Father's Example This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

March 10, 2008
At age 16, he sat beneath the street light to study until exhaustion kicked in. Sometimes, if he was lucky, the high school guard would let him sneak into the empty corridors to escape the cold. Other nights, the guard shooed him away. The lack of electricity in the home that he shared with six family members was one of the easier roadblocks to overcome on his path to becoming a doctor.

Despite impoverished conditions, supporting his family after his father’s death, and the 60 percent ­illiteracy rate of his country, Pakistan, my father defeated the odds when he established his own medical practice in Peshawar. However, he decided to leave this comfortable lifestyle and move to America to ensure limitless opportunities for his family.

Because of his sacrifice, I strive to take advantage of every opportunity. I transferred from my familiar suburban middle school to a challenging international baccalaureate program. Although I made sacrifices, like my father, by switching schools, I have no regrets. At my current high school, I have unlimited opportunities to excel and interact with students from many backgrounds. Leaving my friends and the comfort of living five minutes from school were a small price to pay after I put my life in perspective. Changing schools gave me the drive to pursue rigorous courses. My educational future will challenge and push me.

For the remainder of high school, I hope to keep my grades consistent, excel on standardized tests, and participate in summer programs. I understand that grades do not define a person, but I am motivated to study, like my father, until I reach success. The summer after graduation, I plan to take calculus at the state university for college credit and to strengthen my math skills.

I firmly believe that to develop our society we must first assist the less fortunate. I hope to choose a career that lets me do this. My motivation to ­become a doctor stems from my desire to ease the pain of others. I am also exploring an occupation in foreign affairs. Our world seems to forget that diplomacy can be the key to solving many problems and that peace can emerge as a ­result of compromise. I realize that education is the groundwork of my future and that I must build a solid foundation in my education to achieve my objectives.

Unlike my father’s sisters, who married young and never graduated high school, I realize that my life in America offers infinite possibilities, and I must work to benefit from all of them. My father worked his entire life to secure my future. I owe it to him, and to myself, to make something of my education.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

~~AJ~~ said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 6:08 pm
This is really well written. good luck on becoming a doctor!
Jessika G. said...
Apr. 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm
wow you did a nice job with this writing piece i wish you the best in life and we have some thing in common i want to be a doctor to :)
buddy 101 replied...
May 21, 2010 at 8:41 am
i think being a doctor is very improtant for people
Fatima said...
Mar. 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm
It is a wonderful essay. I feel like it again and again. Keep it up!
zeya bacha said...
Jan. 20, 2009 at 6:32 am
Well. You have written the truth in a well organized manner. I liked it because it is reality and it shows your commitment for your future. I hope you will find the way to help others and do something to bring change to their lives.Your father has taken the pain of getting himself educated and has secured your life but now its your turn to work hard and make secure lives of so many.
I Thank you for your good thinking and wish you a successful journey of life.
afghjanu09 said...
Jan. 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm
This is the best essay i read by a Muslim girl, and helped me to write one for a Medical College also, i have similar story to yours and im from peshawar to and seen that you have great idea put together into an essay and have well organized it.
Sahdia K said...
Oct. 14, 2008 at 9:44 pm
Thank you. Your comments seem very constructive and helpful. I think I'll rework this tonight based on your critique!
Apple321 said...
Oct. 11, 2008 at 1:44 am
I think your college essay was well written and started off strong but some of your details made my interest in your essay waver.

Its remarkable that your father overcame all of those obstacles and that they inspired you to do better for yourself. Still, changing schools isn't as challenging a feat and the schools that you're applying to already know all about IB, your standardized test scores, math skills, etc. The whole point of this essay is that they want to get to know you.
more »)
playmate replied...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm
good keep it up.
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