Life’s Obstacles

Disadvantage Statement

I grew up with my grandparents in a rural town near the coast of eastern China. I have never seen my biological father. This is not an obstacle, however, because my mother has always been my source of motivation. She first introduced me to the me-to-we way of life. Her primary concern as a physician is to help as many people as possible. At first, I did not understand why she always worked fourteen hours a day and constantly checked on her patients. When I entered college, I came to realize that she is selflessly trying to provide the best care to patients with cancer. I fully appreciate her hard work’s impact on our community. Now, I embark on a long but exciting journey to use my knowledge and the power of science to benefit world citizens. I want to engage in biomedical research in an academic setting because it is a perfect synchronization of cutting edge scientific discovery and medical treatment that will enhance the lives of countless people. I came to United States when I was nine years old. One of the most severe disadvantages I have faced is overcoming racial discrimination. Fourth grade was filled with anxiety, confusion, and embarrassment as I became accustomed to the American culture. My fellow fourth grade classmates were not the most accommodating peers. Even kids of my own ethnicity refused to talk to a foreigner. Our teacher not only did not help me learn English but also gave me negative remarks during parent-teacher conferences. Thus, I felt as if I was stuck on a lonely island. These circumstances, however, did not bring me down. Prejudice not only made me more mature than my peers but also gave me the determination to succeed throughout my academic career. My disadvantage became my advantage because it gave me a sense of unique identity in this multicultural nation. It also encouraged me to never give up until I have reached my goal. In fact, I soon surpassed others in academics and extracurricular activities. Last year, I even found high school too easy and moved on to Reed College at the age of 16. Despite the hardships I faced during my childhood, I constantly prove myself to be a diligent and efficient student, a cooperative team-worker, and an altruistic volunteer in my community.My life took another sharp turn after freshmen year in high school. My parents suddenly decided to move from New York City to Corvallis, Oregon. We relocated from one of the most populous cities in the world to a suburban town. My surprise and frustration at their decision were ineffable. Not only would I miss all my friends and relatives, but also gave up an education in a specialized high school. After we settled in Corvallis, however, I began to reap the benefits of a small college town. I found an internship at Oregon State University through the Academy for Science and Engineering. Over the summer, I acquired many laboratory skills and became more closely acquainted with the scientific process. In addition, I continue to volunteer in the public library and Boys and Girls Club. I no longer regret moving to Corvallis because it gave me a completely different perspective of America. Now, I appreciate changes in life as positive opportunities to learn. Life is a rollercoaster ride. I adapt to its multiple vicissitudes. One of the most important characteristics I value is flexibility. I know how to make the best out of any difficult situation by remaining confident. Nothing can bring me down. I will always try to live according to what Ghandi said, “Live like you were going to die tomorrow. Learn like you were going to live forever.”

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