少有人的路

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Essay

(2019-11-19 18:09:35) 下一个

Final version: 

What is the point of a college essay? From what I gathered after talking to admission officers and counselors, a college essay should explain who you are and show off your strengths.

That was my first problem. I’m not good at showing off. My first essay turned into a very generic sports essay, with the whole, “I worked so hard to climb up to where I was” spiel. I wasn’t happy with it. After writing and pondering over countless drafts, it was clear that I didn’t know much about myself. Or at least, I wasn’t being true to myself. I felt pressured to write an essay about how good I was because that’s what everyone did, and that’s how you get into colleges; but those essays felt superficial because they didn’t represent who I really am.

I have a tendency to see the negative side. It’s kind of ironic because I still remember when I was around seven, I complained to my mom about how negative people were, and how we should always look towards the bright side. And here I was, criticizing others, without realizing that I was the same. Although I have been trying hard to practice my seven-year-old theory, I still can’t help but see the flaws. But there is a bright side: the more flaws I see in myself, the more I can grow.

For example, I get too obsessed with the things I do. There was a t-shirt design contest for our language festival, and I was very excited. I thought about it day and night, even doodling designs during classes. I wanted my design to be perfect, so I kept changing my ideas and didn’t put my design together in Photoshop until the night before the deadline. Then around 2 a.m., my computer crashed. I hadn’t saved in at least three hours, and I knew I wouldn’t have an entry for the competition. I just broke down. But in retrospect, I realized that I was more upset about losing all that work than not having a submission. From that night, I learned two things. One, save often. Two, figure out what is really important to me. Decide what is worth sinking hours into and what is just a fun project. 

I think my obsession stems from a fear of missing out. Even when I was little, I wanted to try everything. I begged my mom sign me up for activities like taekwondo, piano, dance, soccer, girl scouts, robotics, and drama, to name a few. As I got into middle school, the activities became more demanding, and I didn’t have time to juggle them all. Some extracurriculars were dropped, but others were also added. Even now, I’m still busy. Just the other day, I was thinking, “Well, I have colorguard practice 9-4 Saturday, so I should be able to tutor Chinese from 6-8 and have enough time for dinner.” It’s a tight schedule, but I’ve come to enjoy it.

My English teacher once said: we all want to go to our favorite school, but we should also want to go to a college that wants us. That’s why I’ve decided to take a risk and write this essay. I would just like a college to accept me for who I am, flaws and all. Then, when I see my flaws, I will try to turn them into strengths. If I fail, I will climb back up and try again. I always strive to be better, but I also accept that I am not perfect. So next time I’m in my dorm ready to slam my head into the wall, I will remind myself that I’m not here to be perfect. I am here to learn, to grow, and to become better than before. 

I am human. Just a human doing her best.

 

Version 1

I don’t know how to write about myself. By now, I have drafted countless essays about countless topics. I’ve written essays about colorguard, friends, jobs, and passions. On topics like commitment, procrastination, and helping others. Uncomfortable situations, opening myself up, I’ve written so much, but haven’t written anything I’m satisfied with. In the end, I’m just inherently greedy. There is so much that I want to share and I want to write it all. It’s the same in my everyday life. I always want to try everything and I don’t want to miss out from anything. 

In elementary school, I was enrolled in a ton of extracurriculars, and not a single one was forced onto me by my parents. I played the piano, I took tae kwon do, and attended chinese lessons. I was in drama kids, played soccer, and did four types of dance: tap, jazz, ballet and chinese dance. In school, I played violin and the clarinet, and joined the FLL robotics team. 

But there are only 24 hours in a day. The longer I did something, the harder the skills became, resulting in a greater time commitment. When fifth grade came a long, a new monster entered the scene. It was colorguard. I had seen the colorguard perform during parades and I was completely captivated. I wanted to join this strange beautiful thing. But I had no time for it, and I realized that I had to let go. I couldn’t hold onto all these things endlessly. 

I needed to prioritize. Somehow, I had to decide what were the things that were important to me. There were many long conversations with my mom, until one day, I said, “If I had to keep one thing, it would be colorguard.” I still don’t know why I said it, but felt right. 

As I moved up to the higher levels in colorguard, the practice hours increased. On the junior varsity team, we practiced 10 to 15 hours a week. On varsity, practices ranged from 14 to 29 hours a week. Competitions also took up a large portion of the weekends. To be able to fit this in my schedule, I dropped more extracurriculars.

Even when I focused on colorguard, it still wasn’t easy. When I tried out for junior varsity, there was a one-handed toss at a 45 degree angle. I had spent weeks practicing without much progress. After must frustration, I decided to just practice every day and try my best, so I wouldn’t regret the result, no matter what. Surprisingly, I got the toss within a week and at the same time, realized what “practice makes perfect” meant. “Practice makes perfect” meant to focus on the “practice”, and not the result. As Stephen Hawking said, “When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.” Just keep doing it, and enjoy every bit of progress. When preparing for the varsity audition, I approached my practice with the same mindset and I was accepted.

 From that one day in fifth grade, I made a commitment, and because of it, colorguard has become more than just a hobby. It has flowered into a passion, and I’ve gained valuable friends and learned countless lessons. Even so, my greedy curiosity doesn’t stop. I still want to learn and try new things, but I also have a better idea of where I want to go and what I want to do in my life. So I will continue to use what I’ve learned and my desire for more to reach for my goals.

 

Version 2

 

I never thought of my family as a “book family”. I always thought reading was my little thing. At least, that was until I started writing this essay. I realized how much my family has influenced my life and interests, and hobbies. And I’ve never been more grateful for them.

When I was young, my mom would read to my brother and me. I still remember crawling into the warm bed, sticking my feet into the thick covers, and laying my head against my mom. “What are we going to read today?” she would ask. My answer was the same almost every time. “D.W. the Picky Eater!” This was the first book that completely captivated me. Everything about it was beautiful. I loved how bright pictures were, and how alive the fruits and vegetables seemed. The illustrator could make even a leaf of spinach look appealing. But it wasn’t just the pictures that had my attention. It was the story. It was the first time I discovered the escape of a story. To step into someone else’s shoes, and see a life completely different from mine. Mom’s voice really brought the characters to life. The other day, I was cleaning and came across the book again. While flipping through it, I could still hear my mom’s high and whiny voice when D.W. threw a tantrum about her salad containing spinach, and her low and gruff voice and when the father got mad. I think this helped me empathize with D.W., and other characters in books. They each had their own unique voice and character, and I could feel for them.

Even though I’ve long since grown out of storytime, my mom and I still share books with each other. Last year in school, I read The Unsettlers, and I thought it was incredible that people could still live a simple farming life with no electricity and imported goods in this high tech age. When I went home that day, I told my mom that she absolutely had to read it, and followed up quickly with a quick rundown of what it was about. The next day, she borrowed the audio book from the library. So in a way, we never stopped reading together. Whenever I found something worth reading, I would recommend it to her, and she would do the same. We sacrificed many hours of sleep having long conversations about the books we read and the things we learned.

Funnily enough, while my mom read many memoirs and novels, my dad’s tastes fell on the opposite end of the spectrum. He read a lot of technical books. He was the kind of person to read about the history of math or casually flip through my physics textbook. My dad was also the one that always encouraged us to learn by reading. In second grade, we had an astronomy unit, I was hooked (or you could say my interest was attracted by the gravitational field of the planets… bad joke). So my dad offered to take me to the library so I could take out some books about astronomy. I don’t think he planned up spending the entire afternoon there, but that’s what ended up happening. Because I flipped through the pages of one book, and ended up reading an entire stack of books. And my dad didn’t mind waiting for me, and helping me carry all those books home. I’m pretty sure at the time, I read nearly every single book about space in the children’s section. More than once in class, my teacher read books about planets to us, and I’d realize that I had already read that book. Thinking back, I’m so happy that my dad brought me to the library, because through it, I was able to discover many new interests and things. 

Throughout this time, my little brother was kind of like my “book buddy.” If I read some fantasy book that I knew my mom wouldn’t be interested in, I would go talk to him about it. He didn’t always read what I recommended, but when he did, it was fun to talk about it with him. I think our interest in things like books and video games brought us together, but our relationship has flourished into a friendship that is much more than just playing games together and talking about books. Even when we were in elementary and middle school, we would go out together and walk to the nearby Stewarts to buy ice cream. Sometimes with friends, sometimes just us two. The summer before I got my license was the year we started to become more independent. Instead of just walking to get ice cream or slushies, we would bike to a cafe and get lunch when our mom wasn’t home and we were too lazy to cook. After I got my license, things only got crazier. One time, I drove with him for 45 minutes just to go to this ramen shop that I wanted to try. It was in the city, and I had to parallel park, which was quite possibly the worst thing ever. He got out to make sure I didn’t hit the car behind me. It was an ugly parking job, but I didn’t hit anything, so I’d call that a win.

In a way, the books were a starting point. Only one block in my relationship with my family. Now I’d be the first person to say that I was definitely the spoiled one in the family. Each member of my family has shown me empathy, cared for me, and helped me grow in their own way. I don’t know how one develops empathy, but one of my mom’s co-workers once said that perhaps the way to teach empathy to kids is to show them that they are empathized with. If they can feel that they are cared for and empathized with, they might grow to empathize with others. If that’s the case, then I’m thankful for my family for showing me empathy. I sometimes feel that I don’t give back enough to them. I sometimes feel that they always give and I take. I easily get absorbed into what I’m doing and I forget to look at others. And so I want to take that kindness and share it with others. 

 
Brain Storm: 

Things about me:

I’m a dancer. I like to perform. There’s something exhilarating about being up on stage, showing what you can do and performing a story, and hearing the crowd. I don’t know when I noticed, but at some point, I realized that I was a pretty good dancer. It was sometime after I had been doing colorguard, and I noticed how high and flat my leaps were. I was never really a great dancer, but I think with some of the strength training from colorguard, it helped me develop my muscles needed for dance and taught me how to better control my movements.

On the topic of colorguard, colorguard has been a wild ride. It is the cause of much growth, both mentally and physically, but was also the cause of many injuries. The most exciting moment for me was when I really figured out what practice makes perfect meant to me. It was about practicing without worrying about the end result… focusing on the how and not the what. 

Although I still feel that mindset is pretty hard to achieve. In physics class, last year, I was kind of worried first quarter, and my grades were ok, but not great. But by second quarter, I think I was tired of worrying about my grades, so I just stopped looking at my grades. I thought the physics concepts were interesting, so I just focused more on the physics concepts and how things worked instead of the test results and grades. Somehow, I ended up with a 98% that quarter, and 100% on the midterm, which was kind of crazy for a college physics course. Then… quarter 3 came, and the pressure was on. It wasn’t actually pressure, it was more like my own expectations about how I should do kind of caused me to focus on the grades unconsciously again. I mean, I had such a good grade last quarter, so I expected myself to do just as well the next. That was where I lost that mindset of not worrying about the grades, so of course, my grades tanked. I did manage to pull it together 4th quarter, but it’s really weird to me how hard it is to maintain this mindset. In a way, you can’t force yourself to do that. You have to somehow stop caring unconsciously, which is so weird and contradictory. I think that feeling of not caring only usually comes to me when I’m too tired or too busy to care about my grades, and I just focus on getting school work done. Or I’m really distracted by something else that I’m currently working on. I’m pretty sure this section is so messily written. It feels really hard to put into words, because everything its kind of an instinctive thing.

Another thing I learned was that talent can do a lot. I know everyone always says that talent without hard work is nothing, but what about talent with hard work? Because I can say easily, that I am hard work with little talent. I can’t say no talent, because I was still very lucky to be born flexible and relatively smart, but most of it is work. I know this because my brother is talent without hard work. But then there was this one girl. She and I tried out for junior varsity together the first year. I didn’t really know her well, but all I knew was that she’d never danced before colorguard, but the tryout results was when I realized how talented she was. That year, she got the highest dance score out of everyone trying out. Usually, they don’t announce these things, but it just happened to come out of one of the coaches’ mouths during practice one day. To be honest, that kind of hurt, because I’ve been dancing for years, and yet she comes in and takes the top position, as well as netting herself some solos in the show. It doesn’t bother me anymore, but at the time, it did. Because although I’m sure she put in time and effort, I had taken dance lessons for years, and I was practicing hard for tryouts too. It didn’t stop bothering me until I realized that it was pointless to compete with her. First of all, we were on the same team. Second of all, I realized that I should be focusing on how I can improve instead of worrying about how much better or talented others are. Also, in retrospect, it seems kind of like a petty thing because I was only looking up and never once looked at those behind me. I didn’t even think about others.

Anyway, I mentioned that colorguard did not just teach me a lot, but also led to a lot  of injuries… that’s also true. I don’t think I was ever really physically strong. My body is really flexible and “soft”, so I can move in fluid motions, but I think that’s what also makes my body weaker. I was never a fast runner, and I just didn’t have that explosive power or strength to maintain positions of a long time. I sprained my ankle on jv, and it never properly healed, making it susceptible to more sprains. I still think I was lucky to only have sprained it, because I actually twisted it by landing on the side of my foot from a leap. Then, on varsity, injured my shoulder once in a strange way. It didn’t hurt, but I couldn’t lift my arm above a certain point. I did some research online, but it didn’t seem like there were any cases the way mine was. That time it actually really scared me because I was worried that I killed a nerve or something. To this day, I still don’t know what really happened. The doctors never seemed to be sure, but I went through physical therapy to get the mobility back. Even now, I feel that it gets looser if I don’t properly exercise it after a few weeks or months. And then there was the chipped tooth that happened just two days after school started this year. I was practicing a pretty simple skill, but the flag pole came down at the wrong angle and hit my front tooth so perfectly that it shattered the bottom half of it. This one probably scared me the most, because from the front, it looked like a clean break, but I could feel most of the back of the tooth was also chipped/missing. It turned out that the chip exposed the nerve from the back of the tooth, so I got a root canal before getting it filled in. While it was cool to see what a tooth nerve looked like, I would have much preferred it to be inside my tooth. 

Anyway, each time these injuries occurred, I seriously considered quitting colorguard. Because I felt like a sport that made me seriously injure myself in permanent ways wasn’t worth doing. But at the same time, I couldn’t seem to let go. I had a friend who injured her knee and had to get surgery, which meant she was without colorguard for an entire year. She once said to me that she felt like she was nothing without colorguard. And honestly that kind of scared me. Because I feel like we should never be defined by one thing, because if we lost that one thing, we’d be, well, nothing. At the time, I also felt lucky that I had many things that I felt I was. Yes, I was a colorguard athlete, but I was also a dancer. In school, I was an art kid, but I was also a tech kid, and that strange kid that actually liked physics. I also had my heritage that defines me. I’m Chinese, and I’m proud of it, and I love learning about Chinese culture, as well as other cultures. I was not just one thing, and yet, I was so attached to colorguard that I couldn’t let go. Why couldn’t I let go? I didn’t know why, and I seriously considered if I in fact had let colorguard become my one thing in life. Sure, it was one of my top priorities in life, but had it become the one and only? I think in the end, I realized that it was not that I felt I was nothing without colorguard, but what I got attached to was the community. I think that besides my family, colorguard was the one place that I truly felt like I could be myself, no matter what. It was the one place I felt accepted completely for who I am, and that I could say what I want and do what I want without worrying about what others think. I think it was because we spent so much time together that everyone just accepted that we were all a little crazy and quirky in our own ways. It was a place where we could laugh together, cry together, and talk about random nonsense. I don’t think I ever let myself loose outside of my house before I joined colorguard. Wow, writing this actually made me cry. I don’t think I even realized how important this was to me until now. It also sounds so stupidly cheesy, but what can I say? 

It’s funny, because I was definitely never this emotional before. When I was younger, like before middle school young, I almost never cried unless I got hurt or something. There were never tears of intense happiness, and rarely tears of sadness unless it was actually something sad. Like, I would never cry during sad movies and stuff, and I didn’t understand why others around me did. I also didn’t ever cry out of stress, granted there was very little stress as an elementary school kid. But then I hit puberty, and all of a sudden, tears were much more common. I cried at every sad moment in a movie, and I even cried once in a part of a movie that was very happy. I thought it was the hormones in my body going crazy, and maybe it was a little bit, because I’ve calmed down a bit now, but I definitely am not as stoic as before. I think part of the reason is because I’ve learned a little more empathy. I can feel for those characters on the page or up on the screen, and I can sympathize with how they’re feeling. I don’t know exactly how to develop empathy, but one of my mom’s co-workers once said that perhaps the way to teach empathy to kids is to show them that they are empathized with. If they can feel empathy, then they will grow to empathize others was essentially what he was saying.

If that’s the case, then I’m really thankful for my parents for showing empathy, because I’ve grown to be pretty strong and stable. At least I like to think so. But in general, I just think my mom is really great. Our relationship is pretty good, and I can always talk to her about any problems I’m facing. She’s kind of a “fixer” which means she always approaches things from a perspective of how to fix the problem, which I like about her. It’s also fun to talk philosophical things with her, which is why I think I’ve become such a thinker. It’s probably also why I’ve been able to grow so much mentally. All the things I figure out isn’t stuff I realize by thinking in silence. It’s almost always when I’m talking to my mom that I have a sudden epiphany about life or about what I’ve learned. I mean, I also talk to her about non-philosophical things, but doesn’t everyone. Also I just really appreciate her in general because of how strong she is. My dad is working in China right now, so my mom takes care of me and my brother at the same time, and I think she does a great job at it. My dad is also just as great as my mom. It’s always fun to talk about random science things, or discussing how the stock market works. I think while my mom gives advice, my dad gives another type of advice. My mom gives advice about how to be a good person and my dad gives advice about how to, well, real life stuff, like how to get a job or manage money. He’s always the one who also puts in a ton of time researching stuff that we need help with. Two summers ago, when I first started looking for a part time job, he’d send me articles and stuff about things he found online that talked about how to make a resume or prepare for an interview. This year, while I’ve been searching for colleges, he sent different articles about different schools based on my interests.

I think I’m just lucky to have a great family in general. I also get along with my brother much better than most siblings do. I have friends that almost never talk to their siblings or would rather not have them around when they’re with friends. I actually really get along with my brother. I think it’s partially because we both have an interest in things like books and video games, but it has flourished into a friendship that is much more than just playing games together and talking about books. Even when we were in elementary and middle school, we would go out together and walk to the nearby Stewarts to buy ice cream. Sometimes with friends, sometimes just us two. The summer before I got my license was the year we started to become more independent. Instead of just walking to get ice cream or slushies, we would bike to a cafe and get lunch when our mom wasn’t home and we were too lazy to cook. After I got my license, things only got crazier. One time, I drove with him for 45 minutes just to go to this ramen shop that I wanted to try. It was in the city, and I had to parallel park, which was quite possibly the worst thing ever. He got out to make sure I didn’t hit the car behind me. It was an ugly parking job, but we did it. He’s also a good listener and will listen to me complain, or at least pretends to listen. Sometimes I feel like I take much more that I give when I’m with him. I tend to drag him into doing things, but he usually goes with it, rarely asking much from me. 

I mentioned earlier that I had many interests and hobbies. I seem to have an undying curiosity for almost anything. I don’t know why that is, but there’s so many things I’ve done and so many more things I want to try. One of the things I had an interest in was video games. I don’t know why, but I guess I just never grew out of it. Something about the different foreign worlds that creators build draws me in, and I just want to explore all their secrets. The interest in video games probably also stems from my interest in both art and tech. Games are one combination of the two, but to me, it’s the ideal combination. It allows the user to explore and discover everything on their own. It gives complete control to the player. They can run through the intended path, just by following the story, or stay for the long haul and uncover every nook and cranny. I’d like to create a game one day. There’s something alluring about creating a world from scratch, designing the inhabitants, and programming it to make it come to life. 

I think this interest in games stemmed from my love of books and stories. Afterall, games are just interactive stories. Ever since elementary school, I loved to read. I liked to see the lives and worlds of others. Now that I think about it, I don’t actually know why I like reading so much. Maybe because reading makes me think? But that definitely wasn’t the case when I was in second grade, which was when I first discovered this love of books. Maybe back then, I was enthralled by the stories and adventures and knowledge, and as I grew, I began to love books for more than just stories. Even now, I’m not sure what I love in reading. It’s something about the words on a page that draw me in. It’s like escaping to somewhere far far away, whether it takes place in a fantasy world, a planet light years away, or just in an ordinary person’s life.

I think it was second grade when I discovered my interest in astronomy. Ok, maybe astronomy is a little too technical. Let’s just call it space. We were in our astronomy unit and I was so engrossed that I begged my dad to take me to the library. I’m pretty sure at the time, I read every single book about space in the children’s section. Twice in class, my teacher read books about planets to us that I’d already borrowed and read. I tend to dive deep in whatever I’m currently interested in. And at that time, it was space. And I’m kind of sad that I forgot about that interest as I grew up. It’s not like I lost interest, it simply got pushed into the background when I discovered newer, things like books and games and art. But that spark of mine got re-kindled recently. It just so happened that I took aerospace this year for tech, and one of our assignments was to research an advancement of aerospace. So my group ended up picking the Voyager I and II, and I realized that I loved space just as much as before. My group happened to finish our presentation planning early, so I ended up spending the rest of the class period looking deeper into the Voyager’s astronomical discoveries, which were not needed for the presentation. The most interesting I found was that Jupiter’s moon, Io has active volcanoes, and that it was the first satellite discovered to have volcanic activity besides Earth. In addition, it only takes 1.77 Earth days to make a full revolution around Jupiter, and because it’s moving through Jupiter’s magnetic field so quickly, it induces a current and essentially acts as a generator. It can create 400,000 volts and 3 million amps of current. First off, I think that’s insane. And funnily enough the next thing I thought was, “Imagine how much electricity we could harvest from that if we could find a way to do it.” But then I realized that although it might be a great way to get green energy, there was no realistic way to do it with our technology. At least, not yet. It took six years for the voyager to reach Juptier, and that was when conditions were ideal. There’s also no way to bring it back, along with a ton of other complications. And yet, the idea excites me quite a bit. Just imagine what we could do with it. So I’m glad that I rediscovered this interest, and I wish I never let it go in the first place. Imagine how much more random cool facts I would know now if I’d kept reading about astronomy all these years. 

As I’m writing this, I’m starting to realize that all of my interests do have a reasonably common thread. I think I’m just a dreamer. These things I’m interested in are all a form of escape. In a way, a fantasy. Space interests me because there’s so much stuff out there we don’t understand and so much more that we have yet to discover. I like video games because they are just another type of foreign world to uncover, albeit human-made. Art is an escape to a visual world of colors, shapes, and creations. Books are the same. And it’s not just fantasy or sci-fi books that have that escapist element. Books about true stories or real events or things are just as amazing. In a way, it’s even more mind blowing when you find out that all these crazy things happened around you or in the past. The most mind-blowing things are the things I read that make me realize, “I was alive when this happened.” Like I read The Unsettlers last year, and I think it’s so crazy that people are still able to go and live a simple farming life with no electricity and imported goods. They’re able to live so primitively in this high tech world that may or may not be beyond saving. How amazing is that? I admire them so much, and I think it’s crazy that I could theoretically go out and meet these people I read about in the book right now. These kind of books show me a completely new perspective of our world. So perhaps the word isn’t escape, but discovery. It’s about discovering the new things about the world, about me, and about the past.

And then there was physics. I don’t know where that fits in to all of this. Heck, I still don’t even know why I like physics so much. Maybe it had to do with my teacher. Although maybe not. I know tons of people who really like my teacher but don’t exactly love physics the way I do. It’s very straight-forward equation-plugging and mathematics. It’s the one science I’ve noticed that has very little exceptions, which I find refreshing. What really bothered me about chemistry was that for every rule we learned about atoms, there seemed to be one or two case that was an exception. Even with physics, when we get down to the quantum stuff, things get messy, but even that is very interesting to me. And I get the irony of that, I just complained about inconsistencies in chemistry and then said I like it when it was put in a physics context. So maybe I didn’t actually hate chemistry that much. What I really found interesting in physics was that why did rules apply to larger things made of tiny particles and yet these tiny particles on their own don’t follow these rules?

So maybe it’s not discovery that I like but an interest in the intangible things. Things that I can’t just see or touch, but concepts that are hard to grasp, and sometimes so crazy that I can’t grasp them. Things like how a fluctuating magnetic field can generate an electric current, or how by the rules of gravity, you pull on the earth just as much as the earth pulls on you, but because your mass is much smaller, you the effect of that gravity feels much larger. Or the fact that color is just a concept, and it’s really just light being reflected and absorbed. And that what you’re seeing is not the object but the light bouncing off the object. Or that other animals can see different colors from you? I can’t even imagine another color existing that I can’t see. My brain just cannot come up with a color that I’ve never seen.

If there were two things I wish would be invented in my lifetime but probably won’t be, it would be a time extender and a time machine. In fact, I don’t even need a time machine, I just want technology that allows us to move at the speed of light. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the time extender. This will never exist, I don’t think. You only have 24 hours in a day, and that is not going to change no matter what. You can’t just magic up some more of that, but I really sometimes wish I could. Imagine how much more I could do with some extra time. Or just imagine how much I could do if I didn’t have to sleep or something. Perhaps I would just waste more time, and perhaps I could be more efficient with the time that I have, but that’s what wish is, right? It’s a dream. Imagination. My problem now is that I could literally spend hours reading about Jupiter’s moons, or drafting a crazy story I’ll never publish, or trying to clear every side quest in a game, or programming a copycat minesweeper game, or attempting a hyper-realistic self-portrait. Or in this case, writing seven pages of brainstorming ideas for a 650 word college essay. So yes, am incredibly inefficient with my time, but I’m just greedy. Some might say ambitious, but I really think it’s more like greed. I know there’s no way to do all this, and I know I have to prioritize and choose.

The second thing I mentioned I wish for was a time machine. Honestly, I think it would be pretty bad if someone invented a time machine. I’m sure someone would screw something up and we all die or something, so what I really want is not a time machine, but a future machine, so to speak. Or just light speed travel. Light speed is an interesting one because of the way time moves differently at light speed. So theoretically, if I travelled at light speed or close to light speed for some time, time would be slower for me than the rest of world, which means I could “time travel” and see a future that I might have not lived long enough to see otherwise. Again, it’s the dreamer in me coming out. But just looking backwards, look how much humanity has progressed since then. Imagine what it would be in another thousand years. Perhaps we’d all be dead, destroyed by own greed and lack of control, but maybe we won’t be. Even if the human race was gone by then, it would be quite a sight, to see human infrastructure slowly taken back by nature. Granted, that’s assuming that nature can still make a rebound, but I think it could. I once read that if humans one day just disappeared, it would only take 50 years for life on Earth to bounce back and become diverse and strong once again. 

Honestly, these are just things that popped into my mind while writing this. I don’t spend a ton of time thinking about this stuff on a normal daily basis because there’s really no point. These are the kind of things that pop into my head when it’s late at night and I’m laying in bed or trying to cram in some last minute studying. So quite literally, dreams. Because time is limited, I feel that from a logical viewpoint, it’s almost more important to figure out what I’m going to do with myself in the future and that’s hard because I don’t even know what to eat for breakfast until I’m downstairs and about to be late for school. 

Speaking of things that I want to do, you know how people always ask kids what they want to be when they grow up? I always said I want to be famous. I think at the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. All I wanted was the world to know me. I think that’s kind of a funny thing, considering who I am now, but I guess it comes from my enjoyment of performing. Like I said, I like to dance and perform for others. But I’m also shy, and I find it funny how I’d rather perform to a bunch of strangers then a small group of people I know.

Something random that I thought of. I noticed that my different friend groups tend to keep to themselves, and like to keep their tight-knit groups. But somehow, I belong in many groups and yet none. I tend to float around to any group, depending on who I’m with. While I don’t tend to consider myself in any of those groups, I realized I like to mix and match. My birthday parties got awkward at times because there were many people who often didn’t know each other, but at the end, usually everyone gets along fairly well. I think it’s fun to see all these different people come together. In a way, I’m kind of like a bridge. I don’t belong in any particular group, but I get along with all of them. It’s interesting because I end up becoming an anchor of sorts to all kinds of people. People come to me when they have problems and I never once imagined that would happen. I mean I’m just another girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing, stumbling through life with the rest of the crowd. And yet, I’ve had friends come to me. Like I mentioned before, there was the one girl from colorguard who injured her knee and said she felt like nothing without colorguard. At the time, she was especially worried because her knee hadn’t been healing well and there was a chance that she wouldn’t be able to return the next year. I had another friend who was an art kid. She was having doubts about her ability as an artist. In the previous years, she had always been one the best in art class, but all of a sudden, she was taking higher level art classes and she was surrounded by people who were just as good, if not better than her. It made her doubt her own skills, and again, she also said how she didn’t know what she’d do if she didn’t do art. She felt untalented in everything else. 

Honestly, I never felt I really knew what to do either about their problems. I had some ideas, but changing a mindset was hard, and the reality is I don’t have the answer to how to live their lives themselves. But one thing I could do was listen. I know it’s not everyone who feels this way, but I know sometimes I just want to let everything out and vent. Whether it’s in writing or talking to my mom, sometimes I just need to let it out. So I played the role of the listener. Ahh that sounds like crap. Whatever, I’m done. I have 8 pages of stuff, there’s a ton of stuff already. I don’t need to write about this.

 

Other things that I thought about:

  • Work. How I somehow landed two similar jobs around the same time. Probably interesting to talk about luck and coincidence in this one, because everything just fell into place. Like I first got a job tutoring Chinese, and it was a very roundabout way I got it. One of my mom’s friend’s daughter was tutoring these two kids, and they happened to be looking for more tutors to spend more hours to work on Chinese, so her mom told my mom, and so I ended up tutoring them for a while, along with another girl. Then only a few months later, I discovered Code Ninjas, which had just recently opened. I felt that it was perfect because I had experience working with children with the tutoring, and I also could code because I took APCS in school. It was kind of a perfect combination, and I landed the job. And somehow, on the tutoring end, I also ended up teaching the kids some basic javascript. One thing led to another, and I guess it might have been because I set up a better relationship with the dad, because it ended up that I was the only person left teaching the kids chinese and javascript. One of the girls got too busy and didn’t have a ride, and I’m not sure why the original girl stopped teaching, but then it was just me. I just think that there must have been so much luck involved in landing these two jobs and being relatively successful in both, but I’m not sure there’s enough to write an entire essay about.


 
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JustTalk 回复 悄悄话 回复 '清水胜浓茶' 的评论 :
谢谢读帖和回复!She is being honest for sure. :)
清水胜浓茶 回复 悄悄话 写得真好!She is being honest and fun, yet striving to learn and improve.
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