A Cry for Help


An Introvert Learning a New Language

I consider myself to be an introvert, but I was excited to learn a new language. I have many Spanish speaking friends and my boyfriend is Guatemalan. I had every reason to learn Spanish plus I’ve always wanted to participate in the Latin American culture.

Learning a new language has two parts, the learning part (memorizing and grammar) and the speaking part. As a college student I feel like I have the learning part figured out, if I put in a few hours a week I’ll learn the grammar and the many words that exist in Spanish. That is the easy part. The hard part is getting myself out there and talking. I would like to first point out that I am an introvert. I don’t like opening to people and approaching them is even worse. If I choose to stay in my comfort zone, then I will never be able to learn the language.

Here are the excuses I make for myself:
  • Oh, they speak English, it’s better if I communicate in English with them.
  • Uber drivers are only there to drive you not share their whole life with you.
  • It’s much easier for you to explain the story to your boyfriend if it was in English.
  • No one told me to practice my Spanish so I’m not going to.
  • Other people in class can read better in Spanish and it’s easier to understand, why don’t you just let them read.

The truth is I’m scared, embarrassed, and insecure when I speak Spanish. What if I spoke and they responded? What do I do next? I’m scared of being annoying or looking like a kid when I speak. I told those who can help me like my mama Tica, my boyfriend, and my roommates that I wanted to speak more Spanish. They said, “yeah that would be good for you.” I need help and encouragement, constant pushing. But as they care about me, they are not going to nag me. I’m a bit upset at them but there’s no one to blame but myself for not pushing out the comfort zone. With this attitude I will also never learn the language.