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Why do I do what I do? Because I want that feeling of acknowledgment I used to get as a child. I want to hear the words, “good job, you did great.” Growing up my parents would always spend time with my sisters helping them with their homework. I was left to do my work by myself. Luckily it wasn’t the most difficult work. It was the lack of presence drew me to desire the acknowledgment of my parents when I did do something.
Everyone always says that you shouldn’t need to hear validation for doing the job you’re supposed to. I disagree. I feel that the best way to foster growth is to empower those that do their jobs, and do them well, with positive reinforcement. The benefits of complimenting an individual on finishing their project on time, or receiving an A on a midterm clearly outweigh any possible downside. The desire I had growing up for my parents to acknowledge the work I did pushed me to do better; to do bigger things, and to aim higher. The way I saw it, the best way to get their attention was to exceed their expectations.
This wasn’t always the case. I feel that what I do now is in part due to that desire to push myself and raise my limits to exceed the expectations people have set for me. In turn it’s the lack of a presence I felt growing up that helped shape me to the person I am today---a senior at UCLA, who will be graduating with three different forms of honors, and a quarter early.

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