Everyone dreams of being able to attend the best schools possible for college because we know that this is the final step in our education that will dictate whether we will have the proper foundation for entering the work force or not. Some of us even dream of attending schools overseas because we believe that our education is not something to be taken lightly and that a person can only claim to have a world class educational background if the university studies are completed overseas. I am one of those people who believes that I can get an even better education overseas.
When I decided that I wanted to attended a university in the United States, I knew that I would be facing a seemingly insurmountable Goliath in terms of gaining acceptance into a university or college of my choice. You see, I am not a native English speaker and my spoken and written English are, although passable by most standards, would probably not pass muster when the time came for me to use it in the actual American educational set up. But I knew that attending school in the United States is something that I had to do for myself so I set about trying to find out what I had to do in order to make my dream a reality.
As I was inquiring about school admission policies at various universities and colleges, the one important requirement that kept popping up was the TOEFL, the Test Of English as a Foreign Language results. I had no idea what this exam was about so I had to do some research on the topic. I found out that it was the first step towards getting an American education. It was exam that I had to pass if I even had a prayer of achieving my dream. The exam required me to take a test for listening, comprehension, and essay writing skills.
Like I said, I knew that my English skills were not excellent but I thought that I was good enough to pass the test. So I followed the procedures listed in order to get an exam schedule and showed up at the exam center on the appointed day. I took the exam even though I had not practiced or reviewed for it. I was hoping that I would be able to wing my way through the test. 4 hours later, I got my exam results. I had failed dismally in the exam. I was crushed but knew that it was not over yet. I could still retake the exam.
This time, I told myself that I owe it to myself and to my parents, who were paying for the exam, to properly prepare for and pass the test. My parents did not want me to try and take the test again. They felt it would be a waste of more time and money because if I failed once, I will fail again. I did my best to convince to believe in me. That I actually had what it took to pass the test but was only ill prepared the first time I took it. I assured that that if they would only support me in my quest to retake the exam, I would make them proud of me.
They agreed to give me another chance but, it was my last chance. So if I failed this time, there was no room for a third try. I began preparing for the test by enrolling in English classes where I concentrated on improving my listening and writing skills. I bought books that taught me how to write better essays and I practiced writing essays with an English tutor that my parents hired in order to help me be better prepared for the second exam take. I prepared long and hard for one year and then, I went through the registration process again.
This time, I had the self confidence and proper preparation in place so that I knew that even though I would not get a perfect grade, I would still be able to pass the test. Just as my parents and I expected, I was able to pass the test. I did well enough on the exam to be able to apply to the universities and colleges in my shortlist of American schools for application. Through my retake of the TOEFL, I was able to prove to my parents that failure is simply a setback, not an end result of an undertaking. I was able to show them that anything dream can be achieved, as long as you do not surrender and stop trying to succeed.