It’s All Greek to Me

Albert Camus said, “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” If I could say one thing to Albert, it would be that the meaning of life can be found without searching, and also, it is different for every person. Through life experiences, one in particular, I found that above all, unity of those around you, and appreciation for those that matter most are the key to the most rewarding life.

Coming from a Greek family, my heritage has always meant the most to me. I attended Greek school two days a week as a child and today I am among a rare population of people who speak this language. My ethnicity is known for the values it instills in its children, and most importantly, tradition. I experienced something last summer, which not many will in their lifetime, as I traveled to the country of Greece.

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While there, many doors opened for me as I saw sights from ancient civilizations and traveled deep into the heart of villages. I became acquainted with people who gave me insight about the country, themselves, and their culture. Having this in my life has really impacted me in the way that I have become more personable and social. One significant event that changed me was traveling into a village where not knowing anyone helped me in the most gratifying ways. I had a new outlook on family, and it is actually the main principal in my life. Appreciating the family that is there for you can be so rewarding in the long run, and most don’t see how good people have it today. I’m not saying there aren’t people with difficult lives, but it is crucial to stay close to those who have and can impact your life. Cultural diversity and integrity are just two of the many things I will bring to your school, as a result of my fascinating background and experience.

My passion has always been Soccer. Saying it has been influential to me in many ways, is an understatement, because there hasn’t been a time where I ever felt like I could give it up. While in Greece, I managed to play soccer almost every day, and I didn’t even bring a soccer ball with me. The game is vital to all of its fans and players in the country and it was so pleasing when I would go to many different parts of the country and play games with people I didn’t know. I not only learned different rules of the game, but I actually got better and progressed along with my trip. I played with natives of all ages, and my skills improved greatly.

When people ask me what my hobbies are besides soccer, I jokingly reply with eating, usually. I would have to say that although I tease about it, eating is actually one thing my family and even Greeks in general, take as supreme importance. Most would think it is a stereotype that Greeks eat a lot, have huge gatherings, and own Greek, family oriented restaurants, but it is quite the contrary. The Greek culture loves to celebrate occasions, even simply the oddness of our culture because it shows we share a strong bond. It isn’t uncommon for Greeks to own restaurants because it is a symbol of a family bond, and it is where I have been working since I was a young girl. My father and mother opened Gyros West the day I was born, and it has been the local hang-out for my family ever since. Extended family and even people I’m not related to come to the restaurant regularly to be treated like family. We pride our restaurant and family on the same values, determination and commitment.

The way my ethnicity continues to impact me every day is the reason why so many of these values exist in my life. My strong character and personality will be widely accepted due to the fact that I am a person who cares so much. I care about my family, others, and most importantly I have respect for others. My trip to Greece has transformed my entire lifestyle and it is eminent that my love for others and myself is shown. I am eager to see what is in store for my future, and ambitious for your choice to acknowledge my generosity.

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