What do you think about my Common Application Personal Essay on Diversity?
2 November 2010
Option #5: A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
If You Really Knew Me
“If you really knew me, you’d know that everyday I wonder why my biological father doesn’t love me,” “that I am a fighter,” “that my brother is in prison for the influence I set on him.” Those are excerpts from one of my Junior Year experiences, said by my principle, a security personnel of my school, and fellow classmates.
Up until my Junior year, I had the impression that diversity was based solely on race. However, I soon thereafter realized that diversity is beyond the concept of race. The event that inspired this change was Challenge Day, May 2010 (now part of a hit MTV reality show called “If You Really Knew Me”), in which students were randomly selected from our school as a good representative sample of our whole school and chosen to participate. Although Challenge Day’s main goal was to break down the barriers of prejudice to unite the students, Challenge Day, at least to me, did a lot more than just that.
One activity I remember in particular is one that was the one called “The Power Shuffle,” set up with all participants behind a line, which they were to cross in response to the narrator of the activity, who would state a significant experience that may have shaped one’s life in one way or another. As class president, I learned a lot about fellow classmates and the experiences that made up our class and school, positive and negative: those who were foster children their whole life, those who have been discriminated upon for their gender or race, and even more who have been hurt because others have thought they were fat or ugly. This activity brought to realization that no one is alone in their struggles. The unity with which I witnessed the students, parents, and teachers support each other struck me. I was struck mainly by the realization of how different each of us were from each other, and that our differences were composed of more than race, culture, and class, but even yet, how alike we were behind all those differences. This, then, became the concept of diversity: each person or student as an individual and what experiences and values they bring to the bigger picture of a school or community as a result of race, reputation, or culture, where, even in this web of differences, people are there for each other. Diversity became the perception that individuals are alike and vastly different at the same time. And although I am not one to have experienced the setbacks of being a minority in a time where “outsiders” were given less opportunities, I am one to identify that no one should ever feel a minority in a community like the one I support, because we are all alike, regardless of sexual orientation, religion, political views, social class, athleticism, and intellect, and that in the end we are all human beings socially capable of feeling love, hate, guilt, happiness, jealousy, hope, fear, and sadness. Seeing fellow schoolmates open up about themselves, and seeing also how many people could identify and were there to support each other, I learned that what we have in common is what should hold diversity together, and what should be the basis of a community who understands each other.
Please let me know what you think and what I can do to make it better? I am applying to very competitive schools.
I definitely think you should have a professional look at your essay. I got into a great college and my first choice for graduate school, and have tried out a couple of professional editing services over the past few years. I figured other people are using them, and if I didn’t I would get left behind.
Anyway, these are the companies I have tried:
The biggest company and does generally a good job. I’ve had two essays edited by them, and they were both a little better after.
A friend recommended them to me since all of their editors have a degree from Harvard. I’ve sent my last three essays to them. They were A LOT better afterwards, with like lots of eloquent wording.
I used them for one scholarship essay last year and it was was really horrible. They only changed a few grammatical things and even made some mistakes.
Anyway, good luck with your essay!