Cut in half – Communications Essay
Education is everyone’s future. People go to school for years to get the knowledge and experience for their dream job. But in every country there is a different level of expectations and pressure that lies on every
student. Number of classes each day, the amount of homework to do and the pressure that every student has to go through, are just a few differences between Polish and American schools. Students in America have an easy life while students in Poland have to deal with pressure and stress every day.
Living in Poland was the most special time in my life. But when I think about the school that I went to, I mostly remember tons of homework, mean teachers, and overwhelming feeling of not being ready for my classes. It was partly because I had a different schedule every day and I had around ten classes to take each semester. Each year usually started on the September 1st and ended around the June 20th. We did not have many days off, as far as I remember, we had the Independence Day, the Constitution Day, and some of the religious holidays off. We also had a Christmas Break and the two weeks of winter break in February.
When I came to the U.S. I was on a sophomore level in high school. I was given a schedule that was the same for the whole week. Fortunately, I had more days off for different reasons and holidays. I started school on the August 18th and ended on the May 30th. When I was a senior we were done with high school at the beginning of May. It was amazing for me how much time I had for myself now that I changed my life so much.
Days in Poland were different. When I came from school, I had six or seven classes to study for the next day. My every day was basically all about school. Not only I had to write a lot of essays, but I also had to memorize all of the new material from our books. Our books were much smaller than American ones, but they contained only the information we needed to know. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with books all around me until twelve at night. I will never forget some of my teachers with their meanest, strict looks on their faces. When they wanted to check our knowledge, they would call out one of our names, and then the chosen student had to stand up and answer all the questions the teacher asked with no looking at the books or notes. It was a stressful situation that locked all our thoughts inside, and we could not remember anything.
In the United States I had enough time to do my homework at school, so I had a lot of free time afterwards. I had time for almost everything. I could watch TV, sit on the computer or go out and I did not have to worry about school any more. School was more fun, easier, much less of a big deal. Teachers made it very easy to pass every class I was taking. When I first started going to school, it was funny for me how long some teachers would explain homework problems to students, how much time they would give us for projects, and how we could use our notes while taking a quiz.
It was weird how I would get a headache when I thought of studying in Poland. I had the feeling that teachers expected of us, the students, more than we have could ever known. I do not think they even knew that much as we had to know at one time. When I started high school in Poland, I was put together with a group of 28 people that were supposed to be my classmates for the next three years. We were all different and we were just getting used to the new environment. In the first month we were overwhelmed by the responsibilities that lied on our shoulders. In the next three years we were supposed to get ready for the exam of our life. It was the test that determines in Poland your level of knowledge at the age of eighteen or nineteen. Passing it would mean that we were old enough and ready to step into the real world of adult life. It was the exam in Polish Literature and writing, Math, a foreign language, and one additional subject that we could choose. It was also the most stressful moment that could ever happen to a teenager.
In the United States I have a free mind, I have less stressful school days and I am surer about what to study for each day. The education is the reason why I came here. I can see that studying here can get me somewhere in my life. It might seem like I have chosen the easier way of living, but I had the opportunity to make that decision and I think I made the right one. I will never regret going to school in Poland, because the school was the reason for me to meet the most special and unique people. But it will always remain me of the stress and pressure that was always with me. If I had the money and courage, I would go to college in Poland to see if I could manage it again. I will always be cut in half when I talk about Poland and America.