What was the environment in which you were raised? Describe your family, home, or community, and explain how it has shaped you as a person

What was the environment in which you were raised? Describe your family, home, or
community, and explain how it has shaped you as a person.
Growing Up as an IndianAmerican
I raised in a conservative Indian environment with my whole family. My parents migrated
from India and are now successful professionals. My family showered me with love and I never
lacked anything. Because I met people of different backgrounds who had different social norms
at school, I learned at an early age, that I had to adapt to two different worlds. At home I was an
Indian and at school and with my friends, I was an American. This may sound scary but it
becomes a way of life. The Indian community is very loving and family oriented; however, they
are also very competitive and judgemental. Kids like me who were born and raised here are not
as extreme, but we end up being obsessed with competition because we face a lot of pressure to
succeed. This competition against one another puts a strain on our friendships with others of
Indian origin. I’m so much happier with my American friends of nonIndian
origin because I can
relax and be myself. Although the Indian community that I am a part of has many faults, I still
love my culture and am proud of who I am. It has taught me to value a good education which my
parents have repeatedly stressed. This has shaped who I am and how I look at my academics.
Ever since I was in elementary school, I visited India and I loved going there. What struck me
the most is the poverty. Seeing little children running around in ragged clothes barely getting
enough to eat, I felt sickened to see this. At the same time, I was amazed to see how happy and
carefree they were. I realized these children don’t look to material items to make them happy.
This inspires me and I want to learn to be more accepting of everything and not complain when
things don’t go my way. One of the reasons for my desire to get a good education is to give back
to the world and make a difference in the lives of the notsoprivileged.
When I was five years old, my dad decided to leave my family and go to India for good. This
put a lot of pressure on my mom who was now the sole breadwinner for my family. The divorce
did not affect my sister and me too negatively because my mom sheltered and protected us. In
spite of divorce being taboo and rare our friends stood by us and did not isolate my family. My
mom worked two jobs to provide for us and I now realize how hard it was. This has shaped my
way of thinking towards education. I believe that a good education can provide me with financial
security if I were to face a situation like divorce.
Due to strict and conservative upbringing, I was a very shy and reserved person up until
middle school. When I switched schools and came to Cedar Park High School, I was scared. I
still remember the first week at Cedar Park. I used to pray that I didn’t make a fool of myself.
Gradually, I made friends and felt accepted. I felt that changing high schools was the best
decision I made. I became more outgoing and felt more relaxed, I lost my social awkwardness
and insecurities and I feel that being a part of Cedar Park High School has helped me grow into a
confident and mature young adult.
All these incidents have shaped me and my way of thinking. I want to be successful and
provide my own way, make my mother proud and give back to society. My ambition and dream
is to use my education to make a difference in the lives of people that have not had a privileged
childhood like mine.

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