Oops, page not found!

Stanford University

Audrey Yingwei Xu

CTSF 2020 Essay

Getting out of Stanford can be harder than getting in.  

My high school was under-resourced; I lack academic preparation, study skills, test-taking strategies. Socially, I was in the “out-group”. I studied inside my room while my classmates revealed at San Jose’s concert. Academically, I struggled in Chemistry and Biology. I received a “C-” in both class’s midterms. I persisted to attend every one hour and review session. I took the initiative to schedule weekly meetings with professors. I proved my resilience! 

I also took Philosophy for interests. From reading “The death of Ivan Ilych'' to “The Ethics of Ambiguity”, from discussing theories with professors to dealing with his swift death two weeks before final exams, I questioned my past, current, and future. He told me, “living a right life is beyond giving up or proclaiming one’s freedom”. 

What is “right” life and “freedom”?  

After exams, I took CalTrain home (below-market-rate public housing). I burst out of my existentialist crises to my father, mother, and younger brother. Contrarily, my mother quickly switched to asking “how much food was you able to bring from your school’s dining hall?”  

Her eyes were extraordinarily shiny when mentioned food; my doubts remain responded.  

Later, I rehearsed for an acting project (something I’ve never had the chance before), she caught me, “you should do computer science or engineering; you don’t have the money or time.” 

I am deprived of the right to pursue passion?  

I didn’t want to conform. I articulated what I learned in class to demonstrate there’re things beyond how much gas inflated or Foods.Co. groceries discounted.  

She didn’t understand.  

Juggling between two part-time jobs, family responsibilities, extracurricular, and challenging academics is already hard. My financial uncertainties and emotional struggles as a first-generation immigrant student further tore me apart between school and family.  

I recall the freed African American slaves and their children. Vangarists went back to engage their community, couldn’t communicate with older generations who had internalized institutional oppression. This added to my perspectives on the communication breakdown I witnessed when I interned at Kaiser Permanente last summer.  

This communication gap causes consequences for elderly patients. Their neglected emotional concerns lead to distrust of doctors and medical treatments. My grandmother was diagnosed with late-stage cancer four months before she passed away last year, she faced the same thing. The doctor estimated her life like an object! She was given pain killers. He didn’t explain the causes and treatments.  

As a big picture, healthcare delivery is important to patients’ physical and emotional health. There are many nuances in adjusting the system.  

This is why I plan to obtain an M.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in Human Biology concurrently at Stanford before medical school. I want to be the doctor who knows how to maximize applications of science and social science to improve healthcare for underprivileged people like my grandmother. I want to ll in knowledge gaps and ensure everyone in my community knows exactly how to maintain health!  

My Mom and Dad have displaced hotel janitors. This year, they earned approximately $20,000. They cannot speak English or utilize technology; they’ll remain unemployed until  COVID-19 ends. We are helplessly waiting. San Francisco is extremely expensive. We have to pay a $1500 monthly mortgage, $783 food, gas, utilities, etc. 

I don’t want to submit to conformity and become an engineer with a 4-year degree like my high school friends to avoid struggling to get in and through Medical School academically and financially, yet, I’m unsure if it’s realistic... Getting out of Stanford may be harder than getting in. Yet, I believe I’m closer to transforming my dream into reality, if with BAGSF’s support!