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He summer of 2009 was one of the scariest times of my life. I should have been excited about heading to Northwestern University on a scholarship. Instead, I struggled to sleep. As a first-generation Chinese immigrant with a precarious immigration status, my future rested on my academic performance. I didn’t have safety nets if I fell short.
I was born in the historic city of Nanjing, China. My family was not particularly wealthy, but we were established in society and considered an “intellectual” clan.
Nothing - Learning - Belief - Education - Success
“Nothing is more important than learning,” declares an ancient Chinese saying, underscoring the pervasive Chinese belief that education is foundational to self-development and success. That pressure is heightened by intense competition among millions of students vying for limited spots at Chinese universities and prestigious universities abroad.
In fourth grade, I immigrated to the United States to join my mom, who had moved there five years earlier in 1994. My...
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