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Autobiographical, Masters Psychology

I was hooked by my very first college class in psychology, most of all, learning how psychology related to me personally. As I learned more about myself, I came to better understand others as well, their emotions, sadness, anger, happiness, etc. I began to understand that human suffering is a universal problem and that those who suffer are far from alone. And I became keenly interested in continuing to explore the ways in which we are all alike, with similar sorts of problems, challenges, and responses to significant life events. Psychology led me to an interest in counseling, and counseling led me to an interest in marriage and family therapy.

I was brought up by Chinese parents who settled in America to escape poverty and to chase the American Dream. Growing up in California has been a constant journey of adaptation to the culture of my family and the numerous cultures that surround me. I relish analyzing my own saga, my predispositions in interaction with environmental challenges and resources, my strengths and weaknesses, and how all of this has resulted in my unique temperament and intellectuality. I think critically about how, as I grew up, I modeled the behavior of my peers, mimicking the role models that I admired.  As we all do, I became what I saw, heard, and felt; synchronizing salient facets of a group consciousness that I did not even recognize, much less knew how to break free from. I had my struggle with low self-esteem, a negative sense of self, times that I did not feel loved or understood. Slowly, however, I learned the value of determination, self-confidence, love and compassion.

During grade school, I was the quiet one, perhaps in part as a result of the brutal adjustment that my parents had to make to find their niche in the American rat race. My mother worked from home, making clothes for a local clothing factory and struggled to be a homemaker. My father was preoccupied with his education and building a business.  This led to a lot of quiet time alone for me, introspection.  By the time that I arrived at XXXX College, however, I was fortunate enough to meet people who saw potential in me.  I surrounded myself with positive people who showed genuine interest in my ideas.  I began to take my studies seriously and my grades improved. I discovered the great Greek aphorism, “Know Thyself,” and launching upon a quest of self discovery provided me with greatly rejuvenated meaning. Studying psychology gave me inspiration: hope, allowed me to overcome my introversion and to become more assertive.  It was like staring into my own reflection when I was introduced to some of the most salient psychological concepts, “Fear of Failure,” “Need for Achievement.” I was able to re-channel formerly negative ways of thinking into creative new paths.  When I transferred to XXXX to finish the remaining coursework for my BA in Psychology, a professor told me: “Be careful what you focus on because what you focus on becomes your reality!”

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