I am a senior at El Cerrito High school who is moving on to UC Davis with a full ride to pursue a tentative major in Psychology. I say tentative because the variety of my interests range from Dance to English to Business to Psychology to Cosmetology or Computer Science and am still uncertain as which of these I wish to pursue as my main career.Though I don’t know much about what I will pursue at Davis, I know one thing for sure. I will participate in numerous clubs and groups. I have been doing so during high school and it has helped me a lot with my stress as well as creating different families at high school and wish to do the same (for a thorough lists of activities and honors I received during High School, click here.)
Some of my Tentative Majors
I fell in love with makeup at the age of 9 through YouTube; watching millions of videos day in and day out has prepared me to achieve my dream career of making others feel confident on their special days. I’d practice on my sisters, mom, and friends for weddings and especially events and slowly, I grew into freelance.
I love being able to have a business based on self-love at such a young age as well as cresting and designing my own website (yes, this website). Coming from a family where wedding are normal every few months, I know the emotions and the anxiety that comes with this new chapter of life and I am here to help make that day as memorable as possible.
Here is one of my essays as to why I want to pursue Psychology:
I’ve been suffering from atrocious allergies for 6 years. It’s at the point where my left hand is constantly reserved for a tissue and the right for all my daily chores. A day without tissues is intolerable.
But last summer, in Pakistan, my allergies didn’t act up at all —- until I saw a box of tissue. My nose itched and with it came a barbarous allergy attack.
I noticed a pattern: every time I saw a tissue, my nostrils tickled.
After some thought, I recalled the words of my Psychology professor “The mind is so strong that one can make themselves sick with it”. My thoughts lingered back to laws of conditioning.
I theorized that because I used a tissue every time my allergies acted up, my mind had linked the tissue with sneezing —- thus making the tissue a conditioned stimulus and my sneezing the conditioned response.
My thoughts sounded absurd but I decided to test my hypothesis anyway with a concept known as extinction in Psychology —- which reverses the conditioned connection.
Turns out, I was right and as a result my allergies lessened greatly.
Psychology of the unconscious became the lens through which I began to observe my world: Why am I viewed a certain way if I hold the book to my chest versus when it’s hanging down? Why does sharing personal stories ease others to comfort? I started seeking answers to such mundane questions in the minimal Psychology jargon I had managed to internalize.
Another career I want to pursue is in business. For years, I have been admiring the empowering role of working as a manager in an office environment, holding meeting and making a business thrive. And I believe that Business will let me do just that.
I joined ITA (Information Technology Academy) at my school during my sophomore year. This website is just a short list of all the incredible skills I internalized and the memories I created within the past three years.
Habits of Mind: Persisting
I believe one of my strongest habits of mind to be my ability of perseverance. No matter how difficult the circumstances are, my tenacity keeps me going.Here is one of my college essays that describes my tenacity.
I see my dad, still and alert, surrounded by numerous dead bodies. My enlarged pupils bounce between the bodies and the smirking face of my father.
“Why do you do this?” disgusted, I ask . The other side of his mouth curves upwards, the smirk turns into a smile.
I see his hazel eyes follow his next victim. His hands rise. I see the concentration in his eyes as his mouth slightly opens in an effort to be efficient and BAM! He kills another housefly, adding to the existing pile around him.
“It’s just one of the billion flies out there sweetie”
“One of the billion” ring in my eight year-old ears ears as I pause to realize a connection. No identity. No individuality. Nothing outstanding. Just one of the billion.
Like these flies, I too was just one of the billion students in Pakistan. Though I often positioned 9th out of 29 total, I was otherwise indistinguishable from my classmates. There, only the top three get the privilege to be class monitors or participate in school Galas. I didn’t stand a chance.
But seeing the destiny of these flies motivated me to change.
I was about to emigrate to America soon — a new opportunity.
I created a philosophy for myself “Make them remember my name”, meaning “Do whatever you gotta do, to positively stand out.“
Upon immigration, I used my differing background to stand out. Coming from a system that stresses memorization, I had an advantage. I created weekly lists of formal synonyms to mundane words like “big” and “good” to expand my vocabulary.
I remember reaching on my tippy toes trying to count the star stickers on the rewards charts, seek and then outdo the class average. I challenged myself to speak at least once in class which eventually made me more outspoken.
Though I often got spelling tests drenched with red ink due to my British spellings — To me, “college” was “colledge”, “color” was “colour”, and airplane was “aeroplane” — Still, I pushed through.
Recently, when my teacher complimented a presentation I did two years ago, how she can’t forget that presentation and still tells her student about it, I knew I had gotten my name remembered.
But what initiated to make my name remembered more importantly revealed the fruit of hard work; My teachers noticed my attempts and recommended me for conflict mediation and leadership roles.
I believe it is this ability to persist that, despite being an immigrant, has gotten me into a top UC with a full ride and a bright future.