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  1. How has your background, identity, academic interests or talents impacted or influenced your aspirations? 400 words top
  3. I was born in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany to a Taiwanese and Indonesian, supposedly on August 8th, 2001. That’s because my father believed the lucky chinese number 8/8 would bring me better luck than 8/9, my real birthday. That’s for the better, because August 8th is the date when the Cultural Revolution started 52 years ago. During this decade-long purge, most of my great-grand-family was imprisoned and the patriarch, my great-great-grandfather, was shot due to his ‘western education” in Nagasaki, Japan. My birthdate seems unable to avoid tragedy: August 9th is the date of the nuclear attack on Nagasaki.
  4. On my 13th birthday, I cried myself to sleep after being yelled at and fainting from exhaustion at a Civil Air Patrol boot camp. By the time that encampment ended, I had made countless friends. I realized that even though darkness can always be found in the past, it is the light that matters. Now, I am a proud cadet squadron commander for that same organization that made me cry, and I don’t regret a single moment, something seemingly impossible for a self-professed perfectionist. While the date of my birthday historically brought evil into the world, for every birthday I have been around for, good was brought into my life through the experiences I made surrounded by friends.
  5. I realize that though my parents set me up for success, it was me who was doing the climbing. Through all my triumphs and failures, organizations I’m in and competitions I join, I realize it is only the present that defines the future. A reflection of all of what I am reveals my principle: only I decide what I choose to do in my circumstances. I must have full responsibility for my life, because I know every decision I make will change the world in some unknown way through the compounded consequences.
  6. Today, both facets of me-Taiwanese and American–empower and instill within me values, lessons, and goals. Each new person I meet, whether online or in person, gives me valuable advice to carry down the road, and every challenge, whether resulting in triumph or in failure, provides an eye-opening experience. I stride through life as an active learner, picking up bits and pieces here and there that define who I am, fully aware that my journey, the journey, is far from over.
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