I like French, i really do. I have spent two years in my high school studying French (with almost no result whatsoever) and honestly, despite the fact that I sucked at it I still liked it. I liked the sound of the language, the complexity of the grammar and the nobility. Not a minute in my life did I excelled in French, I did not even tried to study any so all my passing was just thanks to the mere luck. Hence, liking a language is just as superficial a feeling as any other. I like the sound of it, but I don’t feel any need to learn or use it. It would have been nice to master this beautiful, romantic language. But it would also be ok if I didn’t.
I spent 13 years of my short 19 years of life studying English. When I was in 10th grade I studied in English majoring class which meant 10 hours of English per week, excluding the time we spent doing homework and attending other English classes outside of the school. For the first time in my life, I was fed up with English. We all were – my whole class. We used to go to the rest room in the middle of the class and complain about how bored we were with this language, how excessive we found all the studying. That was my 10th grade, which was 4 years ago. Now, I would give anything to return to that time again.
By the time we got to 11th grade we were all used to spending 15-17 hours/week for English and we didn’t complain much. Most of the class signed up for SAT and TOEFL classes at different English centres which meant 6 more hours of English a week (homework time not included). At some point we all stopped complaining and just went with it. By the end of the year, we all started breathing and eating English. Some of us spent the whole summer taking SAT and TOEFL classes, others just signed up for Advanced English classes at school and some took both. When we got back to school in July (I know, and no, i’m not mistaken. We went to school in mid July) some of us (like me) even forgot how to write a formal essay in Vietnamese.
12th grade is a Senior Year in Vietnamese high school and most of us were about to apply to American Universities. Hence our 12th grade was just as filled with English as our summer if not more. Due dates were coming and sub essays were demanded to be written. Everyday I opened my computer, it was screaming another school’s deadline. This wasn’t just me, it was my whole class. So we pretty much ended up writing English essays in every class we could (such as History, Geography or even Math). By the end of the first semester of my senior year I read in English as fast as in Vietnamese.
When I began my freshman year in University most of my classmates didn’t even know any English and that’s when I knew that one chapter of my life was closed. I never again had the chance to say that I was fed up with English because I miss it every single minute of the day. I try my best to spend as much time for English as I used to when I was in high school but it seems impossible. No one forces me but for myself yet I never seem to get enough of it.
“You only know you love her when you let her go” – Let her go (Passenger)
I love English, always will and always has. Just like Passenger said in his song “Let her go”: “You only know you love her when you let her go”, I never realised how English was a great part of my life until it was gone. Now, I miss it and am doing my best to fill that one spot it left unattended in my life when I graduated.
That is the main difference between liking the language and loving it. I never missed French even though I do regret that I wasn’t more focused on the studying before, but I never truly miss it. I can live well and good without it and I can go on with my life as if it never crossed my path. English, on the other hand, is the air I breathe, the food I eat. I can’t live without English, I can barely read over 2 books without picking up one in English. I grab every single opportunity there is just to practice and use it. Just like Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl, I don’t give up on what/who I love.