All of this ties back to a personal dilemma I had when I was a teenager. As someone with not a lot of friends, I found myself commiserating with one friend in particular - Ali. We ended up becoming quite close, almost like brothers; we did everything together, and I didn't feel as though I needed any other friends. However, one day his older brother, Hamad, came back after spending some time studying abroad; immediately, he started insinuating himself into Ali's life, and mine by extension. Hamad quickly became a poisonous influence on Ali, driving a wedge between myself and him; he took away his laptop and phone, making it impossible to reach him. More and more, Ali blamed me for his troubles, and I simply was at a standstill.
Eventually, I went to the source himself - I confronted Hamad and made him explain himself. I did whatever I could, standing my ground and making him talk to me. Apparently, this confrontation worked, as Hamad immediately took on a shameful look and sat down with me to talk. Apparently, while studying abroad, he had fallen in with a bad crowd; months into their friendship, he realized that they were absolutely poisonous to his life, causing him to get into all manner of trouble. When I asked him what that had to do with me or Ali, he said that he feared I might do the same to Ali, and so he got extremely possessive of his little brother. While I did not agree with that decision, I could tell that Hamad was hurting, and that his experiences had affected his behavior in a significant way. I told him that just because it happened to him does not mean it would happen to Ali - I comforted him and told him that he did not have to be alone, just careful in who you choose to befriend. I was elated to see that this visibly helped Hamad; he merely required support, and someone to which he could communicate his anxieties.
I see that moment as the start of my self-actualization, which continues far into my future. By discovering these things about other people, and why they think the way they do, I can better understand what others might need in order to get help for their problems. Now that I am ready to enter the college experience, I wish for Brown University to be part of that process. By entering Brown University's psychology program, I believe I will be one step closer to reaching my goal of self-actualization. With the training and experience I will receive as a result of this program, I will be able to help others effectively and to continue my own journey in understanding the human mind and how it works.
Thank you for your consideration.