My Grandfather Enchanted Me With Stories Of His Bridge Building Days

816 Words Jun 1st, 2016 4 Pages
When I was young, my grandfather enchanted me with stories of his bridge building days. An accomplished civil engineer in the 70’s, Latheef Abdul Salam was the brains behind many of Chennai’s earliest buildings and bridges. Scattered over the walls were photographs, news clippings, and thank you notes highlighting his accomplishments, which left me in admiration and awe. With his work ethic in mind, I applied myself to my education with every fiber of my being. A few summers later, I told him of my new attitude towards school, and the source of motivation behind my education. After an intrigued look and a slight pause, he told me that the most meaningful thing that I could bring him was not a good work ethic, but a passionate mindset to my future endeavors.
At the time, I was still exploring my newfound identity as a teenager. However, the question, “What is my passion?” simmered in the back of my mind as I entered college. I picked biology as a major because I enjoyed learning about it, but was I passionate about it? I soon brought these concerns to my peer mentor, Shipra. She encouraged me to not sit idly, but to begin looking for what I was passionate about. I soon began exploring new options and carving new niches – joining an evolutionary biology lab questioning the phenotypic plasticity of vertebrates, serving as a student manager of a residence hall, and tutoring children at my local mosque at home. While I made treasured lifelong connections, I still hadn’t found…

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