I think my essay is a little long and someplace is complicate, and I think I really need to shorten and simplify it.
Thanks a lot~
"Suffering is a stepping stone for genius." is one of my father's favorite phrases. He had the temerity to overcome innumerable obstacles to seek for academic success, and these experiences greatly shape my life.
My father was born in 1980s in China, a time when the Cultural Revolution was raging across the nation. During this time, widespread social and political upheaval resulted in nation-wide chaos and economic disarray; education became insignificant and extravagant. Nevertheless, my father followed his dream of entering college by seizing every available opportunity despite the disapproval of his family.
I clearly remember that when I was quite young, my dad would hold me and tell stories from his childhood. I never realized at that time that those stories were revealing my father's character and that these stories would influence who I am today, and help me succeed in life. Being a naive girl, at first, I thought his childhood was fun because he frequently spent much of his time fishing in a pleasant country stream. But, when I learned that those little fish were the only meat he could get, I was shocked. How could a student expect to succeed when he was expected to sprint to the farmland between classes, to transplant rice seedlings and tend vegetables? Without sufficient light to read by in the countryside, my father would stay out late in front of the gate of school, reading books by the light of a streetlamp. Despite this adversity, he managed to study as best as he could for over 12 years, eventually graduating from college with a degree in Tsinghua University in 1988, which ranks first in China.
As I grew older and started my own academic career, I began to realize that you must work hard to achieve your aspiration in life. Exploring the masterpieces of foreign literature on father's bookcase, I was fascinated by the variety of philosophies to which he had been introduced at college, and hoped one day I could also be surrounded by this kind of educational environment. When I told father my decision to pursue further education abroad, he looked at me apprehensively and said," Well Tian, I will miss you, but I believe the education is a person's greatest asset."
Inspired by my father, I have worked diligently toward my own goal even when strongly challenged. During the challenging times I cannot help but recall my father's stories, of his own hardships as he worked toward a better future. What is more, I happened to realize why there was no note of proud in his voice when he told me those past events: he thought it was self-evident that one must make an arduous effort toward learning for one's own sake. Thus, whenever I encountered difficulty in the Mathematical Olympic class or during the SAT preparation, I thought of my much superior learning conditions and made up my mind to sustain those burdens as he has done.
For my father, education is a means to a higher quality of life, not a richer life. Though it might have been possible for my father to venture into the world of business, in the hope of staying close to his family, he instead chose the career that he really enjoyed and could be pursued close to his loved ones. At home, he is a jocular person and makes himself available to my sister and me. Moreover, my family goes hiking in the mountains each Sunday, sharing experiences of the week in turn while enjoying the natural environment. In society, because of his honest work and high integrity, he is able to maintain close lasting personal relationships. And since he takes every opportunity to help other people, he achieves success while enjoying a good reputation. The way he does and thinks make me want to be a person like he is. Therefore, encouraged by my dad, I ran for and was elected as the leader of the Department of Public Relations in the Students' Union, a position that enabled me to build good personal relationships with others.
Isaac Newton once put it appropriately in a letter to Robert Hooke," If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants." Gradually I come to realize that my father is to me as Galileo is to Newton; when I was being held higher in his hands to see further, when I dug intensively into in literature, and when I studied hard for college, I stood on the shoulders of an ordinary man, but a great father. He made me believe that through adversity, I will transform from a common grain of sand into a shining bright pearl. His personality is the guiding light for me to pass through the fog of bewilderment and mediocrity, teaching me, leading me, and inspiring me to greatness.