First things first: I am not a native Spanish speaker, nor did I grow up in a bilingual household. Like so many others, I started taking Spanish in grade school. I learned the usual things: numbers, colors, a body part or two, but I was never fluent and didn't know anybody who was, other than my Spanish teacher.
At that point, Spanish was just another class. I didn't fully realize the importance of understanding another language until I entered PT school.