As a kid, the importance of collegiate education was drilled into my brain. But rather than viewing college as a place of necessity, where students cry each night due to an excess of homework, and lack of time (which is totally not true... maybe...), for me, college is a place where my horizons expand, my views may change, and opportunities arise, not only in swim, but in every aspect of student life. Swimming is a place where I feel most comfortable, and when entering college, which I'm sure will be an uncomfortable transition, I'd like to keep swimming for all my years, in order to maintain that sense of stability, but also to gain a supportive community, and gain relationships that last a lifetime. Putting aside the comfort I feel in swim, swimming is also a very fun sport in which I very much love the competitive nature of and the community around, which leads me to believe that I will even continue swimming after college.
I am an activist aiming to destigmatize mental health in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Growing up mental health was a taboo, and when learning about it in school, and addressing it with my other Asian American friends, I encountered a lot of stigma regarding the subject. When I was younger, this initiated the placement of boundaries between myself and others, and I didn’t verbalize or express how I was feeling, or share my problems. This led to an emotionally-induced hyperventilating. Fortunately, my brother, a lifeguard, was there to tell me what to do, but due to the stigma surrounding these issues, I never learned about what to do in these scenarios, or how to do it. Now, I’ve gotten much better at learning how to express my emotions and take care of my mental health, but my upbringing created a barrier that is a little too difficult to break down in one blow. Through destigmatizing mental health, I can create a safe space for everyone, not only those of Asian descent, to better understand and care for their mental health. This is especially important now, when many people are socially distanced, the lack of support for the LGBTQ+ communities, our “model minority” status, maintaining our parents high expectations, etc., and the increased rate of Asian-American hate crimes that have been occurring in the US, prompting me to stay indoors even more so than I have been. So, as for the academic aspects of college, I aspire to become a psychiatrist. In order to do so, I require a college that can provide me with a solid foundation in order to succeed in getting into med school, and thrive in such a competitive field.
In the athletic department, I’ve won many events at Junior Olympics, and even Western Zones, and have reached the Futures, and Juniors (Winter Junior Nationals) level of competition in my 100 breaststroke. Academically, I have held onto a 4.0 GPA throughout all my grade levels, and this year, began to take AP classes which were made available starting 10th grade, and will consistently take on challenging classes. I learn by observing others and creating opportunities where others tend to see shut doors. I frequently make friends with many of the people that I encounter. When I truly desire something, I am incredibly strong-willed, and will do what is necessary to achieve it. These characteristics would not only make me a solid athlete on a collegiate team, but an academically capable student as well.