Since I was really hoping to be admitted to the clinical psychology program at UCLA, which is one of the best in the country, I thought I would submit a persuasive appeal letter to explain some of my special circumstances, and the great difficulties I had as a foreign student adjusting to the U.S. and its education system. It also took time for me to become more familiar with American culture and the English language, which is why my grades were below average in the early years, although they have improved recently. My parents have not been with me here in this country to give me guidance and advice, so I just had to survive on my own as best I could. America does seem like a much freer country than where I am from, and the education system is far less authoritarian, so I had to learn to think in a more individualistic way and this was not easy for me.
At first, my grades were poor and I failed to advance in school, which I regretted very much because paying the tuition was such a heavy financial burden on my parents. Although they did not tell me any of this, they were very worried about the situation, so much so that my mother actually became ill. In only found out about this is December 2012, that my mother was so upset over my grades, money problems and my life in the U.S., and I wish I had known about it sooner. My parents were just waiting for me to make a decision about my own future and what my purpose in life was going to be, but I just had to determine this for myself. This was something I had never had to do before in my life and had no experience with it, and it was very difficult to do alone. Several semesters before I began applying to universities, I realized that I was more interested in studying psychology than business and economics, so I decided to change my major. At least I knew that much, that I was more interested in psychology than any other subject. I made this decision alone, just trying to think what my future would be like, while living far from home in a country and culture that was strange to me and that I often did not understand very well.
I also knew that I would have to study much harder so that I would not be a burden and disappointment to my parents. This is why I decided to take 27 units in the spring semester, even though even told me that it was very hard to do well in seven classes. I had just taken three or four classes in the past few semesters because of my language difficulties, especially in the English and writing courses. I called my parents at home for help, and they just said that I should have a positive attitude, study hard and not worry about the problems at home. I felt ashamed of myself for not living up to their expectations, but it gave me renewed energy and hope and a determination not to give up. My efforts were not in vain since I got A’s in English 122, Japanese 121, Psychology 215, and Political Science 250. I will get a B in while I am just passing the Music 110 class because I am talking it only on a Pass/Fail basis. I do not yet know what my grade will be in English 126, because it is a short-term class that only began after the spring break. I have not yet taken the final exams for this class and do not know what the grade will be.
I can only hope that this explanation about my family problems and difficulty in adjusting to life in the U.S., as well as my recent efforts to achieve high grades in college-level courses, will impress you and cause you to reconsider my qualifications for admission to your program.