“Family is very important in Pakistani culture. I don’t know what the future will bring, but as of right now, I can’t imagine my life living without my entire family.”
Family is very important in Pakistani culture. There is no such thing as senior citizen homes in Pakistan; your parents are supposed to live with their parents and take care of them when they become older; that’s just the norm. My father always wanted to have one of his children study abroad. It was one of his dreams. I was in the 10th grade when I first heard of MIT and Stanford. Before that, I didn’t even know studying abroad was even an option. I started researching more about it, but not with the intention of applying; I was just curious. There are two different education systems in Pakistan; it’s sort of similar to the public and private schools here. ‘Public school’ students just have no idea what’s going on abroad and they have no awareness of the opportunities they have, while the ‘private schools’ have a history of sending their students abroad. They have a lot of resources available, so they know what options they have and they know how to prepare. In 12th grade, I went to a physics summer camp at a local university with kids from all over the country, many who were from the ‘private schools’. That was when I realized that if I was in this summer camp with these people, I could do whatever they were doing as well. So that really pushed me into applying abroad, but it was towards the end of my senior year and I hadn’t taken the SATs, or have any extracurricular activities because I didn’t know you needed a full holistic application with credentials to even be considered. So, I decided to take a gap year to fulfill what I needed for the application. I think, I am the only person that came here from my school. If I can’t get a job here after graduation, I would have to go back to Pakistan. That’s one of the biggest difficulties for people like me: finding internships that I would be eligible for. I don’t know what the future will bring, but as of right now, I can’t imagine my life living without my entire family.