Questbridge Personal Statement
"We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your academic success. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most shaped your personal life and aspirations. How have these factors caused you to grow?" (800 words)
From the very first moment I sat on the piano bench and touched the black-and-white keys, I instantly felt in my heart that my future would be irretrievably bonded to this magical instrument.
Growing up in a city, I enjoy the irresistible chaos of a bustling city life: hucksters crying above the traffic noise along the street and the garish neon light beaconing the sky until midnight. The metropolitan setting changed the mode when my family moved to the United States two years ago and rented an one-bedroom apartment in the city of Poway, a quiet place with virtually no sound made at night besides the chirping of crickets and the croaking of frogs. How many nights I quietly lay on the carpet floor, contemplating how lonely in this new land I was. As time cycled on, more problems arose. My parents were forced to start their lives from scratch. My once amicable dad grew grumpy as he struggled to find a job; my parents' once happy union became anything but united as they argued more frequently. In these trying situations, I began to confine myself in my own world. Due to our tight budget, I went without the piano that had accompanied me for over ten years. I missed it desperately and struggled to let go of my depression without it. However, this bleak moment turned out to be valuable as I seized an outlet for my musical pursuits through choir.
Being selected into Women's Ensemble helped me regain self-esteem. Despite the fact, I independently took on challenges, fully embracing “carpe diem". Serious progression in singing didn't happen overnight, and I soon enlisted in my own choir training boot camp: utilizing every second that I could find to practice, listening to different pitches on my way to school, and asking my peers to correct me when I was out of tune. I cannot remember how many days I got out of bed while the world was still asleep, and started practicing "Oh Wha-T-Beautiful-Day" until my lips dried up. Moreover, the heavy workload from school, and the responsibilities I shouldered at home such as helping my parents pay bills or accompanying Dad to the auto-shop as an interpreter did not stop my daily regimen. Problems had a way of staying around, changing their shape but retaining their complexity. Attending choir was expensive. How could I turn to my parents who were also struggling to earn a living for the family? I meticulously counted the money that I earned from tutoring and cafeteria job; however, saving alone was not enough. To finance my passion, I turned to my community for help. I went from door to local stories trying to persuade the owners to help me pay the fee by placing an advertisement into program. Some showed willingness to help, but failed to keep promises; others displayed outright contempt, rolling their eyes and coldly saying they were not interested. After toiling around what felt like half of the county's businesses, I finally got some owners' contributions; although they were not a lot, I still deeply appreciated their efforts and generosity. Meanwhile, one of the business owners, an amiable lady, found an alternative way of helping me out: she hired me. Through this job, I not only got what I needed, but also paid back to the community. My neighbors, Aunt Aida and Rose, realizing my concerns, aided me with money by offering me a kitchen-cleaning job despite their tight budget.
Over a year of training, my journey with vocal music became immensely agreeable as my skills honed and loneliness vanished. Singing in front of thousands of people on stage, as I unraveled the melody with the ensemble, has brought me contentment; music has transported me to another realm in which I am filled with enthusiasm and positive energy. I have to give credit to my journey with vocal music. It is because of choir experience that I found my passion, made my most precious friends, and discovered the helpful hands in our society, without which I could not easily live my dream. As a low-income student, I fervently aspire to found my own organization where I can raise money to help other disadvantaged students realize their dreams in college.That’s why I have just started opening up a web store as a charity, where I sell the antiques that I collected from weekend estate sell in an effort to make some profits from that, so I will be able to donate them to those children. I hope more people can join my cause, so we can successfully benefit the lives of others.