ESSAY: Purdue Application


As I battle time in the process of unpacking and packing and clearing out my room before I go to the States, this blog has been the victim as I leave it unattended and lifeless. So, just to ensure that it does not die out, here’s my application essay that I sent to Purdue University, West Lafayette last year for your entertainment. Enjoy 🙂

[ Side note: This essay was written last minute before sending in the application, so pardon the lack of ideas and all. Hihi ♥ ]

Envision yourself near the end of a fulfilling, lifelong career and you just published your autobiography. Share the title and introduction. (250-1,000 words)

Sabah family trip, 2010.

I imagined my whole life as a vast sea, spreading out for miles and miles into the unknown, filled with millions of species of fishes and other aquatic organisms. Between these fishes lie the biggest fish of all, the fish that I have been wanting to catch for years. To enable me to catch this dream fish of mine, I would need three things – a sturdy fishing rod, a strong fishing line, and a good bait. This is an analogy of my life, where my ultimate goal in life is represented by the biggest fish in the sea. My supportive family members act as the rod, giving me support and encouragement, whereas my friends become the line, helping me to reach for my dreams. The bait, on the other hand, represents the effort and hard work that I need to put in to achieve my goals. For a fisherman, he would need the rod, the line and the bait to help him catch the fish. The same thing goes to me; I would not be able to reach for my dreams without some effort, and, of course, the support from my family and friends.

I was born on August 23, 1994 as the only daughter of Associate Professor Dr Noor Azmi bin Mat Adenan and Zainab binti Mohd Salleh. I had three brothers; one of them two years older than I am, and two younger ones. Being the only rose among the thorn, I was quilt spoiled by my parents when I was young. I had my ways most of the time, I was given special treatments on special occasions, I was the center of attention. But, as I grew up, the special attention transformed into special responsibilities. I had to help my mother with various household chores while my brothers chilled in their rooms, playing computer games and watching movies. Although I protested about the unfairness at the start, I grew up to realize that it was actually good for me, as it helps me to be responsible and independent. It gave me a certain level of power too; as I was able to boss my brothers around if they leave their dishes unwashed or made a mess of the living room.

I have to admit, I had a pretty adventurous childhood, going to places my friends could only dream of going. When I was eleven, my father got transferred to a local hospital in Harold Wood, a small and quiet town in East London. One of my earliest recollections of the times I was in England was in July 5, 2005, the memorable day in which I first stepped on the land of England. I remembered telling myself as I walk down from the aircraft and into the terminal that I would remember that day until I die, as I have been yearning to set my foot in the country since I was young. For the next two years, my family stayed in a town called Harold Hill, where my father would drive to the next town for his work every weekday and my mother stayed at home, cleaning up the house and taking care of our small garden at the back of the house. Meanwhile, my brothers and I were enrolled in the local schools in the area. My older brother and I were sent to Kings Wood School, while our younger brothers were sent to the local primary school. During our two years stay in London, our parents bought us around Europe, and our school holidays were spent on various activities, such as travelling by underground train to Paris, driving all the way north to Scotland, living in a cottage house in Wales, riding in a gondola in Venice and many more.

When I was thirteen, I was sent to an all-girls boarding school, living alone in Malaysia while my other family members were still in London, having fun visiting the Emirates stadium, home of the Arsenal soccer team, which was my favorite team of all. I was jealous, that was certain, but I was having too much fun in a new environment to think about it. Being far away from my family for a few months taught me how to take care of myself, being independent and responsible for my own choices and decisions. Living in a hostel for three years with girls aged thirteen to seventeen years old gave me the perfect platform for me to hone my communication and social skills, while collecting valuable memories and experience along the way.

In 2010, my parents decided to transfer me to a private international school, thinking of how it would help me prepare for my university years as I mix around with students of different nationalities. It was at that particular school – Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar – that I developed my passion for writing and photography. My seniors, who were taking their A-Levels before flying off to either the States or United Kingdom, shared their knowledge about photography with me, while my English teacher helped me improve my writing skills. After almost two years at the school, I successfully became one of the participants in the year-long young journalist program with the local English newspaper, a major breakthrough for me in my dream to become a famous writer.

My journey to become the person I am now was not an easy path. I faced obstacles around every turn; I had people criticizing my every decision, pulling me down every single time. But the support that I received from my closest friends and family kept me strong; the encouragement that my teachers gave made me held my head high. They stuck by me through every hardship; their friendship and support gave me the strength I needed to pursue my dreams. They helped me realized my passion and gave me the push I needed to strive and achieve my goals. Without them, I would be nowhere. Without them, I would not be here at all.

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