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Dropping out of a national prestigious college is stupid, as my parents said, and attempting to get financial aid to study in the US at the age of twenty-one within five months sounds not wiser at all, as many people told me. If I am the person who made both of these choices, will the admission office believe in my ability and offer me a place?
When I made the difficult decision of leaving college, I had to struggle over my family’s disagreement as well as the public opinion. The reasons that I found no interest in numbers, graphs and economics theories, I was fed up with the old impractical things the teachers repeated lecturing but never believed, and I would still be me whether or not I had a degree (though college is a means that would bring me to a higher social ladder in this qualification-appreciating society, I understand) made no sense to them, they only said that I was such a silly and extravagant girl that easily got rid of a famous college every student dreamed of getting in. Despite all changes of their attitude to me, as I had anticipated, I was determined to do what I love. Going through the crisis, I finally balanced my life.
Interestingly, the balance lasted shorter than I hoped. Participating in community activities gave me many chances to visit the poor people living in remote areas in Vietnam. I met the children who climb over the rocky mountain and walk 10 kilometers per day to school, I met the poor parents who work hard from morning till night to earn a shade of money. A number of questions rose up in my heart. Flat roads might help them to go to the market more easily, electricity might turn out darkness in their houses, but what could really change the life of those people, what could bring to them the light of knowledge, what could lead them to a better life? Not that education?
The eager-to-learn eyes of the children recall me to many vivid images of a girl. In a picture at the age of seven, she was calling to ask the switchboard why the Earth and other planets kept hanging in mid air without falling down (and if yes, where would they fall down?) In another picture when she got twelve, she was reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms secretly in the locked bathroom. And in a picture of a classroom, she was debating enthusiastically about a Mathematics issue with her teacher… Since she pursued what others told her to do, I no longer could see her joy of learning.
Naturally, I desired to come back to college. Never before have I been as thirsty for knowledge as at the moment. Not because of opportunities for advancement, not because of society pressure or family expectation, the reason now is simpler than ever: I want to be a learner, in order that I could encourage those children to become learners.
I always think that college cannot make me succeed. But it can help awake the sleeping successful person inside me. And I also believe that there is no wrong decision. Once made it, you are already on your way to prove it is right.
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