College Essays

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                   Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

            This person has had the biggest influence on me with her lifestyle and the way she handles herself.  This person is very independent person and has an open mind on anything she tries.  This amazing person I am talking about is my mother.  My mother is the person who has had the most significant influence on me.

            My mother has had the biggest influence on me because she is a good example of a person who had children at a young age and had to drop out of school.  This doesn’t influence me, but her determination of her to go back to school to get her degree so she and her children can live a better life that is what influences me.  Even with two young children she made it through the long hours of school, staying up late many of nights to finish papers and trying to help my sister and me with our homework and projects.  She was a single parent dealing with school trying to get her Associates Degree, and dealing with the headache of my father not trying to do is part.  In which brings up another characteristic that influences me is her determination, and her strength to deal with pressure because my father wasn’t always an influencing person.  My mother told me that he even said to her “you think you’re smart because you go to school”.  But no matter what anyone says or tells her she keeps going on, that is what really influences me.

            My mother like I said better is a very open-minded person.  She would try anything once just to feel the experience.  She is also a person that speaks her mind, but only when she think it is necessary the other times she listens to what the person is saying.  I can say this is a big influence that has rubbed off on me.  There are many times I have spoken my mind and other times I just listen and that is one thing I am known for. 

            My mother like many parents of today are struggling to get their children through school, for my mother it is twice as worse and twice as hard with two people going to college at the same time, and double the expenses.  But she is doing what she can, trying to get close friends and family to help her out.  That is what influences me to see that she is a type of person that someone would do anything to help her out.  Also just like many parents of today who work long hours to get things their children need or many just want that influences me to see that my mother is working long hours to get things that we necessary don’t have to have but she gets it because she wants to she us happy.  Just as a situation when at one point I was even lucky to get to see my mother at least once a day because she was working so much overtime to pay for my sweet sixteen, because she told me because she wasn’t able to have a sweet sixteen of her own she wanted her daughters to have the best sweet sixteen of their lives and I did. 

            Most of all the biggest biggest influence my mother has had on me is just being herself.  Not worrying about anyone else, all she worried about was taking care of her family.  She allows tells me don’t let anyone bring you down, I is always going to be someone out there who she going to try to bring you down because they didn’t make it themselves but no matter what do the best you can.  She also says if anyone tells you, you can’t do something you strive your hardest to do the best you can to prove them wrong.  My mother doesn’t have to be fake with anyone; just being herself is why they like her. Just being herself is why I love her.  The influences my mother has on me with being a hard working, determined, deviated mother, I hope one day I can influence my child the same way.

            In conclusion, just being herself, going on with life, being determined, open-minded, out spoken is why my mother has had the most significant influence on me.  Who better else then to have the person who gave you life and raised you to have the most influence on you.

            Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.

          Join me as we walk through a street in Brooklyn. This street is a very familiar street to me, Saratoga Ave. I’ve walked that street since the first day I learned to walk. The rough roads has carried me on good days and on bad days, every day of my life. This road is a long one, and the duration of time it takes me to walk home or walk to school is about 15 minutes, sure many things have happened over the thousands of times I’ve walked back and forth. On good days, nothing would happen to me but on bad days, I would be called names by the kids living on the block. All this is due to racism on this world.

         Racism dates back to as far as the creation of man on earth and continues to this day. I take this problem very seriously because I along with many other people are the victims of this reoccurring sadness. Every single race are or has been victims of racism, Hitler against the Jewish, whites against blacks and now the new phase of racism against Middle Eastern people. This trend might go on until the destruction of the human race.

         I’ve learned about the issue of racism since a young child. My family lives in a predominately black area of Brooklyn since the 1980s and we are seen as the inferior presence of their neighborhood. Walking home from the train station which was a long five bocks use to be frightening, we would be cussed out and made fun of or even robbed on occasions. Being made fun of who I am made me feel ashamed, made me not want to continue, wish I wasn’t myself. Through the years, this has become less of a problem although sometimes it still happens. Every time I see or hear something like this, I just tell myself what goes around comes around and just ignore it. I’ve endured many disgusting comments since I understood racism this world offers, so much that it simply means nothing to me anymore.

         Since I know being a victim of a racist gives you the worst feeling you can feel, I will never become a racist towards another person. I’ve experienced first hand of how bad it feels and wish not one person will feel what I felt again. I will always remember that theory of Karma, what goes around comes around. If I wish that racism stops, then I must not help it by becoming a racist. I will never choose a direction to go to just because it’s popular but I will choose one because it’s the morally right direction.

         Despite this I still continue to live a perfectly normal life. Do I let hurtful feelings stop me in my tracks? Of course not! I will not let something like racism stop me from what I need to do. This all comes down to if I see a glass of water half empty or half full. I will always look to the positive side of things and will not let the negative things hurt me. There is another famous saying I like, “sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt me”, as I strictly agree to it. As long as nobody hurts be physically, there’s nothing they can do to stop me. I believe everyone is put on this earth for a reason and racism, like the devil is one of many obstacles that tries to stop you from achieving something or accomplishing your mission.

Cannot find Tracy's Personal Essay

Personal Essay

            I would consider my life a magically moment filled with lies, arguments and triumphs.  Having to go through sophomore year and come out as a better person, I would say is an accomplishment.  Some people say that sophomore year was hard because of the regents and finals, but I disagree.  I find that regents and final quite easy if I put the time and effort to study, and yet I still fail.

            Going though sophomore year was hard for me because I had to go through many obstacles.  There was a time when my aunt was about to die because of a liver disease, and there was a time when I got kicked out of my house, and most of all when I said “I hate you” to my parents.  Living though these horrible events made me stronger and who I am today.

            Seeing my aunt at the hospital with all the wires and machines next to her showed me how I have abused life itself.  It showed me the fact I didn’t live life to the fullest and I was just fooling around, I had nothing planned for my future, and I didn’t care about anything.  When I saw my uncle crying that night, I wondered to myself, will anyone cry for me? Will anyone care that I am gone?  That point I knew that I had to care and respect others to earn that privilege. This made me a stronger and a more wiling person to go on with life and to enjoy it while I can.

            At the age of 16 I knew that I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to.  I was kicked out of my home over a fight with my dad.  When he told to leave, I guess I had nothing better to say than “I hate you” to him.  I barged into my room and packed up everything ready to leave and I’ve got to place to sleepover at a friend’s house. I was ready to leave my parents and never come back.  When I went back to my room to get my money I realized my mom was there holding it.  She said to me that I’m not going anywhere, and told me to sit down and listen to her.  I thought she was ridiculous telling me to stay after what my father have said and done to me.  She insisted so I sat down and listened to her.  She talked to me and I let out all the things that I kept inside of me for these years.  I told my mother that he called me “a child found in the trash.”  Of course she said to me that he was only playing around and it was a joke.  She didn’t understand how those few words have affect me my whole life.  I believed that I was adopted and they weren’t my parents.

            I would say that my sophomore year was hard; I know I gave up and didn’t care about anything.  The important thing is that I made it through without failing any classes and I made it to my junior year and a new person.

                                                                                 Personal Essay

         Eleven years ago, I was a young girl ought to New York City c carrying different principles, morals, aspirations and attitudes. I came from a small city with very little cultural diversity which is located in my home county of Ecuador. I am highly influenced by my surroundings which began at a young age. Therefore, my Ecuadorian cultural life style has been impact in my way of life in New York City.

          Ecuador is a small country located in South America. It has four natural regions which are the coastal plain; inter Andean central highlands, flat to rolling eastern jungle and the insular peninsula which compose s the island of Galapagos. The population of my city Ambato is about 296,0 00 people. Although my city is very small Ambato is a very beautiful city. The geographical area that it is located provides us with much environment al diversity. Ambato is a city located between one of the world biggest volcanoes called el Cotopaxi. Being that it is located between such volcano the feast that take place every year in the month of Feuary still takes p lace. The carnival is called Las Fiestas de las Frutas y las Flores (the f east of the fruits and the flowers). Such event takes place because that i s what Ambato is mainly known for, for producing a variety of flowers and fruits all year around. When this carnival is taking place many tourists go es to Ambato and enjoys the spring weather, the parties, the cultural dance s and the educational tourism.

         People in Ambato are very united; they tend to help one another no matter what the circumstances are. Being that they are so united they never forget who they are and where they come from. They follow their culture and are proud to represent it. The culture is consisted of folklore dances and variations of foods. One of the typical ambatanian food is potatoes with rabbit or guinea pig ( papas con conejo o cuey), another typical pl ate is the famous tortillas of potatoes which are easy to prepare.

         Traditions are very important because that distinguishes us fro m other cultures. One way that we are different is that parents usually do not allow their daughters to have a boyfriend until they reach the age of eighteen. Another thing is that mothers usually do not work. They take ca re of the kids, husband and household problems. Usually parents are on top of their kids, they give certain rules that must be followed. Adults are more conservative when they talk to teenagers, especially when they have to educate their children on sex. Ecuadorian adults are shy to talk about se x with their children they belied that they should be educated about sex at the age of eighteen. Although some people do not appreciate where they co me from; the Ecuadorian culture and tradition is something that I admire an d is proud of.

         I come from a family that strongly holds onto traditions. As a result, it has cultivated me into the person that I am today. I lived in Ecuador for six years and that experience was unforgettable. My grandparents raised me due to my parents departure to the United States. While I was growing up, I was taught that unity amongst family members is very important. Everyone should get along and be there for one another in good and in bad times. This has been something that would ways be carried on. It taught me that the only real friends that we have are ou r family. I can always count on them and know that they would support me i n my endeavors. My family has given me every type of motivation to be a success, not a failure.

         Besides the unity of family members, I believe what makes me different is the principles and morals I hold. One of the things that I keep in mind is that a girl can do anything a man can, even better. Just becau e I am a girl, doesnt mean that I cant fix a car. Nothing is this world is impossible to overcome. The obstacles ought upon me make me a stronger and better person. Respect has also played an important role for me. Ever since I was small, I was taught that I always have to respect my elders . I would have to say good morning, good evening, or good afternoon as loud as I can so the person can hear me. My grandparents would always tell me that my tongue will not fall out just be being courteous. For instance there was one time in my life that I said good evening to my uncle but I forgot to shake his hands. So my parents made me go back and shake his hand. Not only would I have to respect others, but I would also have to respect myself. I would have to give myself my place of worth as a young educated girl. I try my best not to be doing things that are considered reckless. I was taught that I have to be myself regardless of peoples opinions. No one can change me and they have to accept me for the way that I am. I will always try to set an example for others. I like to be a leader, not a follower.

         A behavioral principle has been something that I strongly hold here in the United States. Currently, my priority is my education and I have accepted the sacrifices it entails. In Ecuador, my family has a small a mount of economic resources. They push me to take advantage of free education in American as well as other programs. I have to accomplish this goal because I plan on continuing my education. My family always encourages me to become educated. I am that because of them, I will always struggle to b e the best. I am a person that does not compromise herself with very little. I like to demonstrate to people who I am through my scholastic work and social life. If you parents train you from a premature age to be someone competitive and hard working, then your future will pay off. Ecuadorian families may seem very strict to people who live in the Unite States. To me that is just an attitude that they possess to keep their children through the right path. The way my grandparents and aunts raised me, has been the single facet in my life. This has shaped me into t he person that I am today. I strongly believe that they have done an excel lent job raising me properly. Thanks to them I am a hardworking alumni and I am a decent human being. I am a girl that could set an example to youngsters and young women in regard to potential.

         I will never forget my Ecuadorian roots because they have helped create who I am today. In my heart, Ecuador will be my home from the pas t to the present into the future. My grandparents have showed me how to love others and my country. I am proud that I am part of their family and of a wonderful called Ecuador.

                                                               Personal Essay          

           On September 24, 1988, a young premature baby was brought into this world. The new born, tiny and innocent, has a long future ahead of him. As a single parent my mother had to raise 5 kids on her own. My childhood experience was tough. Our family income was very low, so low that all of our clothing was donated to us. We would wear the same cloths twice a week.  My father was rarely around we had to cope with it. My father, now at present time, lives with his wife and only lives two city blocks away. German, my father, would only come when he felt like beating on my mother like he did to my mother when she was pregnant with me. Through out many years my mother has been my role model. She has shown me how to treat others the way you want to be treated, besides that she always used to tell me “el respeto de uno se gana no se compra” (the respect of one is earned not bought).

            As a big role model my mother has made a major impact on my life. Rosa, my mother and hero, has saved my life during many disastrous tragedies. Such as when I had low self esteem. On my 8th Christmas of 1996 my father bought everyone in the house Christmas gifts but me, I asked my father what happened to mine he said he “forgot and he didn’t have enough money for me anyways”. Throughout that whole Christmas day I was crying. This was my worst day ever. After breakfast my mother told me “Do not worry about that man, after today you will not need from him ever again, I guarantee that to you”. My mother later took me out to eat, so we can have a personal talk. We ate at McDonalds my favorite fast food restaurant. From that day on my mother showed me that she really cares and truly loves me.

Although my mother is single, she is strong and has always shown me that she loves me.

           I would often tell my self “I need to pay her back when I get older” and I promise myself that. On September 26, 2001, two days after my 13th birthday, the person who raised my mother, her grandmother, left this world. When my mother found out she was terrified and put a black shadow on my soul. This black shadow made me sad to see my mother crying. My mother didn’t have enough to go to Mexico, she desperately wanted to go. During that summer before all of this occurred I had a small part-time job, in which I saved $700. My mother believed that I spend it all that summer which I didn’t. I told my mother that I lover her no matter what happens, during the goods and the bad. I presented to her the money. The mother was in so much pain she did not know what to say. She said “thank you” and I replied “no thank you for bringing me into this world. I said to myself, I kept my promise. My mother has given me so much that this was a small price to pay.


Jacqueline Mirabal College Essay Missing

                                                                                Personal Essay 

Among many Graces those who know me know that I am the “Grace”. This is my name and I have claimed it, because it is with this name that I have lived through the hardships that come with life. It is this name that has forever been with me through times that I felt I could no longer go on. My life is and has been difficult, the might that I have no other “Grace” has. It is only I who carries this name as a symbol for continuation no matter what, whether it is good or bad.

I say that I am the Grace solely because no one has experienced life the way and vise versa. I say this because you can’t find many people like me in the world today. Those who know or simply see me perceive me as abnormal because of the way I act and am. I am not one to complain because of the problems that I have but simply state them. The fact that I have been through many negative things does not bother me but in fact makes me think of all those things. Someone once said if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger, and I’m one to believe in what that someone wrote.

The main thing that I am and have gone through is coming from a low income family, with a single mother of two who struggles to get money but is not able to because times are hard and it isn’t easy to get a job. Although I know that there are others who are in my same situation or worse, and I know that all people handle things in different ways my way will definitely get me to where I want to go. This is so big in my life because being deprived takes a lot from you but it also gives as well.

The fact that in my family we have been hungry and know what it is like to want food is one bad thing that comes with not having money. My mother has given us food and has been hungry herself. It isn’t easy going to school and wondering if when I go home there will be food, so therefore I don’t wonder. I put these personal issues aside because they don’t belong in school and those thoughts will not help me but hurt me since I have to think about school. I can’t think of things like this and do well in school so I forget about it in school and do only okay while I worry about it later.

Positive things that come from living in a low income family are realizing that materialistic things are not what make the world go round. It makes you understand that there is much more to life such as great memories or even the bad ones because you then know that you learned something from them. I remember one day I was telling my friend a story about how I got love and lifesavers candies for Christmas from my mother’s friend and my family and she said I wish I had that because all I get is money and am told to go away. I then remembered those times when I graduated from kindergarten, the 5th grade and junior high school and I didn’t have even one picture from any event but then figured that the fact that both my mother and sister were there was the most important part. The fact that we all had a good time was and will forever be memorable.

This is one reason that I have for wanting to help others. I enjoy helping those less fortunate than myself because I know what it is like not having help from others when you need it most. I’d prefer to be hungry myself than to see someone else that in need of food. This I learned from my mother. I know that when I get older I will help all those who helped me and who simply need help, because I will be somebody and the fact that I don’t have money is not going to stop me from going to the college of my choice, having my own business or finding the cure to HIV. There is much that I want to do and I will because when worse comes to worse I will still remain strong and although poor in material things I am rich in love, memories and experience.

                                                                          Mistakes we Make

            The world is far from being perfect we all know that.  The mistakes we make are often deemed as a vice, but is it possible they are a virtue?  After we make a mistake we eventually try to pick up all the loose ends and work harder to achieve a goal we have set before ourselves, we use these mistakes to strive to better ourselves.  While I cannot speak for everyone when I say this I can most certainly speak for myself.  I have, as many people do, slipped many times before, but no matter how deep into disaster I have dug myself I have always managed to get out.

            I am inclined to believe that it is these mistakes that have made me stronger.  I realize now that I don’t know every answer to every question, and that there is more to life than what is taught.  During elementary school I had great grades, often never seeing anything less than 90 as ‘decent.’  While this is no doubt a great attitude in my opinion I missed out on a lot of things during those years, while I worked hard and learned I grew arrogant and I didn’t learn the value of a friend till many years have passed.  When I entered high school, however, I decided it was time for me to change.  I looked towards more social aspects of my life rather than scholar studies and as my grades later reflected.  I do view this as a mistake as I should have balanced both, I could have with more effort but I do not regret ever making the choice.  The people I have met have been more than worth the risk that I have taken.  I have learned how to be more tolerant, how to understand people better, but most of all I believe I have gotten rid of most of my arrogance.  It woke me up and made me realize that I didn’t know everything, but that it was normal.

            This mistake has motivated me to work harder than I have ever before.  Many people look at the my grades and see a mistake that will forever harm me, I look at it and see a wonderful experience to prove to myself and the world that I can do what I set my mind to.  I look forward to what tomorrow holds, I look forward to what challenges I will face in the future, and I most defiantly look forward to meeting new people and continuing to evolve my personality to better show my true nature.  I strive harder because I refuse to be held back by the confines of mistakes, and while other people see them as obstacles I will always look at them as guidance for the future.

            The world is a unique and dynamic place because of the various mistakes we are able to commit.  These mistakes aren’t always harmful to us; sometimes they give us the nudges we need to really realize what we are doing wrong and what we need to improve on.  The topic of mistakes will always be open to controversial debates, but to me it is clear, mistakes are a necessary building block of our lives.

                                                                             Personal Essay

            The room was dark; the only light that could be seen was that from the billions of stars that now engulfed the small cabin like apartment, swallowing it whole.  My niece lay on her small cot whimpering in her sleep, scared from a nightmare that would no doubt wake her into tears. We had been raised as sisters and now as I stood over her fragile form I wanted nothing more than to hold her to me and make her feel safe again. It was then, at that moment, in which I knew I must dedicate my life to helping other children like my niece, who may have been neglected or suffered from emotional damage. In addition, the circumstances in which my niece came to live with us taught me valuable lessons that will allow me to increase my understanding of how to help children in need.

            When my sister got pregnant at the tender young age of 18, my family was thrown into oblivion. The adults in our family were too busy assigning blame to actually focus on the fact that inside of my sister was a child, a living being who although not born yet, yearned for attention and love. When she was born, Ciara’s parents were more than joyous but it was obvious how disappointed they were when they found out that parties and wild lifestyles were out of the question. By the time Ciara turned five, her parents had grown untrustworthy. They forgot to bathe or feed her and often went out to parties while leaving the child home alone. Realizing the danger my niece was in, my parent’s and I quickly took her out of my sister’s home and she has been living with us ever since.

            Living with Ciara was hard at first, she often threw tantrums for no reason and when she began school the fights to get her to do school work were constant and brutal. She screamed, scratched, kicked and cried her way out of every confrontation making it hard for me or my parents to tolerate the child’s wild behavior. After consulting the school therapist it was revealed that Ciara may have been traumatized by her parent’s wild behavior. The fear of going back to an unstable lifestyle made her, even at a young age, push away those who cared for her. The fact that my poor niece had been forced to mature beyond her years caused my heart to break and it was then in which I vowed to help her understand how much we truly loved her.

            I took over the role of playing big sister. I helped her with her homework and walked her to school. When she did something bad I took the blame for her and when she got her first heart break from a “mean fifth grade bully” I was the one who held her as she cried. Ciara often tells me now that if I had not been there in her loneliest of times she would have surely died, but I laugh it off because I know that my niece is the one who has saved my life.  Together I like to believe that Ciara and I were invincible, I found that helping her cope with the loss of her childhood not only made me feel an overwhelming sense of love but my confidence grew slightly more and more each day.

            Fast foreword a few years later and Ciara is now the splitting image of a perfect child. She still throws fits if all the vanilla ice cream is gone, and she whines when its too noisy but looking at her now and how much she has grown emotionally, I cannot help but tell everyone she is my hero. My niece went through so much pain and hurt in which she did not deserve and I am very proud to say that I helped her in the healing process.

            No words can describe the impact my niece has had on my life. With her I learned how to be a shoulder to lean on, a sister but most of all a friend. I want to be able to understand and help others in need, because to me that is the most beautiful gift that could ever be given.

 Maria College Essay Missing

                                                         Something About Her That Nobody Knows

           March 3rd, 1988 Debra Smith gave birth to her daughter Ashley. Debra began to notice that Ashley was very quiet as a baby and not as sociable with her peers as her older brother and sister were when they were her age. So Ashley was taken to get evaluated by a team that consisted of a social worker, psychiatrist, psychologist, childhood educator, and pediatrician. After going through a series of psychological tests, Ashley had been diagnose with selective mutism.

           Selective mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak in social settings, such as school. These children understand language and are able to talk normally in settings, where they are comfortable, secure and relaxed. Over 90% of children with selective mutism also have social phobia or social anxiety, and some experts view selective mutism as a symptom of social anxiety. Others view it as a separate, but related, disorder. It is not yet understood why some individuals develop typical symptoms of social anxiety, like reluctance to speak in front of a group of people or feeling embarrassed easily, while others experience the inability to speak that characterizes selective mutism. What is clear is that children and adolescents with SM have an actual fear of speaking and of social interactions where there is an expectation to talk. They may also be unable to communicate nonverbally, may be unable to make eye contact and may stand motionless with fear as they are confronted with specific social settings. This can be quite heart wrenching to watch, and is often very debilitating for the child as well as frustrating for parents and teachers.

           This condition affects her and how she lives her life more than she realizes. Even though she doesn’t really remember how it affected her while she was younger, Ashley does know how it affects her now. But one thing she remembers from when she was younger, is how her and her girl scouts went on a camping trip. Since everyone was so used to seeing Ashley and not hearing her; it was a great surprise how she opened up so much during the trip. The counselors even decided to call Ashley’s mother and let her know how they were very glad to see her to seem to be enjoying herself. Selective mutism made Ashley keep to herself majority of the time she was attending girl scouts. But, at least she began to feel comfortable and open up when she began to feel safe and relaxed around her peers. Recently, a friend invited Ashley to a family outing that was to be held at a bowling alley. Not being too excited about the idea at first, she just told him that she didn’t know whether or not she would be able to come. Finally, Ashley’s friend had gotten the hint that she didn’t want to attend his affair. But, now she sees that having this disorder was the reason of her not going. Ashley was afraid of interacting with the people that were going to be there and was also scared of feeling uncomfortable.

           Even though I am writing about Ashley as if she is a fictional character; she is very real because she is me. Over the years I did make progress to change my ways, thanks to my mother realizing what my condition was and taking action on it right away. Next year I decided to go away to college after I graduate from high school. I think that this experience will not only help me learn and grow up, but I will also overcome my disorder even more than what I have overcame now. I don’t want to accept selective mutism as a disorder that is taking over my life, but rather as me taking it over in return.


                                                                       Personal Essay

       On August 20, 2001, there was a slim, short, yet sunny thirteen-year-old girl who had just arrived to La Guardia airport in New York from Shanghai, China.  She met with her long-time-no-see parents with joyful tears.  There had been variously mixing thoughts, however, going on in her little and immature mind.  Although she had missed her beloved parents very much, she was afraid of everything strange, at the same time, in this grand new city, new country.  She remembered that everyone in China had said “America is Heaven; whoever goes to America would be rich and happy.” 

But things weren’t like what people had described.  After she came to America, there were too many things that greatly disappointed her.  The apartment, for instance, her parents inhabited in was poor, noisy, shady, and obscure.  She was intensely shocked after seeing a little mouse running under the table.  The food her parents ate was just like what she had been eating in China, even worse than that—cheap noodle and dry bread.  Also, there was no kitchen, having only a dark bathroom, shared with more than ten families on the same floor…

As an inevitable consequence, she wept heavily and melancholy all nights long.  Missing her aunt, uncle, grandma, and little cute cousin who had together spent more than four years with her in China, she was aghastly overwhelmed by every unfavorable thing she had seen and experiencing.  All these poor impressions had primarily made her think of the US as a horrible “hell” where nobody should live, except the small portion of extremely opulent upper-class people, like Bill Gates. 

Things became worse when it was time for her to attend school.  She did not know anybody in any of her eighth-grade classes in M.S.131; every face of a human being there would be strange and unfamiliar.  Her heart beat rapidly and nervously everyday because she understood nothing about what teachers said in class.  Always having been an excellent student in China, she was so ashamed of herself that she decided to shut her mouth, speaking to nobody.  And perhaps nobody would even notice her existence since she has a serene appearance yet violently moving waves inside her vibrant heart. 

That was the little teenage girl who had been unexpectedly suddenly dragged from the beautiful heaven down to the terrible hell.  That was the thirteen-year-old kid who had quietly wept every night on her bed since her arrival to the US until something dramatic happened.  That was I.  I remembered that my dad told me that President Roosevelt had said “The only person we should be afraid of is ourselves.”  During that time, I had been afraid of myself because I had no confidence to overcome all these obstacles.  It is not frightening when we feel down sometimes as encountering a difficult Gordian knot during our life time while it is horrible when we would never stand up with confidence, forever feeling disappointed. 

All my downfall feelings had been clearly observed by my educated and intelligent father.  He seemed truly sympathetic for my sorrowfulness.   Learning from my dad, I had known that the actual hero could be someone who was valiant to save another person in a fire.  It also could be somebody who had confident courage to fight with obstacles.  

Then I began to study diligently at school because I wanted to become a great hero.  My dad suggested me to buy a recorder that could be used to record my teachers’ lectures in class.  Together, we would listen to the tape every night.  Having good patience, my dad translated and explained to me almost everything my teachers said.  Later, for a higher and more adventurous challenge, I decided to take the SSAT test in order to attend one of the three specialized high schools (Stuyvesant HS, Bronx Science HS, and Brooklyn Science HS) in New York City.

Every night under an obscure lamp, there were an unwearied, optimistic father and a hardworking, tenacious daughter, together studying for several hours from evening until dark night.  Sometimes, I became tired and sick of seeing countless English vocabularies that I did not know.  They seemed to be strange intruders from Mars.  An earth living being, I vehemently abominated them so much that I pushed the books heavily to the floor.  Every time, however, my hatred and anger would transform and disappear when I saw my father’s serene smile that implied his strong willingness and tenacity to overcome any difficulties with me.  

Although I failed to get in the specialized high schools eventually, I had passed the LAB test, which was designed for foreign students who could go to regular class from ELS classes if passed, in just three short months.  My English level had also enhanced greatly.  That was not it--the most important thing my dad helped me with would be to regain my valuable self-confidence and intense optimism.  Feeling quite grateful to my dad and proud of myself, I remembered that I joyfully kissed my dad’s cheeks under the beautiful sunset in a serene evening.