Hola todos! Ahora vamos a empezar. el camino no selecionado en la vida.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am a sophomore majoring in Spanish, but today I’m here standing on the stage of an English Competition. Should I be here? Is this my arena? Two years ago, when I was offered the privileged chance to pick my major, rather than choose the well-trodden path of English I chose the lonely road Spanish. Lonely you may ask? Despite there being 400 million Spanish speakers in the world, a mere fraction of that number studies it in China.
It’s very common that when students don’t know which major to choose in college, they choose English; when they want a better job, they pick up English, and when they want to master a foreign language, more often than not, it is English. Let’s be frank, people learn English for money. There is a perception that English is the path to a better life. But the law of supply and demand tells that if everyone supplies the same service the value of that service declines. So those who have taken a less traveled road, and have not followed the herd, may have the last laugh.
We’ve seen this before. Think of all those students who decided to pursue law at the urgings of their parents, uncles or teachers. Where are they now? Promised a world of opportunity upon completing their education, instead they are now struggling to find a position in their overcrowded field. Some have ended up turning to new paths as translators, or even butchers and fishmongers. Supply and demand strikes again!
How about beyond education? What are the paths that everyone takes? Everyone rushes to buy a house and we are left with rising prices of homes and apartments that may be highly inflated. Everyone needs to purchase a car and we are left with traffic jams that last over a week! Everyone flocks to Xiangshan in the spring to look at the blooming flowers only to see the backs of other people’s heads. Too often people are sheep refusing to separate from the flock. They become nervous and uneasy when they step out of line. However, isn’t this sometimes necessary? Why do we not buy a cheaper home in a smaller town? Why do we not use public transportation instead of worrying about a car? Why do we not go see Sakura blossoms in Wuhan instead of the Fragrant Hills? The pressure to travel with others is strong for it is always easier to go with the flow.
We must learn to love the lonely path, not fear it. Not always is the popular path a safe one. There are always options. The road less traveled can be fun. Learning Spanish changes you. You become more colorful, more noisy, more gossipy, more outrageous, more daring. It is like having a personality transplant. Now I encourage people around me to take risks, not unlike entering an English Speaking competition as a Spanish Major. Even though I have chosen the less travelled road to learn Spanish, I am not restricted from detouring into English as I have today. I don’t dream about the road I didn’t take that so many of my friends did. We are lucky to have so many paths in front of us, but there is no single correct path for all of us. We must find our own way. Luckily my path is clear, Spanish is calling. Hasta la vista.