Features

This Girl Got Into 8 Ivy League Institutions and Six Other Schools

Read her essay that impressed all of the universities she applied to.
IMAGE Cassandra Hsiao | instagram.com/cassandrahsiao

While most students feel nervous about whether or not they've been accepted to the university of their dreams, 17-year-old Cassandra Hsiao is facing a different battle: deciding which among the eight Ivy League schools to attend. Cassandra got into Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania. She also got accepted at Stanford University, John Hopkins University, University of Southern California, Northwestern University, New York University, and Amherst College among many others.

Cassandra who was born in Malaysia, migrated to the States whith her mom when she was just five years old. It was her essay about her move to the States and learning the English that impressed all of the universities she applied to. Below is her much-talked about piece.

"In our house, English is not English. Not in the phonetic sense, like short a is for apple, but rather in the pronunciation—in our house, snake is snack. Words do not roll off our tongues correctly—yet I, who was pulled out of class to meet with language specialists, and my mother from Malaysia, who pronounces film as flim, understand each other perfectly.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

In our house, there is no difference between cast and cash, which was why at a church retreat, people made fun of me for "cashing out demons." I did not realize the glaring difference between the two Englishes until my teacher corrected my pronunciations of hammock, ladle, and siphon. Classmates laughed because I pronounce accept as except, success as sussess. I was in the Creative Writing conservatory, and yet words failed me when I needed them most.

CONTINUE READING BELOW
Recommended Videos

Suddenly, understanding flower is flour wasn't enough. I rejected the English that had never seemed broken before, a language that had raised me and taught me everything I knew. Everybody else's parents spoke with accents smarting of Ph.D.s and university teaching positions. So why couldn't mine?

My mother spread her sunbaked hands and said, "This is where I came from," spinning a tale with the English she had taught herself.

When my mother moved from her village to a town in Malaysia, she had to learn a brand new language in middle school: English. In a time when humiliation was encouraged, my mother was defenseless against the cruel words spewing from the teacher, who criticized her paper in front of the class. When she began to cry, the class president stood up and said, "That's enough."

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Read the rest of her essay at afterschool.my.

your REACTION
HEART

171

OMG

19

CUTE

3

YAY

3

EWW

1

BOO

0

/////////////////////////////
COMMENTS. JOIN THE DISCUSSION BELOW!
Comments
VIEW more ARTICLES ABOUT
About the author
Mara Agner
Assistant Lifestyle and Features Editor
VIEW OTHER ARTICLES FROM Mara

Candy Bulletin

Welcome!
What're you up to today? Submit your OOTD, fanfic, essay, school project, org event, a pic of your latest hobby, or anything you want to be posted on the Candy Bulletin page!
Reminder: Posts will be subject for approval by the Candy team, and may be shared on our online channels. Plagiarism and copyright infringement are strictly prohibited. Only original work must be submitted.
Hi, you!
*1st 15 seconds will be uploaded
*File size limit (up to 60MB)
*File size limit (up to 60MB)
or
Upload Video
*For the direct video upload option, only the first 15 seconds of the video will be uploaded
*File size limit (up to 60MB)
Photo
Video
SoundCloud

By submitting your post, you agree to Candymag's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Thank you for submitting your post.
You will be notified via email once your entry has been approved by the Candy team.

Submitted posts will be subject to the approval of the Candy Team.

A few reminders:

  1. Candy Bulletin is an online platform where users can upload original work, personal passion projects, and other forms of self-expression, for the purpose of sharing with the community.
  2. You can upload photos of your curated OOTDs, 15-second videos, essays, poems, and more, as long as the submitted work is original, follows copyright laws, and free of any nudity, pornography, or profanity.
  3. You are encouraged to comment on one another's posts, as long as everyone remains respectful.
Submit Another Post
latest on CandyMag.com
 
x
Share
Based on the mystery novel Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan.
 
x
Share
Here are tips on how to make this giant deconstructed sushi.
 
x
Share
 
x
Share
Squidballs and kikiam, too. Folks in Quezon City, you're in luck!
 
x
Share
As well as the average salary, according to Jobstreet.
 
x
Share
Insomnia, headaches, and more may be subtle signs that your mental health is suffering.
LOAD MORE ARTICLES
Bulletin
A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here
Elaine Dela Cruz 3 hours ago

When everything around you suddenly turns dark, the first thing we'd prolly do, as humans, is to find and grab anything that is closest and nearest to us. We'll hold onto them for as long as we can, trying to collect ourselves and gather courage to adjust our eyesights to the pitch black environment that's consuming us minute by minute. And then you'd hear nothing. Your sense of hearing would somehow go off after not seeing anything for quite awhile. You'll let loose. Cry. Panic. You'll be exhausted for fighting your way out. Then just when you're about to stop and give up, you're no longer afraid. There's only this deafening silence and pithole of darkness that's gonna eat you up alive. And surprisingly, you'll make a home out of it.

You'll make a home out of the darkness that when a ray of light suddenly hits you, you'll try to avoid it. You'll try to cover your eyes. You'll try to cover your ears from the voices trying to help you get out of it. You'll try to hide because your mind and body will go against your will to come out and live. Because the darkness that used to scare you, now comforts you in a way you thought has helped you survived life. And you'll try to live. Day by day. In the darkness. Not knowing where to go. Not knowing where to start. Not knowing who is with you. You will try to live until the darkness that once surrounds you is now within you. And everyday, it's gonna be a cycle of subtle torture. But let me tell you a secret. The darkness won't make you whole.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
CONTINUE READING BELOW
Recommended Videos

You'll be broken. And in those hair-like cracks, the light will stubbornly fight its way through until it warms you up. Until you realize to check the switch and turn it on. Until you allow other people to help you find your way back in the light. Until you realize you're ready to live in light again. There's a light at the end of this long and dreading tunnel. The only question that matters: will you let them in?

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
your REACTION
Pick a sticker to view stories by reaction!
/////////////////////////////
CONNECT WITH US