PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PAPER. I was born in Vietnam in 1982. My family includes my parents, my older and younger sister and me. I was the middle child. In Vietnam, my mom is a dentist, while my dad is a construction engineer. My parents are educated and so they always stress about the importance of educations. They are both loving parents who work really hard to take care of my sisters and me. They always want to make sure we have a roof over our head, food on the tables, clothes to keep us warm. Both are working parents and we are in middle range income in society. Both of my parents have different religion.
My dad is Buddhist and my mom is Catholic. However, they came up with agreement that my sisters and I both come to the church once a week and to the temple when needed. I also have two sisters. My older sister was born three years before me and my younger sister was born four years after me. We have a close relationship. We often play with each other and share our stories, our toys. We have a good bond sisterhood. When I was young, I often play with both my sisters. We pretended to be a mother taking care of baby doll. Those were the precious times of our childhood.
We do run into fight, arguing but soon those arguing evaporates and we learn to be good sisters again, who watch out and take care for each other. In school, I was usually a good student who obeys and listen to my teacher. I was good in academic also. I often got rewarded for my academic standing. From my first grade to the end of my high school years, I was always regarded as one of top students in my class. My parents were always proud of me. Although I was really strong academically, I lack social skills. I often have social anxiety, paranoid, that it made really hard to make friends and stayed close for a long time.
I often hung out with few friends. I did not have a lot of friends due to my shyness and anxiety. However, most of my close friends are trustworthy, kind hearted, and loving. As a child, I don’t have a perfect health. I was kind of weak and pale. My doctor said my paleness is often due to lack of iron in my body. When I was in my seventh grade, I had an ovarian cyst and I had to do surgery on. I was living mostly in Vietnam until 18 years old which is when I began to move to United States. Moving to a new country is a big challenge for me. Language barriers and a new culture shocked me at first.
I could not be able to understand any person or neither of them. I couldn’t write or read. I was kind of devastating at first when I think that I have to start over everything. However, my parents always encourage me to keep trying my best. So, I began to find ways to learn English. I tried to read English text books when I have time, tried to listen to television with caption, tried to talk to anybody around me. And with perseverance and dedication, my English skills improved tremendously that after four years of learning without rest. My academic skills are still in the top ten in my class. I was often awarded in school.
After one year in high school, I went to college for two years, and then transferred to university. In college, I applied for several scholarships and got some of them to help me paying for tuition. I was so happy. Although excelling academically, in my years of university, I did not know what my passion or my career choice is. I decided to follow a path in becoming a dentist which is guided by my parents. My Asian culture often has a tendency in guiding the child to follow career paths such as: doctor, dentist, pharmacist, or engineer. To them, these careers are stable, less getting laid off and pay well.
It is not stressed about what you want or like to do, what you are good at. So I started declaring a major in biology my first year in college. Although I was not good at biology, I always tried my best. I was not really happy with the grade, and I was struggling to keep up the grade. I then got accepted into Dental School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In Dental School, I always felt tired and exhausted. Each day I woke up dreading to go to school. In my mind, I always think about quitting because I can sense that this is not what I want to do with the rest of my life.
It was a constant struggling in my heart of following what my heart felt right, and doing what my head thinks correct. With so much stress built up, I turned sick. I began to get symptoms of illusion which is diagnosed as Schizophrenia. And so at my second year of dental school, I decided to withdraw due to my illness. I was really sad at that time since I spent so much money and time in dental school. After going back to California, I got a job as a tutor for a tutoring center and discovered that teaching is my passion. Therefore, I now focus my goal in becoming a teacher and hope that someday I will become a good Math teacher.