The white yarn slipped off my aluminium crochet hook, adding a single crochet to rows and rows of existing stitches, that looked to be in the form of a blob. Staring at the image of the little unicorn amigurumi lit up on the screen of my laptop, and looking back at the UMO (unidentified messy object) number five, I was extremely perplexed.
This had seemed so easy. Round 1, construct a magic circle with 6 single crochets. Done. Round 2 was an increase round resulting in a total of 12 stitches. Also done. The remaining rounds were blurred into hours and minutes that should have resulted in a little white creature in the likeness of a unicorn, but sitting on my desk (much like the four days before today) was a pool of tangled white yarn. It was not until day seven that a creature with a lopsided head whose horn was the only identifier of the mythical being emerged.
Very much like learning how to crochet, my journey in forging my own path and finding a passion was confusing, messy and at times infuriating. Even in primary school, I had heard all the stories of individuals finding their own route in life. I had been told stories of those who found their passion at a young age and were exceptionally proficient at their craft, of those that abandoned their interests and pursued a lucrative career, even those who chose their dreams but regretted it afterwards. This weighed heavily on me, as I was determined to have a success story as many of my other family members had. The only problem was that I did not have a direction.
In the years following primary school, I stepped out of my comfort zone in a frenzy to find a passion. I joined the school orchestra where I played the violin, and a debate class to practice public speaking and become much more eloquent. At my ballet school, I branched out to contemporary and jazz dance. I stuffed myself with experience similar to an amigurumi engorged with batting. I found myself enjoying all of those activities but soon enough, I was swamped with extracurriculars. Just like the tangles of white yarn on my desk, I was pulled in all directions. I still felt lost. To make things worse, it seemed as if everyone else had found their path in life, and they had all become white unicorns while I was still doubting the stitch I just made.
It was not until high school that I realised that I could view this mission to find a passion from another perspective. While successfully completing a crochet project is an accomplishment itself, the motions of making slip knots, single or double crochets takes you on an adventure as well. The knots that I had encountered in my craft were evidence of my experiences and what shaped me as an individual. My exploration of various paths through detours may have sometimes resulted in roadblocks, but I continued to persevere and learn from my experiences, applying the skills that I have gained to future knots. The mini adventures that I went on were all crucial to me in the greater journey of life.
Through trial and error, the current adventure that I am on resonates the most with me, taking me down the path of service and environmental activism. However, I have learnt that no one path is static, and I can be on more than one path at a time. While I may only be halfway to the proportionate unicorn amigurumi that some others may have already achieved, I still have so much to learn and so much that I want to learn, and so my journey to grow continues.
Admissions Committee Comments
Rozanne’s essay showcases how pursuing a new hobby, crochet, is analogous to her larger efforts to find her passions. She’s able to reflect that, while both processes may seem messy and confusing at first, putting in the requisite effort and time leads to greater and more meaningful outcomes. Rozanne’s writing touches on several additional pieces of impact that she’s been involved in, from dance to environmental activism, and hobbies like crochet. On an even greater level, though, the essay allows the admissions committee to see that she is someone who will take advantage of opportunities, engage with her community in a number of ways, push herself outside of her comfort zone, and be able to reflect on her own development. As we think about how she’ll contribute to the larger Hopkins community, it’s clear that while she may still be determining her exact passions, she’ll dive right in and make the most of her time with us.
“In my activities list, I chose to write down some of the clubs and activities that I was most passionate about. This essay allowed me to include other aspects of myself such as my hobbies (crochet, origami, and reading), and also provided me an avenue to divulge certain aspects of my life that have shaped who I am today. It was like shining a spotlight and magnifying this part of me that explains my rationale behind joining the clubs and societies that I was a part of.”Rozanne, Malaysia