Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

My mother’s hands tell the entire world of my life. They were the first to hold me when I was first born and feed me when I cried. It was her hands that have raised me on behalf of my busy dad, patting me when I behaved well and spanking me when I did something foolish. Her hands have shaped my dreams and aspirations so I could live a more comfortable life, but it has taken me 17 years to realize what an extraordinary influence her hands have had in my world. To reduce the pressure for my dad, my mother decided to earn a working visa and take a job at a butcher shop. As an experienced career woman, she felt disgraced working at a filthy small space, but she never showed me that resentment. All she gave me was a bright smile.

When she came back home, I for the first time heard my mother moan when she was sleeping. Her right hand thumb was bent crooked a full 90 degrees from hours cutting the frozen meat. I had always said to myself that my mother is an invincible woman. No matter what I did wrong, no matter how much I disappointed her, she would always calmly correct me, scold me if needed, and always give me advice that would let me find the right paths for my future. Now, her moans and her crooked thumb proved to me that she was also a vulnerable woman who also needed help.

Fortunately, my brother, my mother, and I moved to China to reunite with my father and my mother was able to stop working at the butcher shop. Although her thumb never became straight again, although her thumb is still painful, she was just happy that she could stay home during the weekends with me.

The world I come from is one of ‘devotion’. As soon as I was born, I was heavily beloved by my mother, and throughout my life, she has devoted every element of her spirit for me. She and I can now joke around about the time when she worked at the butcher shop, sometimes even making fun of how her thumb cannot straighten. But I do know that she misses it very much, so I tell her “Mom, don’t worry about the tasks you have to do now, I’ll be your thumb from now on.”

My mom did so many great things with her thumb for me, that I do not know whether I can replace them. But, with my utmost effort, I will try my best to be her thumb.

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