For me, I will prepare for my intended major of sociology by taking many courses that are related to sociology in college. I have already received many courses in sociology and anthropology. My interest in sociology comes from my love for society, and I believe that it is essential to study individuals, a social function that individuals serve, and social relationships between individuals to help people get better lives and benefit society become better in the future. I do a lot of reading and studying in my spare time to understand more about the social issues that are impacting the community today.
I think that after I get into the University of California, I would also be having some struggle with the more advanced courses and new knowledge. Thus, I have started the habit of always reviewing my notes from class to make sure that I do not just forget what I learn from class each day. Also, I still participate in social events and community events to understand my current community better to know if any social issues appear around me in real life. When I go to the community of the University of California, I would be trying to join as many community activities as I can by volunteering and joining clubs to become more socially active outside of class. I believe that this is an important thing to prepare for my sociology major. For my upper-division courses, I would be asking questions for upper-class students to learn about their experiences to help me get ready for my upper-division courses.
For me, I am often the leader in my community works because I always sign up to be the leader. I remember one time where I helped to resolve disputes during the community sale event for my community. In the community sale event, we would be helping the local farmers to sell their produce to the community, and residents would be coming to our community sale to purchase their items. We would be there to help set up the booth and help to make the event run smoother by hosting some fun events ourselves. For example, there would be children that come with their parents to the community sale, and we would be there to play with the children to help the children occupied. We do not make any sales ourselves. However, I remember I resolved one substantial dispute that happened when we were organizing the community event.
The first dispute that I helped to resolve was when one customer wanted to return an item but did not know that it was final sale, but the customer did not want the detail and wanted to replace it. The seller would not agree to the return. They just kept on arguing without reaching a resolution. I stood out and helped to resolve this dispute by making both sides agree for an exchange for an item on another seller’s booth, where the customer exchanged for another item in another sellers’ booth. It involved three-party negotiation, and I was the one to make sure that it happened. I think that this showed my leadership skills in helping people to reach a resolution.
I believe my most exceptional talent is listening. I think some people may not consider this to be a talent or strength, but I think my ability to listen has helped me many times in the past. I do not say just listening but active listening and listening with patience. Most people cannot listen with patience, and they are eager to express their own opinions. For me, I can listen for a long time before I make a response because I think about what the other person is saying first before replying to the other person. I think that listening with patience and active listening are important skills to help me to understand others better.
I developed this skill after I found out that I always argue with other people and do not understand what other people are saying. I found out that I should try to listen to other people more. I started to practice this skill and improve this skill through my community service work and interacting with people in my society. I found out that it is more important to listen to others who you first meet because you need more time to understand them, so it is better to allow them to describe themselves and talk about their own experiences. I think that listening would also work well in an academic setting. I will use my listening strength to listen to professors and classmates and to absorb knowledge from them.
I believe that the most important educational barrier that I encountered in the past is the educational barrier to speaking fluent English and writing fluent English. In China, education for English is very limited because we focused mostly on grammar and sentence structure. We were not really taught how to write an essay or how to do conversational English. Thus, after coming to the United States, I encountered the educational barrier because I could not learn English properly since the teaching method in the United States is different from China.
I encountered many issues, such as plagiarism issues, because there was no sense of citation in China when I was writing my English essay in China. In addition, I could not really start a conversation with my professor or my friends from other countries because I did not know how to really have a conversation in English. I could only speak individual words or phrases. Learning English became difficult both inside the English classroom and outside the classroom. I overcame this educational barrier by watching a lot of English television shows and reading books that are purely written in English. For example, I would watch the sitcom series of Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond, and I believe that this comedy series helped me a lot in improving my English verbally. For my written English, reading a lot of books helped me to learn how to write more properly and made me learn much new vocabulary.