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Rachel Nguyen
Professor Kuroki
English 1A STACC
May 6, 2014
ESSAY #5

Growing up, I always thought that I wasnt capable of anything worth being proud of,
until my senior year in High School. I never took myself as someone who was smart or
intelligent because there were always people around me who doubted everything I did. I think
that if I had to name one of my biggest insecurities it would be education. All throughout my
educational career, Ive always been considered the ditsy or dumb one in the group, and I
think that perception of how people saw me had a huge impact on the way I saw myself. It
wasnt until my senior year in high school that I realized that it wasnt okay to doubt every
decision I made and that I should trust my own gut instincts. All of the ups and downs I went
through during my educational career have really helped me become the person I am today.
One of the biggest struggles I went through was trying to keep up with everyone elses
speed of reading. Every time I was put into a reading group in middle school, I always found
myself struggling to keep up with everyone else. I even pretended like I finished the readings,
but in reality, I just skipped to the end of the page, and said I was done. I was afraid of being
judged by my peers for being dumb, and that idea in my head made me have a fixed mindset. In
Carol Dwecks piece, The Perlis and Promises of Praise, she introduces the concept of a fixed
and growth mindset. Dweck explains that people with a fixed mindset view their abilities as
unchangeable, and people with a growth mindset view that with practice and effort, growth can
be made. She also explains how someone with a fixed mindset tends to care first and foremost
about how theyll be judged: smart or not (Dweck 2). Feeling like I was being judged caused
me to care more about how my peers saw me, than the actual reading itself. As a teenage girl, I
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was afraid of making mistakes that could potentially mean being ridiculed. Sadly, the expense
that I paid with a fixed mindset was my chance to learn and grow.
Later entering my freshman year in high school, I was able to appreciate and also become
more comfortable with the idea of reading. The first day I stepped into my freshman English
teachers classroom, all I noticed were these massive, worn-out, brown book shelves, covering
every single wall within the already cramped room. As our first assignment of the year, we were
asked to pick out one of our favorite novels we have read throughout our educational career. This
was a problem because prior to freshman year in high school, I would never read for fun, and I
only read when I was expected to. I started to panic because there was no way I was going to
find a book, and finish it within a week. Luckily I was able to borrow a book called Something
Borrowed, and to my surprise I finished the book within two days. After reading the first
chapter, I was hooked. I would walk down the school halls, head down, and being completely
captivated by my book. The only time I would stop reading was when I found myself bumping
into other people in the mist of reading. The Novel Something Borrowed not only captivated
me, but also gave me hope that reading could actually be fun.
My experience through appreciating how to enjoy reading would be similar to the
emotions from an autobiographical story called Coming into Language, written by Jimmy
Santiago Baca. Baca spent a good portion of his life in prison, due to false accusations. Being in
prison was one of the main catalysts that brought him to appreciate the language of English. Our
stories are similar in the way that we both viewed reading as being pointless. Baca states that he
viewed reading as a waste of time (6). As Baca describes the different feelings he conveyed
whenever he read, he states, I forgot where I was (6). Like Baca, I too experienced a sense of
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high whenever I read a particular book. We both were able to have an escape from our own
reality through books.
In my mind, high school was the year everyone figured out what they wanted to do with their
future and the kinds of careers they wanted. Unlike most kids during the time, I was one of the
very few people who actually didnt know where they wanted to go for college and what they
wanted to do in the future. As a junior in High School, I was expected to know which four-year
university I wanted to attend, but out of the majority of the students, I was one of the few who
did not have that option of going to a four year university. Every time I heard students around
campus talking about how excited they were to go to a four-year college, I would feel depressed
inside knowing I would not be able to have the typical college experience. Not only was going to
a community college going to be less of a financial burden for me, but also a smarter choice. I
think that the pressures of high school really got to me once I started to compare myself to my
group of friends who had their own aspirations and goals. It wasnt until career week that I
finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life. Career week opened my eyes up to all
different career choices, and thats when I came across accounting.
In the College Accounting textbook, accounting is defined as the process by which
financial information about a business is recorded, classified, summarized, interpreted, and
communicated to owners, managers, and other interested parties(11). The general perception of
accounting is that it is known for being very tedious and requires a good amount of math. Even
though people may not necessarily agree that accounting is an exciting career, it is to me because
I enjoy dealing with math. People think Im crazy when I tell them that I am looking into a career
in accounting. Accounting was never my first choice as a career, but after looking at my options,
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accounting seemed the most practical. Not only is accounting a stable career choice, but it also
involves math, which is the only school subject I enjoy
Prior to doing my research, I assumed that becoming an accountant would be easy, but I
was wrong. Accounting is an underrated career, and that is one of the reasons why I assumed it
would be easy. I am currently enrolled in an accounting course at Pasadena City College, and I
have come to the realization that accounting is much more elaborate than I had anticipated. After
taking my accounting class, Ive learned that accounting is more than just numbers, but it is also
conceptual. There are all different kinds of concepts that need to be understood and analyzed in
order to do well in the accounting courses. Not only is the accounting course difficult, but also
there are other courses that are required prior to becoming an accountant are known to be
difficultthey demand an ability to understand and manipulate complex financial
concepts(Taylor). Besides taking an accounting course, I am also taking a business class that is
very difficult and confusing at times. The steps to become an accountant are much more difficult
than I had initially thought and the courses can be overwhelming at times.
The job opportunities in accounting are endless. There are different sectors within
accounting that caters to each persons interest for instance there is public, management and
government accounting. The main goal I have for myself is to become a certified public
accountant (CPA) that mainly focuses on financial accounting. Financial accounting is a
specialized branch of accounting that deals with keeping track of a companys transactions that
mostly deals with financial statements, which will help plan long-term goals for many companies
or organizations. I chose to specially focus on becoming a financial accountant because of my
accounting course I am currently enrolled in this semester. I really enjoy seeing the different
functions that a financial accountant would have to carry out on a daily basis like creating a
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balance sheet, income statement, statement of owners equity, and statement of cash flow. Unlike
many people, I genuinely enjoy learning about the different functions of accounting and how
businesses work.
Opportunities for growth in the field of accounting are very common. Especially in public
practices, it is said to take about two to three years to be able to qualify to become a senior
manager (Goldberg 12). Paul Cook started off as a regular accountant, and years later; he was
able to become a partner in a firm. Becoming a partner in a firm would not be my main goal, but
I would hope sometime down the future after I have been in the accounting industry for a while,
I would like to become a partner. There are many benefits that come with becoming a partner
with a firm, ranging from job outlooks and financially it is rewarding.
One of the main reasons why I chose to pursue a career in accounting is because of the
job stability. There will always be a need for accountants because within every business, there
are financial activities that have to be reviewed, and that is where the accountant comes in. In
fact, employment of accountants is expected to grow 16% from 2010 to 2020 according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics (Taylor). Accounting is known to be one of the very few careers that
have high-expected job opportunities for students right out of college. In todays world, it is
common for college graduates to have a degree and not have a job, and majoring in accounting
will help lessen the chances for me to be jobless after college. The average salary that was
estimated through the National Association of Colleges and Employers Survey indicated that
the overall average salary for college graduates in 2011 was $41,701, but those graduating with
a degree in accounting averaged $50,500 in 2012 (Taylor). The average salary for a college
graduate is pretty high considering the financial problems many people are currently going
through.
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Throughout my twelve years of education, I have learned about my own abilities and
flaws through education. I started off without confidence when it came to English and writing,
but slowly I learned that with time and effort, there is potential to grow and learn. I may not
necessarily be completely confident with my ability to write a well-written essay, but I hope that
through practice and time, I will be one day. My education does not just end in high school, I still
have four more years ahead of me. Hopefully by the end of next year, I will be transferring to
Cal State Fullerton to not only further my education, but also to get my bachelors degree in
accounting.











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Works Cited
Baca, Jimmy Santiago. "Coming into Language." Working in the Dark: Reflections of a Poet of
the Barrio. First Edition ed. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Pr, 2008. 4-11. Print.
Careers in Accounting. 2007 ed. San Francisco, CA: WetFeet. 2006. Print.

Dweck, Carol S. "The Perlis and Promises of Praise." Early Intervention at Every Age.
Associated for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2007. 34-39. Print.
Goldberg, Jan. Great Jobs for Accounting Majors. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005. Print.
Gruwell, Erin. Freedom Writers. 1st ed. New York: Broadway, 1999. Print.
Handcock, David, John Price, and Michael Farina. College Accounting: A contemporary
Approach. 2
nd
ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.
Hooks, Bell. "Critical Thinking." Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom. New York:
Routledge, 2009. 7-12. Print. Rodriguez, Richard. "Public and Private Language." Ed. Kim
Flachmann and Michael
Taylor, Marisa. "A Career in Accounting." Paths to Profession (2010): 13 Sept. 2010. Web. 14
Feb. 2014.
"Welcome to Careers-in-Accounting.com." Accounting Jobs from Careers-in-Accounting.com.
Web. 15 Feb. 2014.