Against the Odds

Topic of your choice.

Unlike most children, I loved the doctor. As I bubbled after hearing the news of a doctor’s appointment, I’d begin preparing a list of questions. At the clinic, the nurses laughed at me, but I was determined to get to the bottom of my quest of how to become a doctor. By accompanying me through obstacles in life, my quest for scientific education has helped me persevere to achieve my goals. As a child in Pakistan, I lived in an environment that did not agree with my passion. As a young girl, my job was to help out at home while the boys ran the errands outside. I made the observation that boys and girls were treated differently. More significantly, girls were not expected to excel academically. To compound this, I realized that the financial conditions of our fathers determined our futures—even if we were all boys. My hypothesis was seemingly true when I realized that none of my female cousins attended college. I concluded differently for myself. I could not adjust to this and decided that I would be a fabulous and intelligent doctor that would one day be famous worldwide. I was neither financially gifted nor a boy, but I could be just as successful if I studied diligently. My passion for science and mathematics became of second nature to me. I read every book I could get my hands on, and my determination grew stronger. Moving to the USA made my dream much more realistic. However, when we first moved, we had no home and no jobs. We did not speak English. We spent our first few months in the basements of relatives. I stayed silent during my first days of school because I did not know English. Moreover, my parents did not allow me to try speaking English at home in order to preserve our native language. Therefore, some days I came in to school completely embarrassed of having done the homework incorrectly. I often cried when the teacher yelled at me, but I never complained that my parents could not help me. I never left anything incomplete, always attempting everything with my best effort. Determined to excel, I began practicing my English in solitude with books and by watching television. I requested that my cousins to speak to me in English rather than Urdu in order to improve my understanding. After multiple tries, I eventually mastered assignments. I developed as a scholar and became a perseverant person. I knew that I had to learn English to study medicine, and my dedication to overcoming difficulties allowed me to quickly adjust to the American education system. Adversity was not a dead end, but a learning experience that made me stronger. Therefore, my love of science encouraged me to take initiative for myself. I highly value education because I have a simple logic: increase in education increases the potential to help myself and others. My passion for science and education has always driven me to persevere.

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