I’m applying to college this year, and I’ve started researching possible colleges over the summer. As I’m deciding upon the opportunities and lifestyle I would like to have for myself in the next four years, it’s forced me to think about the future and my short-term and long-term goals. One goal I had set for myself a few years ago was “I want to 环游 el mundo”, which essentially means “I want to travel the world” in English, Chinese, and Spanish. I still very much believe in this goal, being as adventurous as I am. I want to see more, hear more, taste more, experience more, and learn more about the world. But today I realized I want to revise it to be “I want to 环游 el mundo en 头等舱”, which means “I want to travel the world first class” in those same three languages. I know that some people just yearn to travel and experience with comfort as more of an afterthought, but I am not one of them. I definitely prefer comfort if possible, and I just realized that I may have the capacity to achieve this luxury. As I was researching possible paths for higher education, I realized I am quite ambitious, and this is something I would like to achieve personally. I’ve never flown first class before, always economy. I’m 17 with a whole life ahead of me, and I want to succeed to be able to live in comfort and live out my dreams in luxury.
Furthermore, I realized how lucky I am to live in the U.S. with these opportunities available for me. Having many college-educated and prospective-college-student relatives and friends in China, I’ve become quite familiar with their college entrance exam and policies to earn higher education that are similar throughout Asia. There is a stark contrast between the score-based bar that is set for them, and the the more holistic screening process for us. I’m not in a position to say which system is better or worse, but personally I think the wider view of the college application process in America fits my circumstances better. It really allows me to express my skills and passions in areas outside of school. I’m very grateful that I have to complete this process on my own, since I’ve come to know and understand myself better through the process of searching. This opportunity is all thanks to my parents and their decision and hard work in immigrating to America, of which I am forever grateful.