Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
On the night of Aug. 31, 2013, which is the day prior to leaving Shanghai, China, I was speaking with my mother. She told me much about my father, who had not spoken to me much because he was frequently busy. While I was studying in the United States for 10 months each year, I would make phone calls to my home, but my father was seldom there. This was a challenge, because I only had two months of the year to see my parents in person. I still remember that talk with my mother when I was leaving Shanghai. The day is as familiar to me as my own reflection. I remember the date, time, weather… everything. This was the most profound conversation I had ever had, and it would change me forever. My mother’s words encouraged me to be responsible, mature and ambitious.
I had always thought of my father as being a tough guy, but I discovered a different side of him after that conversation – he was also a delicate man. Without that conversation, I would have thought my father did not miss me when I would go away. Whenever I would leave to America, my father would never cry or say that he would miss me. He always just said: “Good luck. I want to become stronger before I see you next year.” And, similar to most Asian fathers, he would always remind me to study hard. His behaviour was always stoic. However, my mother told me that rainy night that my father did miss me, and he wanted me to stay or play with me more frequently. He has many pictures of me on his office table, in his iPhone, and in his laptop, but he only showed me the tough side of him in order to provide me with a model to whom I could aspire. I was so childish not to see that my father was only doing this to make me stronger.
My mother told me my father had a serious heart disease. I had not even noticed he had been using medicine. I regret not showing him how much I loved him. I did not even respond to every message he had sent. I chose friends over seeing him, as he rested at home, and I would only pretend to laugh at his jokes. I did not try hard enough to connect with him. Fortunately, my father was able to manage his heart condition, and I took the opportunity to speak with him more. This was my chance to make up for the past.
During our conversation, my mother told me what my father expected of me. And I began to realize that everything he had taught me was to try to create a blueprint for my life. He has ambitious ideas for my life, but he would never force me to live his path. I am similar to him: I am interested in finance, and I love swimming and travelling; however, I am not going to be exactly like my father. I want to follow his path of studying finance, and then make a career out of it. He was extremely successful in the industry, and that was the product of an immense amount of work. I do not desire to achieve all that he has accomplished. Instead, I plan to spend more time with my future children, to ensure they have the best possible futures.
My father is a great man. He loves me, though I did not know how much he cared until that life-changing night with my mother. Work got in the way too much, and that is perhaps the greatest lesson he has taught me. I admire my father in many ways, but the primary difference between my future and the life that he has led, is the time that I will spend with my children.
1. Only a few students are willing to serve homeless people, due to the fact that they think it is unsafe. I successfully arranged my classmates and friend to distribute food to the needy.
2. I used to attend TV programs, of which the purpose was to bring happiness and encouragement to children with cancer.
3. I successfully encouraged my roommates to make blankets and donate them to children in the hospital.
4. I am a band manager who organized a musical group that performed world music at international student orientation events.
5. I encouraged my classmates to exchange old books as to protect the environment and save money.