How I made it to New York
You know that feeling when you strive for something, but it somehow always slips away from you?
Well, that was to story of my life if we talk about studying in the U.S.
When I first wanted to start learning the English language I was 5 years old and I heard a song by Celine Dion on the radio and instantly fell in love with the language.
I could understand a couple of words.
When my mom came from work that day I told her to sign me up for some classes so I could understand the whole song by Celine.
Who knew that experience would change my life?
It was the first step I took on the way to the U.S. although I took it unknowingly. Later on…
The second important moment in my life was when I wanted to go to an American high school.
My parents thought I was too young to let me go to the U.S.
So, whenever I told someone my dreams I was faced with one small word that hurt me big.
You can guess it’s a word we’re all very familiar with -NO!
My parents told me NO- You’re far too young and it’s far too expensive.
My teachers told me NO- It’s pointless, you can have a good education in Serbia.
My friends told me NO- You have to stay in Serbia to have fun with us and it’s so far away.
So there was one thing I learned from that experience and it’s that you don’t share your dreams with everyone.
You nourish them by yourself and for yourself.
You lay in the dark, you do the planning, you cry, you study, you dream, then cry some more and eventually you are strong enough that the first time your chance comes you grab it and don’t let it go, ever.
The third moment which was crucial was applying for the UGRAD program.
This time I didn’t tell anyone.
I was going from one selection circle to another one without anyone’s help and suggestions and I was proud of myself for doing so.
I knew my American Dream was going to become an American Reality one day but that I had to make the first step.
America wasn’t going to come and get me, but I was going to come and grab her.
Imagine the shock of my family and friends when I got home one day and told them: Hey guys, I’m leaving for the U.S. this August and the expenses are fully covered.
And now who can tell me the dreams can’t come true?
Dream big my friends.
And if you can dream it you can do it, never forget that.
You have to be ready to fight for your dreams because there are many people like you, even better, or smarter, or richer.
But you have to show them that you’re the one who’s dreaming the hardest.