Personal Statement Sample
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Having a choice has always seemed like a luxury to me.
To begin with, my father lost his parents when he was a young boy, so he was forced to complete his schooling before he had finished elementary school. My mother was also born into a poor family, so she had only one year of education in order to allow her three younger siblings to attend school.
So, without much formal education, my parents became migrant workers in China’s coastal cities, leaving me to take care of my little sister in the countryside while I attended school.
In my first year of junior high school, I began to realize that I needed to take action in order to alter the trajectory of my future; I also came to understand that an ability to speak English could make that happen. Lacking the necessary English learning resources, I decided to transfer to an urban school where the English teachers were better trained.
The first English phrase I learned was “I love you.” My English teacher wrote the sentence on the blackboard and asked me to translate it into Chinese. Since I only knew the meaning of “I” and “you”, I replied “I and you” in Chinese, which ignited laughter in the class despite my embarrassment.
As a provincial girl, city life was difficult for me, so I transferred back to the school in the countryside; however, I did so without first registering the change of my residential student status, which led to disaster.
My grades were prominent in the countryside school, and I ranked first in my class until graduation. During the High School Entrance Exam, my score was 25 points above the marks needed for acceptance into the best high school in the city. So I was expecting an acceptance letter from my first choice with happy thoughts about my wonderful upcoming high school life.
Yet the letter never came. My teacher told me that my score was insufficient given the ‘urban student status’ that I had created. (Due to the inequality of educational resources, students in the countryside can gain admission with lower scores than their urban counterparts.) My family background, both socially and economically, eliminated any hope of appealing this decision.
I ended up being accepted into a second-class high school, which in Chinese society means a reduced chance of being accepted into a university.
That was a very difficult summer! To save tuition fees, my mom and I carried fruits on our bicycles to sell in the town. Due to the lack of money, I was obliged to sell my long, beautiful hair just before my high school enrollment. I sold it for 150 yuan (around 25 dollars), and since longer hair could fetch a higher price, the barber cut off most of my hair despite his promise not to make me look like a boy. I began high school with almost no hair!
I maintained the first academic ranking class throughout my high school years. I was particularly interested in mathematics, physics, chemistry and other scientific subjects, but I couldn’t afford professional counseling to select a university major. The popular belief was that girls who had a science major would find it very difficult to find a job. Following my achievement of very high scores on the National University Entrance Exam (NUEC), I matriculated as a foreign language major at xxx University.
After about a month, I came to recognize that I had chosen the wrong major. The xxx language is not a good major field of study since only a tiny percentage of the world speak it. So I quit my university studies and decided to take the NUEC the following year, which made my parents very sad since they were worried that I might lose the chance to attend university forever and be forced to lead the same kind of life that they did.
But luck was finally on my side. During the next NUEC exam, I achieved a very high score that helped me to gain admission into the XX program at XX University, which ranks within the top five Chinese national research universities.
This was unexpected, but I studied very hard and achieved the No 2 class ranking during both my undergraduate and graduate studies. I love Program Name, and I CHOSE to study Program Name.
This is how I arrived at the decision to pursue advanced studies and research relative to Program Name at the University of XXX. As noted, choice has been a luxury for me.
Thank you very much for your consideration!
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