I was wondering if I could get some opinions on my college essay.
I don't think it's perfect yet, but getting close.
When I was sixteen, I don't think I could have imagined what would happen to me in the next five years of my life. My family's past was nomadic, but I never thought that I would experience such large changes in my own life. The past five years have proven me wrong. In such a short period of time, I moved to England and finished high school, built toilets in a tribal village in India, found the love of my life, and moved twice more to Colorado and then the Big Island of Hawaii. These drastic changes resulted in some valuable life lessons, and I feel that they will help me greatly when I start college next fall. In this essay I will talk about these experiences, and how they shaped me.
For the past three generations, my family has found a habit in continuously relocating all around the world. The migration started in India when my family on both sides decided to move to southern Africa. Soon after my parents were born, they moved to England. My father continued the journey one step further by moving to the country where I was born, America. Besides frequent trips to England to see family, I didn't fully experience my family's nomadic ways until we decided to move back to England. I was sixteen, and had always been curious about my family's past. To actually experience one of these moves was a great adventure to me, and changed the way I looked at the world completely. I was less scared of life's unknowns, and ready to jump with both feet into school, and all other aspects of my life.
I never played favorites with the subjects I studied in school. It simply didn't matter. The pursuit of knowledge was a wonderful and exciting adventure to me. In England, I found incredible inspiration and creativity in the workings of math. The way the subject was taught allowed me to stretch the bounds of my knowledge and I studied far into the realms of college calculus. I know it sounds strange, but I found my final math exams to be some of the most fun I've ever had. The equations seemed to work themselves out with very little effort from myself. From math, I learned how truly pleasurable academics could be.
My new found positive attitude to school affected my work in physics and chemistry as well. My final physics project involved understanding the harmonic constants of the string vibration on a Ukulele. I was overjoyed that I could play my Ukulele at school and still be studying physics. In chemistry, I loved being able to play with special equipment while doing experiments. My teacher helped me understand how chemistry relates to physics and math through thermodynamics and Newtonian mechanics. I finished the two years ranked top in all four classes with the best A level results at the school. In the future, I look forward to building on these understandings of science with more training. Even though school finished three years ago, I still feel the enthusiasm I had for science very strongly. I am very interested in a math or physics related degree.
While excelling in school, I also played Table Tennis competitively. In Colorado, I reached the semi-final of the Elite Junior Event during the 2002 Rocky Mountain State Games and achieved Bronze in the U-1200 Singles event. In England, the junior coach invited me to the city junior team and I played against some of the best juniors in the country. Table tennis taught me focus and discipline. I found discipline through the three times a week practice that pushed me to be my best. I found focus through being "in the zone". Another way to describe this idea of "the zone" is a place where time seems to stand still. All of a sudden, returning a 60 mile per hour smash becomes ten times easier. Though I didn't completely understand it, I knew finding "the zone" was important to be able to play at my very best. We won the National Junior League North in 2006, and I made it to the city junior championship final the same year. In college, I plan to continue playing table tennis. If there is not a college team, I would be happy to start one.
Another important aspect of my life outside of school was volunteering at Hospitals. I volunteered in Colorado, and continued when I arrived in England. Hospital wards require the highest standard of hygiene and patient communication, and my time was split evenly between the two. I found it very hard to talk to patients at the beginning. I was emotionally attached to everyone, and very afraid. Slowly, with help from nurses, I learned how to have lengthy conversations with any patient. The fear faded, and I came out of the experience a far more confident person. Less than a year later, I traveled to India where this lesson would prove incredibly useful.
After finishing school, I decided to volunteer in India. I chose India, because I felt it was a chance to understand where my blood came from. I also chose it, because of the great food I knew awaited me there. I signed up with an organization called "Year Out India", and they had a community building project that sounded too good to pass up. It was in a tribal village called Khozimala in the mountains of southern India. I was going to paint a house, and build two toilets for the people there.
The people of the village were known as the Mannan Tribe. They freely roamed a large area in southern India as hunter-gatherers all the way up to the 1960s. At that point they were asked to leave the forest they lived in to make way for a tiger reserve. The government gave them land, and limited resources to build houses. Today, a large percentage of the village still lives in poverty. Most families do not have a bathroom or a roof on their home. Even the tribal king did not have a real bathroom, until I came along.
The volunteer organization planned to build fifty toilets, and I was to build the first two for the king and his brother. A large group of workers came to help. I later found out that they were all cousins. I was barely able to speak to them, and my translator didn't know very good English either. My lesson at the hospital took on new meaning in this place. I used body language and gestures to try to get points across. Most attempts rarely worked, but seemed to always end up in hysterical laughter. After a hard day's work, we would run through the dense forest to a beautiful lake. There we would swim and play like children.
We finished all three projects on time, and had a celebration on the last night I was there. Surprisingly, the workers turned out also to be the main performers in the annual tribal festival. They performed songs and dances for me, and I joined them. I had never seen a community that had so much love for one another, and I was truly moved. They had so little, but were rich in ways I wasn't even aware of until then. Put simply, they put the desire for love and connection before anything else, including the poverty stricken situations they found themselves in on a daily basis. Leaving the next day was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and the only thing that could ease my sadness was the hope that I would return one day.
Leaving India, I felt a stronger connection to the world as a whole than ever before. The same day, an old friend named Joy who lived in Colorado found me on Facebook and sent me a message. We began to send each other long emails, and were excited for my planned trip to Colorado. Summer friendship soon turned into summer love. I found the same connection with Joy that I found in India. Any stress or strain in my existence disappeared quickly when I thought about giving and receiving love from such a wonderful woman. A year later, we were married.
Currently, I am on the Big Island of Hawaii supporting Joy while she finishes college. The island is a beautiful place and a perfect playground for an adventurer like me. I work as a freelance web designer and internet marketer. I am also blogging about my experiences in Hawaii at http://zeemy.co.cc . Web design is a completely new art form that morphs and changes with the trends of the world. I hope to build on my understanding of design and computer science as a possible degree path while in college. I also hope to contribute to the college community through print and internet journalism.
The past five years for me have been incredible. The initial spark I felt after I moved to England only grew stronger, and I feel it now in Hawaii, my current work, and preparing for my future at a great college. My past experiences have narrowed my interests, and helped me understand the areas that I want to build upon. The way I learned how to connect to others in England and India will help tremendously in connecting with students, professors, and contributing to a great college community. I feel that I am at the perfect place right now, and know exactly what I want from my future years in college. Now, when I ask myself "What do you think will happen to you in the next five years?" I only smile, and know that I am ready for anything."