Sep 8, 2011

Personal Statement

By Mahin Shamsi.

With every “tuck” of the cart as it climbed the initial rise, my anticipation grew. My heartbeat quickened and adrenaline raced through me. As I neared the top, I held my breath eager for the fall. I was embarking on my journey through a maze of metal twisted into the most gut wrenching path one could imagine. The sheer excitement that I felt at that point could not be put into words. Because looking at the climbs, the falls and the loops, I still new I’d come off unharmed. The speed at which I would navigate through them gave me goose bumps. And the physics of it all absolutely fascinated me.

For me, the love for roller coasters went a lot deeper than satisfying the thrill seeker within, it grew on my obsession with mechanics. The feeling of weightlessness as you loop the loop was just a tickle in the tummy for most, but a question for me. How? Why? It was questions like this and many more that drove me to read beyond my years to quench my thirst for answers. Every time I learnt something new I would rush to my father, and spill it all out without the use of punctuation marks. He recognized the passion in me, as it mirrored his own. With encouragement from both my father and grandfather, I eventually found myself madly in love with physics. During lessons images formed in my head and I visualized what we were being taught. The concepts would then be etched into my brain. Never did I find it difficult to understand and never was it unable to hold my attention.

The eagerness to learn more about physics fed on my thrill seeking nature. It urged me to try things most could consider unsafe, but physics promised my survival. And clinging to that promise I had the most exhilarating learning experiences. One of which took place at the Franklin Institute Science center; three stories above their main gallery when I took on the challenge of bicycling on a tight rope. They provided a complete rationalization as to how what I was about to attempt was completely safe. But there is always that initial moment of hesitation. It was overcome by the thought that the laws of physics would not fail me. And in the worst case scenario I would fall onto the netting below. And the experience itself was so satisfying that those five minutes meant more to me than most my days did. Five minutes of something rendered completely irrational by your brain at first can be quite liberating when you come off safe and sound, your faith reaffirmed. The faith that makes you risk physical injury because you can hear it yell “you know this will work.”

The same voice of faith pushed me off the edge of a cliff to observe the life from a broader lens. Looking down at the world from a height of 18,000 feet while you’re suspended in the air by a crafted piece of fabric changes your perspective on things. That day I learnt two important life lessons. Firstly, I learned the power of faith and how it can lead you into doing the most bizarre things but also give you the magical and life changing experiences. Secondly, when you look at the bigger picture, the silver lining finds you.

Today the same voice encourages me to follow my heart in the pursuit of mechanics; a field my society has reserved for men. But I have been told that the only way to be truly successful is to do what you love. And as I step into a primarily male dominated field, I know the challenges that will face me, but I want to go in headfirst and come out victorious. I want to go to college to earn a degree in mechanical engineering but I want to come out as much more than someone with a shining resume, I want to be a well rounded member of society and implement by knowledge into giving back to the world that provides my sustenance. My dream is to attend a school that has the ability to turn raw passion into something wonderful, something beneficial, and helps me apply it to practical life.


Misal Shujjat said...

Your passion and determination comes out clearly here. I think you did an awesome job with this - good luck getting into your first choice college!

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