Olives for Hope

If the world is ever going to come to peace,
humanity can no longer be recognized 
on a case by case basis.


Graduation Essay by N.O.

Posted on April 28, 2022 at 7:00 PM


N was a 15 year old female Palestinian student of mine. This is her final graduation essay.




The Train to Confidence

She was an ordinary girl, going from home to school, school to home - studying, sleeping and eating, without knowing the world. This girl was me. A girl who doesn't like to socialize with people who often feel like a traffic jam. I'm like a butterfly, a girl who loves nature, calm and solitude.

l stayed like this, until opportunity came to my door. Like a dream, a great, good and graceful opportunity.

I was sitting in my room , when my phone vibrated. I winced, then picked it up. “You’ve been accepted in the ACCESS program to learn English." This was like a bomb. Maybe you’re saying, "What is this exaggeration?!", but I'm not exaggerating. Jumping up and down, I was really happy and wanted to kiss myself. To enter this program you need to take the entrance examination. I studied a lot beforehand and it wasn’t difficult,however, I finished the test not very optimistic, so when I was accepted, it was really exciting.

I sat on my bed, thinking, smiling, then jumping. I started imagining this new journey. For the first time, I would rely on myself and meet new people. I was ready to break the barrier of relying on others. What harm is there in trying something new, to challenge myself, to see people and get to know them? I decided to be brave., This is my life and I will be the engine. Yes,I will do it!

From here, the journey started. The first day, I felt nervous , worried and scared, but deep inside I kept telling myself I can do it. I could depend on myself and be stronger than before.

I took the bus for the first time. I was afraid the driver might forget me. I was looking carefully from the window with hawk eyes. After I arrived, I entered class with some tension. My eyes searched for an empty place to sit.

As the days passed, I got used to taking the bus and walking the road alone. When I started talking to others, I became more confident in creating conversations and getting to know them.

Our teacher was a fun and kind person, more like a mother, sister and strong guide, than a serious teacher. We were like roses in the garden and she was the rain trying to water us with the largest quantities of knowledge for us to be as beautiful and clever as we should be.

I learned a lot from this opportunity. I’m more confident and independent. I’m not afraid anymore , whether to walk alone or to go out on my own. Before, the outside world wasn’t a lovely place for me. I was like a single rose, not dealing with people, then I learned how to deal with them and know their personalities and styles. Now I'm a rose in a bouquet of many different flowers. I also discovered the treasures inside myself. The most important one is how I enjoy expressing my opinion comfortably in front of others.

"Be safe, be well, see you next time," the magic phrase my teacher uses instead of saying goodbye to us at the end of class. Honestly, this phrase was able to make me both happy, because I would leave and go home ,and sad ,because one day I will hear it for the last time. We will leave. The train will take us to our next destination and end this part of the journey. I will miss my teacher and dear friends. I will miss all the events and meetings. I will miss the days of laughter as well as the enthusiasm and competition of learning. I will miss all the moments, the happy and the sad. I will miss my teacher's sense of humour. I’ll miss all the advice she gave us. Frankly, I really feel sad for the end of this amazing journey, the trip that turned my life upside down for the better.

Finally, I can say that I'm the hero of this journey and that I’m proud of myself for taking it. I won't stop here. Now, I will begin the biggest trip. “Be safe, be well, see you in the future”.


Categories: Student writings