This seems to be the easiest topic, but the hardest one at the same time as well. All of a sudden my life, my past becomes ambiguous. It is not that I don’t know about my life, but rather I know it too well, too profoundly that I can’t pick up specific examples to chat about. And self-being comes to a total stranger when I try to answer what kind of person I am. Nevertheless I think it over and try to find interrelationships that make sense in my mind.
I was born in a small southern city in China and was also the single child due to the government policy. Thanks to that I gained all the attention my parents could offer and had the best family environment I now could imagine. Even though we were not rich, not even close, we lived highly upon satisfaction. My parents were somehow traditional yet open- sighted. They valued a lot on traditional concepts about “good” and “evil”, meaning there was always a definite line between these two. When it was a “no”, my father meant it, and would stare at me harshly. This stare, shaped my personality along way, and kept me from doing what I otherwise would have done, disrespecting others, stealing, gangbanging, etc. My father had not yet completed elementary school but my mother a college graduate, who is rarely anywhere to be found in a small city like ours. They together made a great example of what parents meant, with me benefited the most from. Since I was 5 we constantly went to vocations and trips whenever we had time. Once we were up to mountaintop where snow blocked the paths and had to take the cable car down; we walked the way through Great Wall and were proud to claim now we were “real Chinese”; not to mention other numerous gorgeous towns and cities we had been to. My parents believed that these trips had dramatic impact on intelligence building because I had already have the insight of how the society functioned built-in. And it was true! Books can tell you how forest look, but never lead you through the smell and the moist until you experience it. They opened up every possible way I could take interest in, and so I had learned violin, piano, bugle, drawing, calligraphy, kung fu and many others that I forgot. Though I was never expert in any category, I did come to the society prepared to challenge and being challenged.
In 2007 we moved to America. It was another long journey, however, without my father this time because of his tuberculosis. I remembered the first day going to school I had to leave after sitting in for 2 hours because of lacking eligible medical forms. This really embarrassed me and showed me how rigid this society was, that is, everything ran in an explicit order and personal emotions play minor role in decision making. However, things always got better after the first stage, and because of my out-going attitude and great enthusiasm in new atmosphere, I soon met a lot of new friends, mainly Chinese immigrants just like me (the high school I was in had about 250 students and 90% of whom were not native born). As I became more and more familiar with this country and had my 18th birthday, my family situation was indeed going downward. It was when my father had serious problems with his liver and lungs and spent 2 months in hospital, costing almost everything we owned in China. Life in America was a brand new start, with at least our property in China as backup, but all of which seemed to evaporate in these two months. My mother was also in deep concern about father’s health condition and flew back to take care of him, leaving me to live alone for another 3 months. In these days I experienced life I never had as a single child, and had to bear all the responsibilities up at once, not only domestically but also had to have a good grade in school. They were the days when I felt really stressed out but fulfilled too. Everyday I had to bargain with the old guys, buy the food I need and make them into eatable dishes. I mopped the floor, did the laundries (not the mechanic ones but manual because I had to save every quarter I had) and sometimes cleaned the toilet. I missed my parents but dared not to call them because I simply didn’t want to cry. These days, not very pleasant, did teach me a great lesson on life, in which I treasured every moment I had with my family now and none of the “obstacles” really seemed to be problematic now.
This February my father finally overcame his tuberculosis and came to America. And now I am a Baruch scholar, I hope all I have gone through can help me in a way, to manage my time more efficiently and solve the problems more systematically. I haven’t decided what major I want to be in. At first I thought about Actuarial Science or something business-related, but then I discovered that I didn’t like the whole idea of business at all. Though I knew Baruch is famous for its business program, something did flash through my mind, so sparkling that I couldn’t suppress it. That is, I want to be in educational field, maybe a high school teacher, to spread out what I was passionate in (math, history, art, etc.). I am not sure for now if this was just an impulse or my goal, and I am waiting to find out during my freshman year. And all these come together to be who I am now.