Michelle Li – Common Application

Essay:

“One foot here, move your leg there, slowly left and right. Good, good! Let’s try again!”  

Visiting my grandma’s house every other weekend, I helped her get up and down from her reclining chair while patiently fluffing the cushions to ensure she was comfortable. I would carefully help her move the leg left to right, up and down, while allowing her to set the pace of her exercises. During her post-surgical physical therapy sessions, I listened to her stories of when she was younger. I loved learning more about my family’s history and I loved knowing I could help my grandma. 

Attending physical therapy with my grandma was a life-changing experience because not only was I able to gain knowledge about a field I potentially wanted to pursue in the future, but I was also able to discover my passion for helping others. Walking into the physical therapy room was like going to a park for me. In one corner there were colorful exercise tools that made it seem like you were training for the Olympics. In the other corner there were heat pads and massagers that made it seem like you were indulging in a spa treatment. I silently observed the steps the physical therapist directed my grandma to do and then carefully helped her to do her exercises correctly. I always found a way to make my grandma laugh when her exercises became hard for her, and she always fascinated me with the stories of her youth. We bonded during this time even more than ever before. 

Even though the recovery process was long and overwhelming, the experience was the chance of a lifetime—I discovered my passion for the medical field. Whether a therapist, a doctor, or any other profession that helps people in some way towards recovery, I will be able to help the people around me. Caring for people on both a physical level and on a mental level requires the passion, kindness, and selfless that I discovered I had. 

Last summer I was able to utilize medical knowledge in a real-life scenario to help a child at my town’s pool. A toddler zoomed around the pool and went plop when his knee kissed the concrete pavement. In response to this situation I helped calm the child down and utilized my first aid skills to treat his skinned knee. Between anatomy classes, CPR/First Aid training, and physical therapy, I remained calm, knowing I was ready for just this type of situation. I told my grandma this story about the child at the pool a few hours after it happened, and I remember the proud smile that formed with the crinkles of her eyes. 

Now, six years after my grandma’s surgery, she walks with confidence, and I’m applying to college with the same confidence in my intended major. “我很为你感到骄傲。我爱你你爱我.” (“I am so proud of you. I love you, you love me.”)

Tips for Writing: Here are some tips that I advise for you as you begin the college application process. First off, over the summer of your junior year, you should have an idea of what you would like to write about in your essay. You can have multiple ideas such as experiences, memories, or even something simple like writing about glass. The college essay is looking for who YOU are as an individual and how that makes YOU different from other people around the world. Write it out, create a google doc, and create a google folder where you keep your essays in one place. Try to keep yourself organized throughout this process, this will save you time in the long run. While you don’t have to have final drafts set for your teacher in September of your senior year, try to create some rough drafts or set of ideas you would like flourish out. Your teacher will be more than happy to help you throughout this process and give you suggestions on what they think about your essay. Remember, your teacher is there to give you advice and to be your second pair of eyes whenever you need assistance. Use it. Other than that make sure to manage your time. Try to take time on the weekends if you have it, just sit and think. The best ideas will come once you give yourself time to think about it.