Of course, this essay wasn't just supposed to be an exercise in writing about a choice. We were also supposed to write in a way to make that choice applicable for other people. I will let you be the judge of how well I succeeded in making studying foreign languages interesting and valuable to you.
“Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy and imaginative sympathy and cultural outlook of children.”
-- Michael Gove