I chose the topic "Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
my own independence
I am the product of the archetype Asian Tiger Mom. She's always had an iron grip on everything I do before, during, and after school. So, at the end of 8th grade, as a soon-to-be high schooler, I wanted to try and switch things up a bit.
During the summer before high school, I watched this show called 'Your Lie in April', sparking my interest in the violin. The next thing I did was ask my dad to buy a $40 violin off of eBay and give it a shot. It was a very exciting time for me since this would be the first time I'd be learning an instrument without being forced.
Once it arrived, I made many failed attempts to recreate a sound similar to Kaori from 'Your Lie in April'. After applying resin, I produced a harsh but somewhat recognizable tone. Sure, it didn't sound like a Strad, but for me it was a big first step towards my musical career. After a few weeks of playing, my mom's frustration with me, coupled with her residual anger for my dad- ultimately resulted in her decision to take her anger out on my violin. I was seated in the Florida room when she took it from my room, walked over to me with it in hand, and proceeded to smash it into pieces. You can imagine how upset 13 year-old-me was. I have forgiven her, albeit the experience is instilled vividly in my memory today. It was this event that struck me into thinking, "why should I aim to please this person who has smashed my dreams into pieces?" From then on, I aimed to care less about what she and others thought of me.
Since the beginning of middle school, I felt like I wasn't involved in enough extracurriculars. This feeling was amplified as I attended a fundamental middle school, where there weren't any after-school clubs or sports. Since my mom had always been extremely academics-oriented, she never thought it necessary to put me in a sport or club. Thus, throughout high school, I've gone to great lengths to involve myself in the clubs and sports I greatly enjoy today. All the while, my mom has remained indifferent to my involvement even when I went so far as to being elected as Senior Class President. And because I wanted colleges to see me as more than just another student who was exceptional at passing classes, I figured I should actually have a life outside of school. Coming Junior year, I found out about dual enrollment opportunities at my local community college and immediately felt the call to take advantage of the opportunity so that I could get ahead by taking college classes. Again, I could feel the distaste radiating from her as she heard my plan to involve myself in things that would distance me even further from my high school classes. I came to the conclusion though that the amount of money and effort I would be saving myself in college by taking these classes outweighed her disapproval.
Throughout this journey, I've been able to forge my own independence, apply myself to causes I care about, and believe in doing what I know I'm good at even if people like me are scarce in the field. It won't get to me when people stop and stare at a girl coding, or scoff and say she doesn't know what she's doing - compared to my mom's criticism, dealt with my entire life, it would be nothing. I know that once I get a job in Cybersecurity, I'll be on the team because I worked hard to get there just like everyone else in the room and for the same reason- to keep people's information safe. I learned to steel my resolve and focus on what I want to achieve, regardless of what others think.