Luis Perez Lerchundi
A well-known philosopher once said, “A journey of thousands of kilometers must start with a step.” For me, this step was to come to United States, far away from my home country Spain. Coming to United States has been an amazing experience and one of the best experiences that I have had in my lifetime. I believe that life is like a train’s journey, and coming to Goshen has been a stop in the right station. A stop that is going to last at least four years.
I had the opportunity to know United States for the first time when I went to University of Pikeville, through a tennis scholarship. After a year, I transferred to Goshen, a place that has gotten my attention since day one. I have always been a person with high expectations, maybe idealizing everything around me and thinking positively. After almost two years here, my expectations might have not been met but my experience has been really positive. I consider this as a great place to learn for the future. I have grown up as a student, but most important as a person.
I can say that the kindness and the readiness are the words that best define this college. Since the first day, I have felt the support of all the community members, from professors to students and even Goshen citizens. I have needed help and I have got it quickly, I barely had to ask for help and received help from a lot of people- There is always someone ready to help when I need it, and that is something I will always appreciate from this college.
One of the things that Goshen College has given me is the multiculturalism. From one building to the other, it is possible to find several people from different countries. Have we ever realized how lucky we are of having people from different places? Ten percent of the student body on this campus is international. It is a privilege to have people from exotic places like Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nepal, Norway or Hungary. I do not know where this journey is going to take me, but I can have friends all around the world, and I know that they are going to help me in this journey, and I am going to help them as well. I think I have travelled a lot, and I never give importance to places I go, I believe that the most important thing is the people I meet in these trips.
But this has not been a bed of roses. I am going to write about the two main problems that I have had in United States. The first one is the language, my beloved English… It is wonderful language, but also really hard to learn. I will probably never speak the language properly but I try my best every day. I started to learn English a long time ago but I never felt really enthusiastic until I knew that I was going to come to United States.
The other big problem is the family. Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr, a journalist like me, once said, “Friends: a family whose members are selected at will.” And I can’t deny I am going to take people from here that will be part of my life forever, people that is joining me in this train’s journey. But it is also true that there is only one family, and mine is really far away. They are exactly 4,113 miles away from Goshen. It is hard not to see them more often. I might have not appreciated everything they have done for me, and this is a way to apologize publicly. I am sure that many people reading the article will agree that we do not appreciate someone or something until we do not have them anymore.
But as I said, this is a really long trip, and if there would not be obstacles, it would be too boring. I want to end with a quote from President Abraham Lincoln that always makes me think, “In the end, it is not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years.”