Hello everyone, Iam new here and this is my first post. The following thing that iam going to write is not generic and hence no other post from the forum answers my questions. Hence kindly take some time to read my situation and help me if possible.
Iam from India and in 2004 I completed by high school (12th grade). I scored about 90% overall and I wasn't sure what I wanted to pursue. Thus my parents suggested me to take up engineering. Thus I started with by bachelors in electrical engineering but within 2 years I.e. When I reached the second year of engineering, I was super bored with my syllabus and the way engineering works. I wasn't enjoying it, but I had realised that I wanted the study physics. The problem was that my parents wanted me to continue and complete my engineering degree but I was fed up with it, so I dropped out of college against my parents will. So basically I was a dropout without any resources and jobless. Though I had learned good amount of computer programming, a few months down the line I managed to get a job in a small company where I was writing codes for some applications. I wanted to pursue physics but didn't have the resources to fund myself through the education period hence I first decided to collect money so that I could fund myself. So I continued working for another year. From there onwards I switched the company and worked for SQS (British multinational company in India) for another 2 years. Then I worked with Hewlett and Packard for another 2 years. So in total I worked for about 5 and a half years and finally collected the money to put myself through a physics degree. In 2012 I quit my job and enrolled myself for a bachelors in physics at the university of pune. I completed by bachelors in physics in 2015 and I stood 1st at the university (gold medalist, and other 4 scholarships and awards). Immediately after this I enrolled myself at the masters program for physics at the university of pune itself and completed my masters this year in 2017. This time I stood 2nd (silver medalist).
During this entire period i went through a lot of struggle. I had to stay away from my parents and relatives. At times I didn't have enough money for food. Hence I had to make choices between buying a book for skipping my lunches for a few days. All in all it was a very dire situation but somehow I managed to pull myself through all this, and study physics and understand it along with getting good grades. Now I have decided to apply for a PhD in high energy physics at a few universities in USA.
Now since u know a few things about my life I have a few questions
1. Should I write all this in my sop or should I completely avoid it?
2. Will all these lost years and gaps in education affect my admissions?
3. Iam 32 years old and hence I wanna know if my age affects my admissions.
4. I'll be giving my general Gre and physics Gre in a few months and i know that roughly I'll score 320/340 and 900/990 will that be enough?
5. The professors who are willing to write my recommendations and pretty well known in the Indian community. One of my profs had worked with Richard Feynman when he was doing his post doc. So his recommendation will help me.
6. Is there anything else that iam missing or something that I should work on to make sure that my admits go smooth.
Iam really eager to learn and pursue physics as a career and iam willing to go the distance against all odds. I just need to make sure that somehow I get through some good university in USA. Hence I need help from you guys with whatever inputs that u can provide.
Thanking you in anticipation