Filmmaking is one of my keenest interests, though I probably would not pursue it as a career. However, if I ever were to win an Academy Award, the first person for me to thank would definitely be my oldest sister Wen-Hsuan. She has helped shape who I am more than anybody else has. She is the oldest of three and ten years my senior. Ever since we were young, Wen-Hsuan has been the one raising me, teaching me, and guiding me. Both of my parents work at the family-owned business, where they manufacture plastic bags, and apply a good deal of their time to earning money for the family. Therefore, a great deal of my upbringing comes from my oldest sister, who, by the time I was born, was very responsible. I owe many of my academic successes to her and her kind devotion. I hope someday to affect others in the same way she has affected me.
That is why I try my best to help others, whether that person is my cousin, my little god-brother, the young boy I often baby-sit, a friend, a classmate, or just a stranger in need. To go to Taiwan—the country where my parents grew up and where both of my sisters were born—to teach children would be the experience of a lifetime! It would be amazing to be able to seize this opportunity and guide little kids as Wen-Hsuan has inspired me to do.
The other very important people in my life are my friends. They are all amazing people and play a great role in making me who I am today. I greatly admire each of them for their individuality, tenacity, and great sense of humor. In fact, they are quite possibly the favorite people I know. I am ever so grateful to have them in my life and for us to be able to connect with each other on so many different levels. I spend most of my days with them, inside and outside of school. I care for them all and would gladly spend my time with them even if all we end up doing that day is sit on a couch. I cherish their company, and each one is completely worth any amount of my time. I love being encouraging and caring towards my friends because they are for me. They have walked me through many rough times. My relationship with them is probably the reason for my happiness. The dynamics of friendship are truly a wonderful thing!
If there is anything that taught me the importance of motivation, it is my experience as an athlete. I am on the girls’ swim team in autumn and the girls’ water polo team during the spring at my high school. For the past three fall seasons, I have pushed myself to achieve what I know I am capable of. I went from being one of the slowest swimmers on the Freshman-Sophomore team to one of the fastest sprinters on the Junior-Varsity team. Next year, I really hope to reach a place on Varsity. While swimming has attributed me with a competitive edge, water polo has helped me develop great team working skills. The 2008 polo season has not begun yet, but over the past two years, I have fallen head over heels in love with the game and the team.
Freshman year, while many other underclassmen had already learned to play and practiced at a water polo camp over the winter, I was completely new to the sport. That year, I spent most of my time on the bench during games. Though others may complain under such circumstances, I was not bothered because I was still able to cheer on and learn from my team by watching them play. However, just because I did not complain, did not mean I was satisfied. I genuinely wanted to improve so I could contribute to the team more than just my vocal support; however, I was motivated by more than just that. I wanted to show Darla, my mentor in water polo, that I could excel. She was our goalie and an upperclassman. There were many times when Darla would take me aside, either by the coach’s suggestion or by her own insistence, to teach me how to properly tread water and to help me practice my throwing. She was a tough and persistent teacher. At first, I despised her for it, but then I deeply respected her. The first goal I scored in water polo is one of my proudest achievements and one of the most euphoric moments in my life. I remember I could hear Darla cheering from her goal post. That feeling of finally achieving something that you have been working for and others have been helping you work for is just utterly incredible, and I hope everybody gets to experience at least once in his or her life.
Come my second year in the sport, I was made a first-string player! I greatly appreciated what my mentor did for me, so, as a sophomore, I tried to do the same for others. I, along with one of my other teammates, became great enthusiasts for the sport and made posters and flyers to put up around the school in order to raise team morale, encourage team spirit, and increase school awareness for the games. To my surprise, my immense dedication got me nominated to be a team captain! It thrilled me to see that teammates appreciated my enthusiasm for the sport. I am still gracious to know players had voted for me, and greatly look forward to playing on the team again this upcoming season. I cannot wait to continue helping new players, supporting the team, and improving my own abilities.
If someone were to ask me who I am, I could not give just a single-word answer. I could share the topics that strike my interests, such as movies, electronics, and music. I could say that I am in all honors classes and discuss what I may be interested in as my college major—for example, industrial design or mechanical engineering. I could also explain my nationality by talking about my relatives in Taiwan, the holidays we celebrate, or the food I eat at home. However, who I am as a person is defined by my experiences and by the people close to me. The greatest influences in my life are my family, my friends, and my teammates. I do not know what I would do or who I would be without them.
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