Many people have faced different challenges and experienced different things when they are adapting a culture unlike their home culture. In my opinion, these experiences are the best proofs for my growth. The first turning point in my life occurred when I just came to America. The changes of school environment and educational model were the biggest challenge I was facing. I found that in American culture, students are not required to stand up to speak and to put their hands in their back; homework is much easier lesser than that in China; Students’ after-school life is so relaxed and the way of teaching is so different.
Although these differences brought me a great degree of comfort, this comfortable life almost dragged me into a self-enclosed life. Since the stressed Chinese learning environment was replaced by the relaxed American learning environment, I almost lost my urge for improvement. The change in life made me not so eager to learn new things and to make friends; I was pushing myself toward the pleasureless robot’s life. Gradually, I became very introverted and only talked to my several Chinese friends. Even after school, I rarely went out with my friends, but rather stayed at home addicted to computer games. Such distorted comfort stole everything from me, including my fighting spirit and goals.
This kind of life continued until I was in high school. In high school, its environment forced me to face and integrate into American society. Since that time, I have made some friendly and extroverted American friends and have gradually stepped out of my previous life. From them, I have learned the American ways of humor and life and have found the way of life I appreciated. I also have met some people who recently came to America just like me; some of them were very outstanding and motivated. Therefore, I frequently compared myself to them and used them as my goal. However, I have encountered a bottleneck: Even though I have tried my best, since I had wasted too much time on games, there was still a big gap between me and them. I knew that a good environment is so important for me, so I have tried hard to enter their social cycle. Over time, I have finally found my own way of life, which has become my second turning point in life.
From then on, I choose to exercise and to take part in volunteer work during my free time. Because of this, I gradually come to have a religion and become a Buddhist. At the Buddhist Temple, I have met many experienced people who have been giving me their greatest help. I begin to learn to accept and to integrate into American society, at the same time I find the right concept that would lead me to the next turning point in life. After the second turning point, I have reached a new level of understanding concept of life, which is not to afraid of facing any difficulty. I begin to understand that in order to become a successful person, I must understand my own value and become self-confident. I am grateful to those lonely and painful days, because their presences have helped to achieve who I am now.