Please tell us more about your cultural background and identity in the space below (100 word limit).
I’m Asian. More specifically, my mom is from Hong Kong and my dad is from Taiwan. Both their families come from Mainland China. However, I instead consider myself as part of a small, yet growing cultural group known as American-born Chinese. ABCs, as we frequently call ourselves, are generally young, second-generation Chinese with strong grasps on both American and Chinese culture. We stock our cabinets with both Chef Boyardee and shrimp crackers and we are fluent in “Chinglish.” I’ve grown up equally amidst both cultures and both have played an equally important role in my life. (96 words) Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (100 words or fewer)
My interest in coding began when I was nine years old, designing my Kacheek’s webpage for my Neopets account, fascinated with how my <br>’s turned into line breaks and how my <img src=”image.jpg”>’s turned into images. Years later, I was struck with this same feeling while sitting in Computer Programming class, typing lines of seemingly meaningless text into my Java IDE and watching it exactly generate my intended output and display a screen flashing, “Hello, world.” MIT’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department appeals to me because of my interest in computer science, something I hope to pursue in college. (100 words)Tell us about the most significant challenge you've faced or something important that didn't go according to plan. How did you manage the situation? (200-250 words)
When you grow up with a speech impediment, in addition to the constant questions of, “Why do you t-t-talk like th-th-this?”, you often find yourself surrounded by the phrase, “self-confidence.” Well-meaning people, people who actually speak every syllable the correct number of times, suggest you tell yourself this problem doesn’t exist. It was something I’d always roll my eyes at, this unrealistically oversimplified solution. As a realist, I knew there was no magical cure–I was a stutterer. And so, faced with no other option, by the time I started high school I began forcing myself to accept the facts. I stopped feeling panicked whenever I stuttered. This fear of stuttering was, over time, reduced to an annoyance I was tired of putting up with. With a so-be-it attitude, I learned to feel comfortable about my speech. But ironically enough, this, in itself, is self-confidence. I overcame the worst of my speech impediment by accepting the fact that I have a speech impediment.
Sometimes I’ll still stammer a little if I’m nervous. It’s made me realize that stuttering was not my greatest challenge–It was the emotional burden that came with it. I’m still working on fully ridding myself of my stutter, but I’m no longer ashamed of how I talk. I no longer cringe whenever I watched a video of myself talking. I no longer feel this anxiety weighing over me. I get my message across, stuttering or not stuttering. For me, this mentality is my greatest accomplishment. (249 words)