Ready for the Future Because of My Background

Please write on a topic of your choice. OR The Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either autobiographical or creative, which you feel best describes you.

I never knew when I was speaking Farsi, Chinese, or English. After all, I would flit back and forth from my Taiwanese mother to my Persian father, rapidly translating words between them. Then, I’d settle into bed for my regular Dr. Seuss bedtime story.Having parents from not only different ethnic backgrounds, but from opposite ends of the socio-economic spectrum, has really helped create and shape my unique perspective on life. For example, this year I’m taking a semester history class, America and the World Since 1945. We began the year discussing the current situation in the Middle East along with the history of terrorism. While discussing the definition of a terrorist, I raised my hand and stated that our characterization would include George Washington in the category of a terrorist. He did terrorize the Loyalist Tories who supported the King during the American Revolution in the name of liberty. After I spoke the class went into an uproar, wondering how could I have had the gall to even suggest such a thing. How could I defile an integral and cherished man in the history of our country? I was not trying to be controversial; I was just looking at the issues from a different perspective. I consider myself a loyal and proud American citizen; however, I cannot look at life through a solely American viewpoint. I was taught to be open-minded and I value open dialogue between cultures.In addition to a unique viewpoint, my parents have each taught me important lessons in life that have factored into my personality. My mom grew up in a poor family with six children in Taiwan, yet each of her siblings went through college and most went to graduate school in the U.S. Thus, she never takes anything for granted and values integrity and hard work. She has instilled in my sister and me these same values. She used to embarrass me all the time with her so-called lessons. For example, whenever we went to the grocery store and the cashier totaled up our receipt incorrectly, whether in our favor or theirs, my mom would insist on going back and correcting this mistake. I would try to hide behind rows of chips and candy bars, hoping that no one would realize she was my mother. She would interrupt the line, forcefully speaking in a loud voice demanding the fair change or giving back what she was not owed. After realizing she had completely embarrassed me, she would explain to me that it “wasn’t the money, but the principle” of the matter. Nowadays, not only do I look on proudly as she attempts to correct the wrongs of the world one receipt at a time, I follow in her footsteps. My father, on the other hand, had an advantaged childhood. His father was the vice president of the B.F. Goodrich tire company in Iran, he attended a prestigious all-boys private school, and he rarely wanted for anything. He came to the U.S. to go to college and fully expected to return after four years. The political climate changed everything, however. The 1979 Iranian Revolution brought the fundamentalist Ayatollah Khomeini into power, a man who had little tolerance and patience for non-Muslims. My father’s family were all Bahai’s, the newest world religion, so much of their land was confiscated and many of them had to escape to various countries such as England, Germany, and the U.S. If they had recanted their religious beliefs and converted to Islam, my father and his family would have immediately regained their status and property. However, they stood up for their beliefs and suffered for it. Yet, they never wavered.My dad constantly tells me, and has shown me by his actions, that it is necessary to be strong, know your true values and stand up for them regardless of the situation. I have always believed that you have to “stand up for something or you’ll fall for anything”. Equipped with this belief, my distinct mix of cultures, and all the lessons my parents have taught me, I am fully ready to tackle with confidence the next step of my life: college.

Leave a Comment