Chinese test we were made to take in our senior year. Our previous Chinese teachers from when we were freshmen and sophomores were our examiners, which we were randomly assigned to. I was gambling with fate at this point to what teacher I’ll get. My oral was my worst aspect of the language, reading and writing benefitted me more. I either avoided answering oral questions or prepared ahead of time for when I needed to say something. The oral part consisted of 300 random cards displaying different topics and situation which we were to make a conversation to the teacher with. You were made to choose 2 of the 300 cards to talk about with the teacher in either teacher or student initiate, so basically it was like good luck.
It wasn’t until I came to this country that I had to struggle that much with reading and writing. I remember being at School as a freshman in english class, the first time my teacher ask me to write an essay and at that time I didn’t even know what was she talking about. I never wrote an essay before and worse than that I did not know a single word of english. When I started the essay I was so frustrated and uncomfortable because it was my first time writing and reading that much and adding to that it was on a complete new language. I tried my best but, I had a ton of grammar mistakes even using a translator word by word, somethings just didn’t make any sense for me. Even though I tried my best I knew I was not going to get a good grade on that essay just by the facts that it was my first one and my situation with writing and reading in english. The frustration I past through wasn’t because it was hard, I can say that it was because I did not know how to read and write at all. To add, it was more difficult for me because my teacher try to explain as best and simple as she could but the true is that at that moment I wasn’t going to understand it. I didn’t even understand what she was saying to me.
Throughout my life, I never really had any significant reading or writing
moments that I can remember of. Although nothing was really significant I
remember working very hard on my college essay last year. It was very hard
for me to start the essay, as I didn’t know what to start with nor did I have a
topic. I remember struggling for a whole week in my school library after
school brainstorming. After I talked to my friend, we eventually got a topic
for me to write about, although I don’t want to share it. I was stressing
when I first started my essay because I felt like I was a basic and boring
person. But even if I am, I still had many interesting events that I shared.
The hardest part for me when it came to writing this essay was definitely
the introduction. After the introduction, everything was smooth from my
body to the conclusion. It took me well over two weeks to finish this essay as
I revised it several times. When I finished the essay I remember not being
very confident about it. So I went to my English teacher from sophomore
year, I remember clear as day when he read my essay he enjoyed it very
much. That made me feel confident. Overall when I finished my whole
college essay I was so relieved after weeks of stress for an essay. Although I
might not have a lot of significant moments from reading to writing the
college essay that I wrote was very prevalent to me.