Option 2 - Using the statement below as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world.
"Princeton in the Nation's Service" was the title of a speech given by Woodrow Wilson on the 150th anniversary of the University. It became the unofficial Princeton motto and was expanded for the University's 250th anniversary to "Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations."
- Woodrow Wilson, Princeton Class of 1879, served on the faculty and was Princeton's president from 1902-1910.
Here's my essay
I truly believe my immigration experience from China to America has a lifelong influence on me. It has broaden my horizon and has greatly changed how I approach the world.
When I got off the plane and left San Francisco Airport, I, like a newborn baby, was curious about this new world and looked forward to discovering new things in all aspects of my life. I believed I would change a lot in this new country.
As I arrived in San Francisco on Christmas Day, I saw that a lot of people got together and enjoyed the fireworks at Embarcadero. They talked, sang, and laughed with each other until midnight. What a convivial atmosphere it was! This was my first time to get in touch with western festivals. After that, I became more willing to learn about western culture and history. I was glad to broaden my knowledge of western society and gradually accepted western culture. Sometimes, I would like to celebrate festivals with my native friends.
In the first few weeks after moving to America, I usually went outdoors. I was pleased to find that the drives were very polite and consciously obeyed traffic rules. When I got on a bus or a Muni, the driver often greeted me with good manners. In addition, when I crossed the streets, the drivers often let me go first though they were in a hurry. I saved plenty of time thanks to smooth flow of traffic and felt much safer when I crossed the streets. In China, on the contrary, I suffered a lot from traffic jams because the self-serving drivers usually broken traffic rules for convenience and never gave way to pedestrians. Since then, I have changed myself. I will no longer run across the streets when the traffic light is green and always walk the zebra crossings. Also, I was inspired to become a moral and decent citizen and obey the laws because I realized our society would run more efficiently if everyone did so.
As time went by, I got more familiar with America. One day, on my way to San Francisco Public Library, I was surprised to see hundreds of people protest against state budget cuts near city hall. Some of them shout loudly, requesting the government to spend more money on education and health care; the others held banners and walked around city hall. The roads were closed, and the police preserved the order. As I grew up in China, I had never seen people demonstrate in the streets. Although sometimes people might get together and try to express their opinion, the police always quickly dispersed the crowd. I thought critical thinking played an important role in America. As I knew, American people had their own ideas and felt free to express them. I thought this demonstration had a great impact on me. It not only gave me first-hand experience of democracy and freedom but also urged me to develop critical thinking. My thinking mode was completely changed. I would bravely share my own ideas and opinions instead of just listening and following other people.
I firmly believe my immigration to America has changed how I approach the world and shaped me into a culturally open-minded and law-abiding person with critical thinking. I think these changes will help me succeed in the future.
Please give me some advice! :)