Joining college to study chemical engineering will be one of the greatest highlights of my life: one of my many aspirations will come true. Mahatma Gandhi once said that you should be the change you believe in, and as for me joining a college where I get to “play” with applied physics to come up with new inventions will ultimately be the crown of my life.
I recently graduated from Park Ridge High School in North Carolina where I managed to top my class in my final examinations and was a class valedictorian. In addition, I was the captain of the debate club and a staunch member of the chess team having played in various tournaments throughout the country. My free time was spent in the music room. I loved playing the guitar and was quite the maestro when it came to playing the piano if I may say so. From an exceptionally young age, music has always calmed down my nerves, be it playing or listening to it and so I thought I was destined for the arts. I was also involved in a fundraiser where we supported high schools in Africa through a foundation my friends and I created. I consider myself a team player. However, if I wrote here that it was easy, or that the superior grades came easy it would be as true as saying that the earth was flat. I was born to relatively wealthy parents who provided me with everything a young adult would need in this day and age and perhaps that was their greatest mistake. I did not see the world beyond my cosy little life; it was about the movies, the mall, boys and the trendiest fashion (cliché? I know). Fortunately, they realized that in time and came up with correctional measures, which worked.
When I was in the fifth grade, they took me on safari to Africa, Kenya to be specific. I was glad to enjoy the white sandy beaches and magnificent wildlife but they had other plans for me. They took me to a remote Masai village in the middle of nowhere (or so it looked) and left for dead (or so I thought). That was where my epiphany began. After getting over my initial shock and hate for my parents I began to try and understand the way of life of those people. With no modern technology, over-the-counter medication, and even Harvard-educated doctors they managed to bear children, bring them up and give them a basic education with the little earnings they eked out of their small “shambas” (pieces of land).
Until then, I had always wanted to do something in the fast lane such as fashion or music despite the fact that I performed better in science subjects than in the arts. I thought scientists were arrogant. However, after my vacation I realized that my eyes were wide shut and I did not see the opportunities given to me and that I had been doing a fabulous job on wasting them.
When I came back school after that vacation, I clearly knew what I wanted to pursue. My utmost desire is to come up with some ways to make our world a better place especially for those not as privileged as I am. I paid more attention to the science classes as compared to the art classes, those of applied sciences in particular.
I may not have come up with a fascinating invention or a life saving enzyme (at least not yet), or been a geek most of my life, but I have the passion and drive required to pursue this career. I have seen the bigger picture and had a sneak preview on life on the other side of the fence. I know what it is like to be without basic needs. I hope you will give me a chance to prove that I can make a change in this world.