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 caused you to grow? (800 word limit)
"Your education is the most important thing to us." My parent' voices haunt me with this phrase almost every day as I think about the things they have done for me throughout my whole life. I always did well in school when I was a small child, without any view of the future ahead me except what I would learn about the world the next day. I didn't even realize how significant it was that my father lost his job in the aftermath of the September 11th incident. I was preoccupied in those years, a little 10 year old, building little useless machines with my neighbor out of old broken TVs and things. I was busy dreaming of designing and innovating with amazing things, with my parents' constant encouragement. And when I wanted something to study from, or a book, my parents would not hesitate, no matter the cost or hardship to them. They'd smile through it all when I eagerly babbled on about cars or racing or what I had learned recently. As time went on, my parents continued to worry about college and I continued to be engrossed in the workings of the world. One evening, a friend and I fancied ourselves experts at theoretical physics as our 13 year old selves talked into the night about black holes and multiverses and other such things. All the while my parents frantic faces and arguments about the bills pushed me deeper into the world of knowledge to escape it all. I convinced myself our bills would continue to be paid. And as I got older I hoped that I would be able to achieve my dreams.
We didn't have the money to do some of the things I wanted, like martial arts or karting, but I am grateful for what my parents gave me. They gave me the encouragement I needed to continue pursuing knowledge, the tools I needed to further my education, even if my dad could not be home most of my life. I could not disappoint them even if I wanted to. I would spend hours reading about anything I could, from electronics and atoms to engines and fuel to galaxies and the universe. I would watch the races and car shows I could not afford to attend, and told myself I would someday design the machines I was watching. I could not be brought down, I told myself. I told myself I had learning to keep me sane while my dad bounced around jobs and businesses. With my future never certain, I decided to take up parkour. Parkour is a discipline of overcoming physical obstacles through vaults, jumps, and other such movements. Parkour freed my body and mind as I went through life. The nights where I could not take it anymore, parkour gave me a haven of concrete to float through. The people I met through parkour were some of the most determined and inspiring people I have known. They gave me the push I needed to go from simply absorbing knowledge to actually worrying about my future. "You need a plan. You need to show other people your mind and make the best of yourself." There was a shift in my thoughts as I went out to learn in new ways. I visited garages and tried to learn more about cars, and took in details where before I would shirk at them. I learned all I could whenever I had the time. But the child who simply loved knowledge for the beauty of it never stopped. One freezing night at a friend's cabin in the woods, we sat outside, talking into the morning about life and the universe and the beauty of it all. The exchange of knowledge and discussing ideas and innovations is one of my favorite memories yet. I value knowledge above all else, and I will do all it takes to continue learning. And the child in me with the big dreams continues to live on.
Any help is appreciated. Is this essay too short?