Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

My parents got married in 1989 in India. Their marriage was no different than the kind of arranged marriages people had in the 1980s. My mom did not want to marry my dad because he was not educated. My grandma forced my mom to marry my dad because he moved to the United States in the mid 1980s. Living abroad in the 80s meant you were guaranteed a great future. Unfortunately, that was not the case for my mom. My dad had no desire to pursue further education or run a business. He worked on minimum wage and still does to this day. My mom worked, took care of her in-laws, and my brother and I. She would go to family gatherings alone because my dad did not like meeting people. To this day, my parents bicker over little things and oftentimes it turns into a big fight. My brother has been estranged from my dad since childhood. I had anxiety from seeing my parents always upset and out of control. I usually ended up being the middleman and resolving the problem. They always expected me to take sides. I became the one they were always disappointed in. When they were not together, they would take it out on me because they did not have each other to blame. The worst thing was that I could not do anything about it, I wished they would grow up. I wished they would get help or a divorce. Neither of my wishes came true. Now I am all grown up and nothing between my parents has changed. Their fighting has made me stronger because I became the person they were not, the person I wished they would be.

My mom is my biggest motivator who drives me to pursue a graduate degree. According to the Indian society, a girl has no home without a husband, but my mom wants me to be financially secure before marrying any guy. I am currently in the Master of Counseling Psychology program at Azusa Pacific University. I want to reassure children and adolescents that they are not alone. I want to help them recover from whatever mental health problem they are going through.

Milee from California
Azusa Pacific University