“Life is not fair” – a phrase, which is abraded as an old coin, but still is a favorite theme of philosopher’s discussions. My point of view could not be common with others. The fate turned to me both sides, but it was never unfair. Moreover, I should curse myself, if I will ever complain about the fate.
I’d just turned 16 when my mom told me about an opportunity to participate in competition for those who wanted to become an exchange student. “Everybody who was interested, had to successfully complete the contest then will be able to go to the United States for the whole year to study. For free”- she told me emotionally. I didn’t believe in myself though, I was wondering why mom told me about it. I refused. Of course, I refused. “I have terrible English, I don’t want to even spend my time on that” – I said. Do you know that feeling, when you afraid to fail, to be shamed, to lose? I know. I was sure that I have no chances at all.
So it happened that there was my mom’s friend birthday. Besides, that friend lived in a city, where that competition, called “FLEX”, took place. Therefore, I figured out that it’s a hand of FATE that showed me the way to US. 1st tour consisted of a short 15-minutes test, and you can hardly imagine, how surprised I was, when found my name at the list of the winners. Finally, it made me feel more confident. The second step was the day after the first one. It consisted of writing 3 essays. The themes of them were something like “What major changes have occurred to you in 3 years?”, “Describe a situation when you have had a misunderstanding with friends or family and what did you do?”, “What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?”, or “What are three words you can describe yourself and why?” So, that test gave me an opportunity to show my best sides, to show how I would act in certain situations and deal with problems. All grammatical errors in the evaluation of the test was not taken into account; I could feel free to make mistakes and the only one goal was to formulate my thoughts to be clear and articulate.
Usually semifinalists are called approximately 1–1.5 months, after the writing of the second round. So, when the second step was completed, my whole family decided to forget about the competition for a while, to concentrate on my studying. It probably did help me by not worrying too much, in case if I were not selected for the third part of that competition.
I remember that day very well. I was sitting at the library, surrounded by a ton of books. All of them were about a poem “The Dead Souls”, written by Nickolay Gogol (a famous Russian writer who you probably heard about), because I had to write an essay about it. I glanced at my phone and after finding that it was an unknown number, I answered it with an irritated whisper. I was so confused, when I heard congratulations and an invitation to the third round.
That was it. One step. Finish line. It took about 4 or 5 hours to pass only the first part of that tour, the writing part. The second part was the most important and exciting, as it was an oral test. All semi-finalists were separated in little groups and were supposed to talk to a native speaker and to answer some questions, based on real-life circumstances, which they should deal with. That round was very difficult because all of the shaking knees, weak voice, and sweaty hands.
And then there was 4 months of waiting. Russian finalists were called during the 2 days: the 1st and the 2nd of April. When it was the evening of the 1st day, I almost lost all hope. I began to tell myself it was alright; I wasn’t supposed to win such a difficult competition.
Guess what! On the 2nd of April, about 4 pm, I was called by a man with strong American accent. A couple of first words were enough for me to recognize what they were going to say. Victory.
And now I’m here, in US, and I still can’t believe my eyes. Everything that’s surrounding me is a miracle, magic… as if I’m in a fairy tale. There are so many differences from my Motherland. From manners to shoes, from religion to school lockers, from costs to size of pizza. Now I am here. Not a guy who was prepared for that journey, who spent a ton of time to be chosen as a finalist of that program, but me, a girl, who appeared in the first tour by chance; who did it for fun and to satisfy the curiosity, and who won because of the fate, of God, or whatever. A complete accident. Does it sound like the definition of justice? I love rhetorical questions. There are no reasons for other guys to complain, because everybody is unique. Sometimes you either have to be well prepared or not prepared at all. You should be born just the way that suits the situation, have a proper age, weight, height or just be at the right time in the right place. That was my time to be lucky. It is fair enough.