Writing task between two worlds- Maryfer Mariano

For most of my life, I’ve grown up between two worlds. I was categorized as the girl from 602 or 702 or 802 which happened to be the bilingual classes at my middle school for 6th grade, 7th, and 8th grade, which was the same school building where I attended High school as well. In my other world, I too accept the bilingual in me but see myself as much more than that. The thing is that when you put a person into a category, it makes others set expectations for them which can be very frustrating for someone who knows that they’re capable of more than what’s expected of them. I viewed myself as an immigrant girl who learned English within 3 years of schooling “fresh out the boat” like they say. I viewed myself as the girl who was able to be an AP student and attend free lehman courses like her friends were doing. I viewed myself as the girl who could make anything happen if she put her mind to it and wanted it bad enough. Others viewed me and thought that because my accent was very prominent at the time, that I “didn’t know much English”. That because I took a bit longer finishing my exams, that I “wasn’t smart enough”. That because I kept my ideas to myself when it was time to participate in class because I was afraid that I would stutter and mix up my thoughts, that I “had no clue what’s going on” growing up this way has shaped me to be a very expressive person with little to no self doubt in my capabilities to be my best self. 

When I was in 11th grade, all my closest friends were moved to AP English class which gave them the opportunity to attend free Lehman courses for free until they graduated 12th grade. The earned credits applied in their portfolio looked quite nice on college applications. I too wanted that for myself because I felt I was capable of doing this for myself. After multiple after school afternoons doing homework with my English professor and doing extra credit work and engaging in English class like I’ve never done before, Mr. Kleiner gave me the heads up to move to AP English. What’s she doing here?” “you don’t belong here”.  I was immediately welcomed with those words which just gave me the drive to prove everyone wrong even though I didn’t have anything to prove because I had already made it. In that class I excelled and was able to go to Lehman and had a higher gpa than that one kid on the basketball team who had told me that I didn’t belong. Now in college I’m way more outspoken and don’t think twice to speak my mind out even if I’m wrong because nobody knows everything and asking questions and having conversations of things that I don’t know about will only make me more knowledgeable. I’ve gained confidence through being open to learning about a lot of different things. I fell in love with learning honestly, there almost always comes a time in between semesters where I crave to learn and attend a class just for the satisfaction of stimulating my thinking and giving myself a challenge. 

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