Bài luận về tuổi thơ sóng gió bị bắt nạt này đã giúp Soa Andrian nhận được thư mời nhập học từ 14 trường đại học top đầu, bao gồm Harvard, Stanford và Princeton
Trong bài luận của mình, Soa Andrian kể lại kí ức về thăm Madagascar và bị nhóm trẻ con địa phương bắt nạt. Tuy nhiên, không chỉ dừng lại là một hồi ức tuổi thơ,câu chuyện của Soa Andrian chính là chìa khoá gợi mở những suy nghĩ sâu sắc của cô về cuộc sống và thông điệp cô muốn chia sẻ : 1, Học tập là một cơ hội, không phải là gánh nặng và 2, Chúng ta luôn có đủ để cho đi. Có lẽ chính góc nhìn rất trưởng thành và nhân văn ấy đã giúp Soa Andrian chinh phục được phòng tuyển sinh khắt khe của những trường đại học top đầu thế giới.
” Four boys stood above me on a pile of garbage. Their words, “Bota, bota, matava” — “chubby”, “fatty” suffocated me:
A familiar sensation of frustration and hurt gripped me. Looking for defense I only saw a cinderblock at my feet, impossible for my eight year old body to heave, so, I screamed in English:
“You are just jealous that you are poor and I am American!”
As the words flew out of my mouth, I knew I was wrong — there was no sense of triumphant satisfaction. I abruptly turned and ran into the refuge of my aunt’s home.
Upon finishing a tearful narrative to my aunt and father, I preferred the comfort of the former’s arms. I avoided my father’s disappointment: I knew as well as he did, that I was not the victim.
Later, my hysteria subdued and guilt temporarily forgotten, I ventured outside to explore the crevices of Antananarivo. The boys were still playing atop the rubbish, then seeing me, scrambled off their mountain and ran in the opposite direction.
It’s okay, I thought, I wouldn’t be a fan of me either.
As I began walking up the street, I heard shouts:
The boys caught up to me and proudly waved hundred ariary bills in my face. In their broken English, they said in earnest and without malice,
“Look! We are not poor! We have money! We are Amreekan too!”
I agreed they were right and smiled sadly: one US dollar was the equivalent to seven thousand Malagasy ariary.
I was made sharply aware of what separated me from these children: oceans, experience, money. Politics, ignorance, the apathy of millions. Ironically, it was also the first time I belonged to my “motherland”. I could share in the simple joy of relishing what “is”, be proud of the sense of resourcefulness engendered by scarcity.
This memory has woven itself into my philosophy and my dreams. The very personal knowledge that millions live in a way such that electric toothbrushes are an unfathomable luxury (my cousin, Aina), has given me the following personal rules:
- Education is an opportunity, not a burden;
- You always have enough to share.
While I may not be certain of my future, I know for certain that I want to serve. I realize that service is as important an aspect of education as is academic work. I know this passion will follow me throughout my life and manifest itself in my actions at Harvard. This memory is a mandate to serve indiscriminately and without prejudice towards those I work with. I am all the more willing to cooperate to bring improvement to the community within the College and beyond the campus. I can bring innovation in problem solving born out of the deep desire to help others. I work for these boys, for all the proud Malagasy (and even those who are not proud to be Malagasy), and the children who cherish “what is” instead of mourning “what could be”.”