In my heart, i was a heretic, terrified to openly challenge my religious dogma and familial values. Over time, though, the need to live genuinely became too great to deny. Sitting in a mosque attending a traditional pakistani wedding, my own future telescoped before. As i observed the beaming couple, i realized I would one day face a similar choice. How could I look into the eyes of a woman and speak of love as if I felt it between us? Dejected, i finally understood that what some call the closet felt more like a coffin. .
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After the september 11th attacks festered resentment for Muslims across the nation, i faced religiously charged backlash in my public school; as a result, i transferred to an Islamic school where i hoped to blend in better. It was clear, though, that another difference would soon tupperware set me apart. My new classmates were quick to point out my effeminate mannerisms that unintentionally flowed from the flicks of my wrist. I, following my natural inclinations, also didnt consider the implications of knitting in lieu of building toy airplanes. As my sexuality blossomed and the homophobic rhetoric harshened, i wrestled with conflicting feelings of living authentically and living without fear. I questioned whether my religious beliefs could sustain what i knew to be true about myself. I couldnt see a way through to safe ground. As a result, comforted by its familiarity, i resigned to the security of the proverbial closet. Clothing myself with a wardrobe of feeble masculinity, i prayed my actions would become my sexuality. By denying my identity, i rejected a part of myself for the sake of my parents. In my head, i was a martyr, bravely sacrificing for the greater good of my family.
Many people say that phrase not knowing what that worse actually. Opportunities that have come my way are very much appreciated, and i intend to make the most of them. Knowing where i once was, i am confident in my accomplishments and hopeful for future generations as I start a new trend in my family and build a strong foundation. My childhood is not a weight that drags me down; instead it has become the strength to push through adversity when challenges arise. Example 3, my life was supposed to be simple. I wanted to make my parents happy, to give us the future they desired. Winning Quran memorization competitions, thesis fasting, and praying daily: my religious beliefs guided me throughout my childhood.
V is dead and j is arrested. Those words made my heart race as I learned j killed v over a drug deal. At the funeral i approached Vs mother and offered my condolences. In a traumatized voice, she whispered to me, i wished you could have taken v away with you and saved my son. I can still hear her voice today speaking those words, and the chills still make my bones shiver. There was a lot of guilt in the weeks that followed; I felt like there was more i could have done to steer them in the right direction. I began to replay my childhood and explore my life direction and I decided a change was needed. All of my experiences up until that point started to serve as an inspiration to become better than where i started and continue to build myself into a stronger person. My natural disposition allows me to see the positive things in every situation, and I realize that no matter how dire the situation seems, it could be worse.
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The toughest part of my transition to my mothers new home was this shift away from my childhood friends. Living with the feeling of turning my back on them by cutting off communication with them during high school was an isolating experience. If teachers saw me with them, i would be categorized as a gang member, or worse, if other gang members noticed then they would try to attack me because they thought I was a rival. I tried to explain this to my friends but they could not understand and eventually the friendships grew cold. During the end of my ninth grade year, i was still adjusting to my new life. Although I no longer physically lived in that neighborhood, i still felt like i was alone and was stuck in the same position. My closest friends, the ones I could relate to, were all on a downward spiral in life; at the same time, i could not relate to the students in my honors courses.
Many were discussing vacation trips, showing off new clothes or getting a new car for their guardian birthday when getting their driving permit. While some of my classmates were planning on taking family vacations to disneyland, i was planning to visit my father who had been recently arrested and was serving jail time for robbery. Instead of having memories of helping my parents wash their car in the front yard or riding a bicycle on the sidewalk as a child, i remember seeing people get shot and killed in my neighborhood or seeing a pregnant woman smoking crack. Sophomore year of high school proved to be the lowest and most humbling part of my life. I remember vividly the moment I found out that I lost my first two friends to gang violence.
Living with a drug addicted parent was full of uncertainty and confusion. There were many break-ins, but i always had a strange feeling about these break-ins because although valuables were stolen, certain sentimental items of value would remain untouched. I did not learn until much later in life that my father was the one stealing from. Eventually my mother left my father and moved out in the beginning of my seventh grade year. My sister and I stayed with our father.
In winter the heating bills went unpaid and the temperature in the house would drop to the low forties. My sister and I would walk to the local laundromat at night and warm our blankets and pillows in the dryer in order to have heat through the night. Money for food was scarce, and my sister and I became accustomed to eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner out of vending machines on a budget of six dollars a day. Although this experience was mentally and physically damaging, it served as motivation for me to strive for a better life and made me never want to regress to that standard of living. After about a year of living with my father, i began my eighth grade year at my moms new home in a different neighborhood. I was separated from my childhood friends for that year, but we reunited the next year as freshmen in high school. Things had changed in that year: the friends that I grew up with became the gang members that my parents warned me about as a child. Out of all of my childhood friends, i was the only one to go on to college, let alone finish high school.
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Shortly after this confession, the family structure i knew and loved began to collapse. In addition to my essay familys dissolution, the neighborhood we writers lived in is not a place where success stories are born or a location people would visit without important cause. My neighborhood could be described as a breeding ground for gangs, drugs, violence, and anarchy. One of the few bright spots of growing up in my neighborhood is the chemistry children had with one another by having similar troubles at home. It was not uncommon for my neighborhood friends to have a drug abusing parent, a single parent household, alcoholic parents, or experience domestic violence. Even though my fathers addiction clouded his judgment, both he and my mother always warned me about the dangers of our neighborhood. I was not allowed to cross the street without their supervision due to gang members on the corner selling drugs, and playing outside at night was dangerous due to occasional shootings. Growing up in a neighborhood like mine was a double edged sword; it was dangerous, but our common struggles made it easy to relate to one another.
I joseph did not spend my entire youth in that overcrowded yet comforting home. Eventually, my mother remarried and we were able to move out of my grandparents house. But I still know what its like to feel insecure about where you come from and what you lack—it is something I will carry with me throughout my life and career. My education and career goals have been shaped by my background, and I will continue to aim high despite the challenges that may come my way. For as long as I can remember, i outwardly portrayed myself as a calm and controlled individual. It is a true reflection of my demeanor, but it is the complete opposite of what I have lived throughout my childhood and adolescence. When I was in fourth grade, my father admitted to me that he was addicted to crack. At the time i did not understand what crack addiction meant, but I was educated by his actions soon enough.
that which my father had built. Pursuing a brighter future did not come without obstacles in my neighborhood and family. Rejecting the criminal element in our community required a deliberate choice to exclude myself from the majority and often made me feel left out. Many of my peers criticized me and called me stuck up or white washed because of the choices I made. My family fully supported my goals, but their own education levels and unfamiliarity with the college admission process restricted the amount of guidance they were able to provide. Counselors at my high school were overloaded by high dropout rates and unable to focus on college bound students. It was the small acts of support and encouragement that ultimately got me to overcome my inhibitions and fears of the unknown and pursue a bachelors degree: a friend who told me what the sat was, a teacher who explained the fafsa and college deadlines. These processes seem basic to some, but can be overwhelming to a first-generation student to the point where it becomes easier to put it off or quit altogether.
My aunts, uncles, five cousins, and grandparents shared the two remaining bedrooms. In total, there were thirteen people sharing a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home. For the children, the nonstop playtime and carefree memories mitigated the obstacles that came with our socioeconomic insufficiency. For me, our tight-knit family and living situation made it much easier to overcome the absence of my father. My father represented many of the negative stereotypes that Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants have to combat. He immigrated to the United States as a young adult and fell into a life of criminal activity during our citys slogan booming methamphetamine trade. His choices had an adverse impact on not only my family, but also our community at large.
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Updated June 19, 2017, we've been asked to post examples of diversity statements, so here are a few to start. We plan on posting several more over the next few weeks. It is important to note that diversity statements are truly analysis optional, and not everyone should write one. Contrary to what you may have heard, it is not a missed opportunity to write more about yourself. In fact, we wrote a blog a few years ago on when you should write a diversity statement. We hope these are helpful! Example 1, i was raised by a single mother, but my home was filled with family. My mother, sister, and I shared a room with two twin-size beds.