Questbridge App: Reflect on a significant risk you have taken or an ethical dilemma you have faced. What action did you take and how did it change you?
(The word limit is 500 words, and this is 695, so PLEASE give me advice on how to cut it out. Let me know if there are any parts I should focus on more or less. The app is due in less than a week, so please give your most constructive criticism. Also, let me know if you think I should change the topic to something else if this one does not answer the prompt effectively.)
12 years of waiting for my sister
Having to wait 12 months for something I want is one thing; 12 years is another.
Growing up as an only child for 17 years was a blessing and a curse. I got the last fry, the first pick in movies, and my own room. But my life got lonely when it's only me performing the role of the mom, dad, daughter, daughter #2, and dog in a game of house. When my 5-year-old-self learned about Santa Claus, the word "SISTER" in bold letters was stamped on the top of my list every year. Of course, once I got older, I ceased challenging Santa to produce and drop a neonate in my stocking, but I never stopped wondering what it would be like to have a sister, until this year in February when my mom announced her pregnancy.
My parents work 12 hours a day in a Chinese take-out restaurant. Due to their inflexible schedule, they decided it was best to have my sister, Audrey, live with my grandma for a couple months. Over the years, sacrificing my own desires for the sake of the restaurant became a form of custom, but my selfishness for Audrey fermented an inner tug-a-war between my reason and emotion, making it difficult for me to accept my parents' decision. Since the day my mom told me about her pregnancy, I was beyond happy that my 12 years wait for a sister had finally come to an end. During those nine months, I itched with anticipation to get to the day when my life no longer revolved around the word "wait," but now, my expectation of being able to spend an unlimited amount of time with Audrey was put on hold by a two-hour car ride.
It has almost been a year, and Audrey is still living with my grandma. Because of the distance to her house and my parents' job, I am lucky if I get to see Audrey more than once a month. Although it is difficult to witness her growth through pictures and videos instead of in person, I have learned to overcome my own needs, but this time it wasn't solely for the restaurant, it was for my parents. When I was born, my parents were also in the same situation as they are now. Since they had just come to America then, they obtained multiple jobs to sustain a living, and it was impossible for one of them to take a break without putting a financial strain on the family. At that time, my grandma was still in China, so when I reached 6 months, I was brought to China by a relative and raised under my grandma's care until I was 5. I was aware that I did not know my parents for the first 5 years of my life, but I really thought about how they must've felt during that period of time. Because of their efforts to provide a more comfortable life and an education for me when I arrive in America, they were robbed of 5 years with their child. Now, it is my chance to restitute those 5 years to them. I insisted on taking on more shifts in the restaurant so that my parents can alternatively take a few days off a week to spend time with Audrey. I also created a fund for Audrey's education and secured a paid internship this summer, so that my parents won't have to work as hard to relieve their financial burdens. These past couple of months have precipitated a great sense of independence upon me. My parents have always prioritized my education by letting me stay home if I had a heavy load of assignments or a big exam, but it is now my responsibility to maintain a high average and stay on track with my college applications while working full-time at the restaurant after school and on weekends. I was used to getting what I want since I was an only child for so long, but it is now time for me to give my parents what they deserve; Audrey's birth was not Santa's present to me, but to my parents.