Sat 7 Sep, 2013 04:57 pm
So, this essay is VERY rough. The topic is "Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity of the college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you."
Growing up in an Asian-American home, I always felt different from my friends, classmates, and sometimes even relatives. I went to grade school thinking I was normal, but I soon realized I had strange little habits that I picked up from my Japanese mother. I gave my teacher a slight bow when I saw her in the morning. I took off my shoes when I entered my friends' house, while they left theirs on. I ate noodles with chopsticks at lunch time. These habits were so small, but they made me feel like the elephant in the room everyday.
As I got older, more and more people became accepting of my background. In midde school, I was embarrassed when other people saw me with my mother and wished that I was a normal, American girl with a normal, American mother. I never wanted anybody to come over to my house because I thought that they would make fun of all the little Japanese decorations around my home. In high school, there were foreign exhange students in my classes who were quite popular. I still heard people mocking my mother's Japanese accent, but eventually it stopped. However, I still couldn't understand why I was considered different, yet the foreign exchange students weren't.
After highschool, I joined a one-year community service program with some of my church friends. We fundraised for a total of about seven or eight months to raise money to go overseas and do some service work. Out of the 10 or more countries that we could have gone to, my group was chosen to go to Japan and help out with the aftermath of the tsunami. This opportunity was that of a life-time and it largely contributed to who I am today.
We spent about a week and a half in Japan cleaning up debris in towns that had literally been wiped out from the tsunami. On the last day, we were taken to the town of Ishinomaki, which was one of the hardest-hit towns. There was less than nothing left. It was a ghost town. We were informed that every three days a tsunami survivor commits suicide and that the town itself would take 30 years to rebuild. I couldn't help but feel as though this was my home, my people, my family.
Coming back to America, I didn't feel the same. I didn't feel that coming from a different background from others was a bad thing. I no longer felt it was something to be embarrassed or ashamed of and I felt silly thinking about my middle school self who wanted to be somebody else. I discovered that coming from a diverse background and having different cultural experiences didn't make me a worse or better person. I now know that it makes me more accepting of others who are from different cultural backgrounds as well. I feel unique, in a good way and I feel fortunate to be myself.
Now that I'm in college, I've met so many people from so many places around the world. I get excited when I see people from other countries at my college and it makes me want to get to know them and know more about their culture. Starting the process of looking at schools to transfer to has been overwhelming, but exciting. I want to be able to contribute my experiences and what I know to any college community that I end up at. I want others to know about the world, about other ethnicities, and about people like myself. I want to bring my diversity to a college and have it be a learning experience for everyone. I sincerely thank you for taking the time to look over my application and read my essay. I hope that you come to the conclusion that I would be a wonderful addition to your university.
Some of my own notes
-I'm not sure I should include the part about going overseas. I'm not really sure how well it fits in.
-I don't feel that this essay flows correctly, but I don't know how to fix that.
-The essay has to be pretty short (250-500 words)
-Lastly, the school I'm applying to (Belmont University), has a very small percentage of minority students. That's why I chose this topic.