Statement of purpose

By , Houston, TX
Changes are bound to happen. A permanent transformation took place in my life when my parents decided to go through the lengthy process of immigration, to come to United States.
When I heard the news that I was soon to leave my relatives, friends and the country where I had spend fifteen years of my life, I was disconsolate. In the beginning, I wasn’t ready to come to an unknown world by giving up my colorful traditions, my heritage, my culture and my people. America, as people put it to me was a land where I could get all the opportunities I deserved and strived for. It was meant to be a destination for all my dreams, a fulfillment of promises and a hope for a better tomorrow. As much as I wanted to hold on to what was already mine, I also wanted to make sure that I lived to my fullest and availed all the opportunities that could help me later in the future.
High school was the first challenge I faced on my arrival. It wasn’t the course work nor the teachers or speaking English that made me fluster but it was the fact that I had to be put a grade below where I was actually supposed to be. The differences in schooling system compelled me to be a freshman instead of being a sophomore. I was determined to graduate early so I could complete high school by the time I was expected to. Taking credit by exam tests, having long conversations with the counselors about my credits and having to work hard became a norm. My aim in life was primarily to satisfy my parents who had left everything behind just to see me and my siblings successful.
More responsibilities were laid on me as I am the oldest of my four other siblings. I was expected to help my younger brothers with their school work, be a source of comfort for my sisters who were already missing their friends and the way life used to be and a constant reminder to my parents that their decision in coming to the United States was a good idea. I learned to make my own decisions because no one in my family had been through the educational system here and their past experiences from Pakistan weren’t of much help. By coming here, I learned to be independent. I learned to accept my mistakes and take the accountability for what I did wrong. I also learned to look different and to be accepted as someone foreign. In a small city like Brownsville, where I spend a few months after my arrival, I was the only girl with the scarf or for that matter, the only Muslim girl. I learned to laugh at jokes that weren’t even funny and to smile when things spoken seemed unclear. I learned to fit in, in a society that was so contrasting to the one where I was brought up.
Seeing so many divergent groups of people and hearing various different languages broadened my mind. I began to unleash my own thoughts. My concepts about ‘one straight right path’ changed. I realized that life is not as simple and easy as it might seem and that I will find a variety of different people through many phases of my life. I recognized the value of participation and having to speak up. There were several incidents when I had to stand up and tell my fellow class mates that not every Muslim was a terrorist and that there was a difference between Afghanistan and Pakistan. I wanted to clarify that no innocent person deserved to die and whosoever participates in these violent activities have no religion because there is not a religion on this planet which teaches terrorism and brutality. I was hardly realizing the ways I was changing. All this led to modifications in the way I thought and prioritized things in life. With having to strive for a better future, I also realized that it was very important for me to bring a positive change in the understanding of people who were somehow related to me.
Having to accommodate with my uncle and his family for the first few months wasn’t an easy task either. I felt as if I was disrupting their perfect lives. Nobody complained but the urge to settle down somewhere with my own family came as a great need. Finally, after completing the semester we decided to move to Houston. Although there were a lot of challenges that us a family had to face but Houston is the place where I slowly began to assimilate. I began to discover the similarities that existed between Houston and Islamabad. The huge Muslim community, high school friends, weekly visits to ‘halaal’ stores all helped to make it my new home.
Yes, there were times when life seemed to just stop at a point and I used to get so frustrated with everything around me that I wished to somehow magically land back in Pakistan. One thing that seemed very unfair was the fact that I wasn’t allowed to go out with friends. I would sit quietly while everyone at school blabbered about what they did over the weekend or the evening before. I wasn’t even allowed to go to my senior prom. My parents always had this idea that by letting me go to different places with friends after school would change me because I was naïve to the American ways.
Though many things changed later on but initially these conditions made me feel disappointed in how life was as compared to what it was supposed to be like. My primary focus was on my performance at school and I tried my best to show my parents of what I was capable of doing.
I was able to graduate early in almost two years and four months. But the first few months I spend here shall always remain unforgettable.





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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

ThePaleBluDot said...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Well written but I think you could end with a slightly stronger punch.
 
Anam14 replied...
Oct. 17, 2011 at 12:00 am
Thank you. I have already submitted this to the college for admissions.
 
ThePaleBluDot replied...
Oct. 17, 2011 at 12:17 am
Woah. Isnt it a bit early?
 
Anam14 replied...
Oct. 17, 2011 at 12:49 am
for UT austin the deadline for spring 2012 was OCT the 1st. :)
 
suz1028 said...
Sept. 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm
You are welcome. Your essay is good and heartfelt. I know you will go far. Best wishes :)
 
Anam14 replied...
Sept. 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Thanks alot :)
 
suz2018 said...
Aug. 30, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Some more:

Yes, there were times that  I used to get so frustrated with everything around me and wished to somehow magically be back in Pakistan. One thing that seemed very unfair was the fact that I wasn’t allowed to go out with friends. I would sit quietly while everyone at school blabbered about what they did over the weekend or the evening before. I wasn’t allowed to go to my senior prom. My parents always thought that letting ... (more »)

 
suz2018 said...
Aug. 30, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Good essay. Just needs some grammar corrections, such as:


When I heard the news that I was soon to leave my relatives, friends and the country where I had spent fifteen years of my life, I was inconsolable. In the beginning, I wasn’t ready to come to an unknown world, giving up my colorful traditions, my heritage, my culture and my people. America, as people told me, was a land where I could get all the opportunities I deserved and strived for. I... (more »)

 
Anam14 replied...
Aug. 31, 2011 at 8:10 pm
Thank you so much for your help and corrections :). I am glad people like you still exist :)
 
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