If you were to ask when my life had its turning point, its climax, its pinnacle, and perhaps, its miracle, I'd pinpoint to November 2, 2010 at approximately 11pm on the campus of the University of Georgia in room 211 of the Honors Myers Dormitory. I was with a group of my closest friends, some of whom I had been friends with since sixth grade and some of whom I had just met only four months ago when I first entered college as that cliché image of a lost freshman soul: mispronouncing the ridiculously long building names, accidently walking into a senior classes due to a sudden classroom change schedule that was notified through email which was constantly jammed with too many users, and getting kicked out of freshman chemistry lecture hall for texting my fraternity brothers that I arrived class just in time. But that day, at that time, at that place, it all ended. The Honors Myers Dormitory room 211, the best friends, the mouthful building names, the senior glares, and the 300 eyes that laid heavily on me as I shamefully exited the lecture hall was all over.
11pm, I looked at the caller-ID of my ringing phone only to find that it was my mom on the other line. I muted the phone and promised myself I'd call her back tomorrow morning before my 7am aerobics dance class. Just as I was readjusting my focus to my friend's exaggerated anecdote about a boy she met at the cafeteria the other day, my phone rang again. A text message that read: "Julia, it's urgent. Call me now. Mom." My mom, being the goddess of technically difficulties, has never texted before in my life; I never even knew she could operate the text messaging application on her phone. Realizing the urgency of the situation, I stepped out of the room only to return an hour later, filling the gap of the asymmetrical circle of my friends, notifying my scheduled flight to Korea in the next two weeks.
Abruptly sweeping me away from America and spewing me out into pieces onto Korea due to my parents' legal issues was bad enough. November 16, 2010, I should have surprised my boyfriend with a cake in one hand and a present in the other while singing the birthday song just as I had planned, but I found myself hugging him for the last time at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport. My mind was restless on the fourteen-hour flight; I simply couldn't believe this was all happening. In two weeks, I transformed from the infamous girl who was called out in front of 300 freshmen to a college drop-out who had undergone withdrawal hardship process due to emergency leave.
I landed in Korea, the country that felt so unfamiliar and yet was called my homeland. I was a thousand miles away from the lifestyle that I had pictured myself living as a nineteen-year-old and was left with nothing but a box of personal belongings in a country that I knew not of but only its language. My parents had assured me that if I made the best out of this opportunity to come to my homeland, I'd gain a well-rounded perspective on cultural values while exploring my true identity as a Korean, both of which I found to be less promising over time. As I adjusted my American lifestyle to that of Korean, I found myself too disconnected from America to have the privilege to call myself a true American and yet too foreign with Korea to refer myself as a Korean.
While it's true that I initially drenched myself in self-pity and hopelessness upon my arrival to Korea, I revived myself by promising to discover a way to utilize this aperture in my life for a meaningful purpose. As an English speaker, I applied for English teaching jobs all over Korea and decided to allocate this hiatus in my life to chase my ultimate dream: to go to law school. Within a week, I became an English teacher at English Village Camp, a language immersion education institution, during the day and an LSAT student during the evening. My work-study lifestyle was not an easy one; self-studying required a stronger self-control that I had expected and I was to do this for months with no other motivation but my own will and passion. In February 2011, I took the LSAT Exam and received a score of ???.
What I had initially thought was going to drain away the dream that I had been planning since the beginning of my high school career turned out to be what ignited my dream to become reality. By make-doing the best with the situation before me, I had the special opportunity to complete the LSAT Exam even before the fulfillment of my freshman year. I know I've truly blossomed through whatever challenges came my way for the past nineteen years, and I also know that this is only the beginning of my blossoming. It is difficult for me to explain to you how much I've flourished through the thorns and rocks and to persuade you that I will only continue to achieve the best and not settle for the mediocrity, especially after all that I have battled through to get thus far, so please, hear me out. It may be a classic and redundant story for many of the 35.2 million immigrants who have moved to and fro between their homeland and America, but it is the most significant and defining story for me. Significant and defining because it is that that has awakened me to realize the endless limit I have before me and has allowed me to witness the power of passion that can reach beyond where most people draw their threshold boundary.At the end of the road, it doesn't matter about how much we were given but rather how we lived with what we were given. If I strive to succeed, I will succeed regardless of what I have, where I am, and what obstacles come along my way. After all, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end, and when I look back today, and perhaps November 2, 2010 had not only been a day of an end but also a day of a new beginning to what will eventually mold me into the lawyer that I one day hope to be.
this essay is kinda super long... lol...