Essay prompt: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
"East or west, home is best"
A proverb used by people who travel a lot to express homesickness. However, I didn't spend more than 24 hours outside home before I was 14, I rarely traveled, and I continued to love this proverb for no reason better than I just loved home. In fact, I wasn't a sociable person fearing to face crowds. Big family gatherings usually made me uncomfortable. I liked to think that whatever happens or wherever I go, there is a home to return to.
Having no siblings to share this home with was a double-edged sword. I had all the care and love from my parents. They prioritized me above all and offered me everything selflessly despite any financial hardships. However, I was growing up egocentric and introvert to some extent. Being at the top of my class at elementary and preparatory schools intensified this feeling of self-centered.
Major changes happened when I Joined (School Name) school. Being in a boarding school, I had to delay my return home to be once a week. I was anxious at the beginning of grade 10 due to the absence of this - once thought - eternal asylum. Learning depended mainly on presentations and group projects. This meant a lot of crowd-facing. I still remember my first presentation when I was nervous struggling to pull the words out of my mouth. Indeed, the first weeks were the toughest. Two main pillars that had sustained me have just disappeared: my home and my parents.
Eventually, I adapted to this new environment. In fact, I believe now that joining this school was the best decision I had made. I had new friends with similar interests. Some even had the same problems that occurred to me. We helped each other to get over obstacles. Surrounded with intellectuals and caring friends, I felt home again. My self-esteem and confidence were greatly improved. I became more easy-going, open-minded and able to express myself. Instead of avoiding facing others, I was proud to represent my school and enjoyed presenting my projects. This personal growth and maturity were necessary for my future career. Exploring different fields, I developed a passion for biology, neuroscience. By the end of grade 11, I was well determined to pursue liberal arts education in the U.S and started preparing my college application. But the wind blew against my wishes.
Once on a Monday, I went with my mother for her annual medical check. This Monday was meant to be a regular event except it wasn't. After scanning, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was stunned by this news. The thoughts that she might be absent from my life shocked me. Memories from my old home clouded my head. A cascade of emotions burst in my mind that I couldn't contain. I had to delay my career plans of course. As much as it was sad to stand by her in illness, it was also a substantial experience. Seeing her getting better after a surgery was reminding me of how she and my father helped me with my first shaking steps into school. I thought of how it was great to be part of a HOME.
Following this hardship, I regained control of my life managing to graduate with a GPA of 4.00. I did my best taking standardized tests. I was ready to pursue a better future not just for myself but for the sake of my family who did their best raising me.
After three years in high school, I still believe that home is the best. But this home doesn't have to be stationary. In fact, it is a dynamic abstract concept. Wherever we thrive, feel happy and surrounded by a family, is a home for us. A home that we can share where we can count on each other to get over the misfortunes of life.