Original prompt: We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most shaped your personal life and aspirations. How have these factors helped you to grow? (650 words max)
Summary of Prompt:
How has the context where you grew up helped you grow, achieve your academic successes, and formed your future aspirations? (650 words max)
*Please focus on how I can be more specific in my future aspirations.
It was only 10 minutes into the first day of school, and I already felt that I didn't want to be there. I put my head down and let the walls of my new "home" engulf me. All I knew was "hello" and its alternative versions. Classmates became aliens. Conversations were merely noises. Memories of the friends I left behind began to surface in my mind. I reached out to the little spark of happiness that slowly faded amidst the darkness. I yearned for the peaceful life I once had, but deep down, I knew it only existed in the distant past.
Though I understood that we were moving to the US, I never fully grasped the fact that my life would change permanently. At eight in the morning, my dad was already at work and did not return until late at night. At dinner, there would only be four chairs instead of five, and the sound of laughter and lighthearted conversations have been replaced with complete silence. At first, I never knew why my dad was almost never home, but I eventually understood that he had to work long hours to provide for our family. My dad's sacrifice ultimately served as motivation for me to work hard to become academically successful. If I perform well in school, I can obtain a well-paying job so he would not have to work so hard. To take the first step, I practiced English with my mom, who decided to stay home to help me. Everyday, I learned the names of different house objects, and eventually simple phrases in conversations. Though my English was still broken, I was getting better. I slowly realized that all I needed to overcome the language barrier was repetition and the willingness to practice. As I was able to understand sentences and paragraphs, I started borrowing non-fiction books from my local library to sharpen my reading ability as well as increase my knowledge to prepare for middle school. Even though my English improved drastically, I was still struggling in my reading and language arts classes. Whenever I was handed an essay, I would stare at the paper for hours, my heart rate accelerating, as I succumbed to anxiety and stress. Remembering my goal to be successful, I forced myself to go in early or stay after class to get assistance from my teachers. Even if an assignment was not difficult, I tried to stay up late to ensure that it was of the best quality. As a result, I was consistently getting As in my classes. These experiences taught me that no matter how hard a task is, perseverance and hard work will pay off in the end.
My middle school academic successes translated well into high school. Now, I am taking the most rigorous course load that my school has to offer. Initially, I was afraid of the difficulty of an AP class, but after finding out that I could get college credit, I was determined to do well on all of my exams. Every night after finishing my homework, I would resist the temptation to close my eyes, so I could review AP concepts in used books, unable to afford new ones. My discipline and hard work have paid off so far, earning me a five on my AP Human Geography exam and a four on my AP World History exam. Throughout these classes, I realized that being academically successful is not about being smarter than others, but about my perseverance and work ethics. Moving forward, I will continue to take many rigorous courses so that I will not have to see my father struggling to provide for my family again.
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