EL Competition 2022: Take It Easy, by HORIKOSHI Anna and ONO Aika

“Take it easy,” the bus driver briskly said to me, who had overslept until I found myself being at the last bus stop and was completely alone in the cold dark. He drove me home without any signs of reluctance, even though it was not his duty to do so. This memory is just a small part of my precious memories in New Zealand. My friends and I stayed there for two weeks to study English at AUT, enjoyed shopping after school and appreciated Māori cultures on a short trip to Rotorua. (See attached video to see how it looks.)
Every time a sudden happening occurred, the “Kiwis”, the New Zealanders empathetically listened to us to help us overcome difficulties. Such a valuable experience would not have been possible without learning English and my decision to study abroad. That is why I think the most significant benefits of speaking English is that it enables me to interact with English speakers and have wonderful exchanges. I strongly encourage you to feel whether they are kind, humorous, or even angry by communicating directly with them. I guarantee you that talking with many people will enrich your life experience. Even among Japanese students, you can make friends with people who share the passion for studying English.
Needless to say, I am not a native speaker, and none of my friends I had a great time with speak perfect English. The frustration of wishing you could have spoken better at the time should lead to improving your speaking. No one speaks ill of your English. As far as I know, the harder you tried to speak, the more people will lend a hand. Why not talk with English speakers and experience the heartwarming kindness of them? You can do it. “Take it easy.”