Monday, January 28, 2013


I am aged nineteen years old and I come from China. I am from a family of three; that is my father, my mother and me. Being the only child in my family means that I have received all of my parents’ unconditional love and affection, without having to compete for it in an eagle and eaglets nest situation, characterized by the presence of numerous siblings, as is the case in many other families worldwide. Although my parents’ decision to have just one child might have been manipulated by the Chinese government directive, so as to ease the population of China which is extraordinarily high as to compared to other nations in the world, the situation has had more than a few benefits for me. Firstly, I have also not had any rival or competitor for the family resources; this has been a very significant factor for me because I come from a low income family and therefore many resources that are taken for granted by many rich families have, for my family, been scarce and limited to only the basic needs and wants; nothing more, nothing less. I do not want to imagine state of affairs had I had many other siblings eyeing the little that my parents brought home. Luckily for me, that situation of survival for the fittest was not necessary. Being an only child, as would be expected, means that my parents have been especially involved in every stage of my life since I was born. This has been a great advantage bearing in mind the many challenges that many Chinese kids like me go through as they grow up. The presence of my loving and caring parents made it astoundingly easier for me to deal with any predicaments or dilemmas that life chose to hurl my way. Some of these quandaries are still very fresh in my mind and I can still recall some of the most depressing ones that I went through back in China, just before we moved to the U.S. four years ago. Being an only child meant that I didn’t have anyone my own age to interrelate with. Apart from my friends back in school, I was mostly on my own at home; it was habitually my parents and I; the deficiency of a child my own age to play with the many childhood games I fancied when I came home from school, was an issue I had to get used to  in the early years of my life, as repugnant as it was; my mother would endeavor to cheer me up and play with me but it wasn’t the same since she would be doing some other domestic task at the same time; what's more she never was any good at the games I liked most. It still is me and my parents at home but now I am much older and I don’t really play childhood games anymore so I seldom notice the fact that I am an only child as much nowadays as I did back then. Furthermore, more since am much grown up now, my parents do not put as many limitations to the time I spend on my computer or the television as they did when I was younger.
Being an only child also means that I am both the first born and the last born. I would be lying if I said that this position has been easy. In families where there is more than just one child, the household chores and duties in the home are shared equally; for me, I had to do everything by myself, especially when both my parents had to go to work. However, this has not necessarily been a negative thing. Despite the fact that my parents have been there for me and that sometimes they organized play groups of me, I have largely been on my own and this has taught me a lot of things which are very important in life. One such thing has been independence. I have learnt to make my own responsible decisions and stand by whatever consequences that they imply. This is why I strongly feel that I am a very balanced person with firm moral principles and values that are not easily altered or influenced by peers, has is the trend with most other young people of my age. I have also had to go through some challenges here in the U.S. for the past four years since my family moved from China and settled here. I took some time to adjust amid so many stereotypes; since most families in China are made up of the parents and a single child, my family situation was not strange and there were no criticisms or disapprovals back home. Here in the US, on the contrary, there is a stereotype that children from an only child setting are spoilt brats. Many people do not put into consideration the multiplicity of roles we have to adopt being both the first and last born at the same time.
In fact, if I may say so, I owe my success, motivation and high-achieving nature to the fact that I was an only child who dedicated most of their time to studying and working hard to make their lives better.  My intended major is economics; apart from the fact that economics is a very marketable discipline in many nations of the modern world and that it is very easy to secure oneself a good job after school if one has it as a major, I have always had a deep seated interest and passion for everything that has anything to do with manufacturing, supplying and consumption of goods and services. Maybe this is due to the fact that there are so many factories in China; many of them the best in the world in terms of manufacturing low cost quality goods. I have always been interested in learning and getting to know the different processes that are involved in the day to day activities of the corporate business world and I strongly believe majoring in economics will surely satisfy this need. I am working at Chatime Music Cafe and I am a cashier. My job has given me some of the experience that I consider very important and relevant to the careers I might be exposed to with economics as a major.
One personal character that has really been the wind beneath my wings all these years and enabled me to achieve all that I have achieved both in my personal and academic work is my resilience. This ability to be very flexible and tough even in the midst of difficult situations, has helped me a lot especially due to the fact that my parents did not have the economic and financial muscle to provide me with everything that I needed while growing up. Instead of frustrating myself with unrealistic expectations and casting myself into a sea of self pity whenever my whims were not met with the enthusiasm I expected, I would instead digger deeper into my books knowing full well that it was the only channel available for me to make a difference in both my life and my parents’. My favorite quote is from America’s Reverend Jesse Jackson. He said, at one of his numerous mind boggling speeches, that “I may have been born in the ghetto but the ghetto wasn’t born in me: I can make it.”
Sometimes when I fell really down and I want to give up, I just have to imagine Reverend Jesse saying those words to me and as they ring in my ears, I am quickly jolted back to the reality that I have to work hard in my scholarly adventures and in life as a whole, if I really want to make anything out of myself and make my parents and everyone else who has played any significant role in making me what I am today proud. As the U.S. president commonly says, I know I can make it; indeed, I will make it.