When I tell people that I’m a middle child, their reactions can range from pity to sympathy. Many people believe that it’s very unfortunate to be a middle child because you’re relatively neglected by your parents and ignored by your siblings. That was not my experience at all; although my birth order did alter some of my decisions, I don’t feel that it critically shaped the person I have emerged to become.
I was born into a family that truly welcomed me and nurtured me towards civic responsibility and scholastic achievement. My older sister provided a great example for me and for most of my life she was both a confidante and an informal mentor. My older sister is exceptionally talented at math, she as one of the star players in her school’s math team. She is now in college and wishes to work with nonprofits on getting more female students interested in the STEM majors. She will be graduating next year with honors with a degree in mechanical engineering. I am extremely proud of her and aspire towards the same level of overall achievement.
My younger brother was born a few years later and while I did initially have some resentment because people were no longer paying as much attention to me, we have a great relationship and I’m thrilled that he’s my brother. My brother is the creative one in the family, even when he was younger we would do art projects where he would really shine. When I want to talk about modern art with him we have some great discussions about people like Picasso.
As much as I love and cherish my siblings, I have always strived to be my own person. During my high school career I consistently received great grades, my GPA is a testament to my work ethic and my ability to sustain dialogue and analysis in many fields. I have enjoyed lab work as much as I have enjoyed writing critique essays on Hamlet. Since neither of my siblings is very athletic, it’s great to individualize myself by working on my talents in basketball. I’ve loved basketball since a very young age and it is one of my great passions. I’m sure that my affinity for basketball will linger with me for the rest of my life and I am very interested in continuing to play when I am in college.
Playing basketball has taught me many important lessons on the importance of teamwork and self-improvement. I can’t benefit my basketball team unless I work on improving my own skills, and when I get on the court and score some points I testify to the progress I have made through diligent practice. In order to improve my stamina on the court I make myself go on long jogs every day, rain or shine. There have been days when it’s been raining or snowing outside and I truly would rather stay inside and read a good book by the fire. As much as it may initially hurt to dive into the brisk outside air and be subject to rain falling on my sweatshirt, when I do better in practice and during important games I feel great that I’ve made the necessary sacrifices.
Academically, I love math and computer science. The two subjects go together well and I find it to be helpful to know that computer science may not exist if not for the efforts of great mathematicians. I am interested in algebraic geometry but I’d also like to explore game theory as it applies to strategies for poker. Mathematics is a beautiful art in its most perfect state and I love its elegant austerity. Computer science is another interest of mine and I’d like to someday be good enough to work for Google. When computer science first achieved some recognition, many people in the academy doubted that it would last for very long as a subject of inquiry, they were wrong. Computers have provided the hardware for a global revolution as computers and the Internet increasingly change lives. I’d like to use computers to change people’s lives and one of my goals would be to make it easier for the elderly to use video games for the purposes of warding of Alzheimer’s.
While I have certainly stood in the shadow of giants, my siblings have provoked me to scale greater monuments as I have worked to differentiate myself through my own achievements. I hope to continue to grow and strive during my time in college and will work urgently to make the world a better place.