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how will YOU contribute to diversity

mediocretesmediocretes Registered User Posts: 448 Junior Member
edited January 2013 in College Admissions
Okay, this question ****es me off/makes me anxious on essays and short answer questions for apps. It usually goes: "At ______ University, we value diversity. How will you contribute to diversity at ______ University?" First, I'm white and come from a pretty standard socio-economic status. Second, even if you're a third black, a third hispanic, and a third iroquois, what would you say? "I'm a third black, a third hispanic, and a third iroquois, therefore i would inherently contribute to diversirty at the great ______ University." This is really getting to me.
Post edited by mediocretes on

Replies to: how will YOU contribute to diversity

  • quetzalquetzal Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
    I don't think it's only cultural/national/racial diversity. You can talk about how you can add diversity coz of your special talents or unique tastes, eg. you improvise amazing jazz with a violin or if you're into 'alternative' education... I think, not sure.
  • mediocretesmediocretes Registered User Posts: 448 Junior Member
    lol, i have to have a special talent? im not arguing with u, sorry for the tone. i just never considered myself so outstanding and unique as to contribute to a schools diversity. maybe that sounds a little depressing, but i know for a lot of people it's true
  • quetzalquetzal Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
    lol, don't worry hun, i ain't special either ;)

    I guess if i had to answer the question I guess i would have to rely on my nationality and my many countries of residence, which is too diffiicult to explain but oh well!! Just avoid the question if possible!
  • mediocretesmediocretes Registered User Posts: 448 Junior Member
    lol, thanks for the honest advice
  • gh0st33gh0st33 Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    i balked about how im a minority and how minorities have to respect each other. pretty much "bs"ed it and blew my chances
  • meredesfillesmeredesfilles Registered User Posts: 513 Member
    My daughter wrote the diversity essay. We live in a non diverse suburb. She wrote a very funny essay about her willingness to try new things--different from other typical suburban kids. (from taking Pilates classes, although she is "inflexible" to making Native American moccassins. She went with a humourous essay, over a serious one, due to the fact that she is a typical high school student.

    I would suggest writing about something about yourself, something that is different from your peers. The adcom wants to learn about you. I am sure that there is something about you that is unique. Good luck
  • joevjoev - Posts: 2,924 Senior Member
    Diversity is the dumbest word ever made. Good luck with this topic, because if you are white, the diversity Nazis will call it racist no matter what spin you put on the topic.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,304 Senior Member
    I think you guys are reading into the "diversity" topic that it only can mean racial or socio-economic diversity. I think the question can be interpretted as to how you are going to contribute to the student body made up of a wide range of kids. What will your contribution be? What will you bring to the group? What do you have to offer?

  • joevjoev - Posts: 2,924 Senior Member
    Actually a good call on that Suzie Q, but you still can't say its a loaded question. Kind of like when you go into an interview and they ask you "So, what do you like least about yourself?"
  • wannagotocornellwannagotocornell Registered User Posts: 406 Member
    bumping up. anymore advice on this topic?
  • IzzyJIzzyJ Registered User Posts: 3,271 Senior Member
    Diversity could be whatever classes you took or interests you had. Like if you have an interest in a really obscure topic or something most ppl don't talk/think about - e.g. a pal loves the topic of Arthurian period of chivalry, be it real or not - you would write a little story about it.

    Sorry I can't really help you with this. I come from an international environment, so even my American friends talk about living overseas when addressing diversity.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,920 Super Moderator
    It is about what do you bring to the table, what has life taught you and how has it shaped your worldview? Have you learned to see the world using multiple lenses? Are you willing to expand your frame of reference? What can you learn from others? What can they learn from you? What has learning from others taught you about yourself?

    As Soozie stated, diversity is not just about race, it is geographic, socio economic, cultural, religious, people with various disabilities, and it is looking at different lifestyles. It is about valuing what makes us different and respecting those differences. Life does not happen in a vacuum, and college communities are made up of all kinds of people from all walks of life
  • hoedownhoedown Registered User Posts: 3,751 Senior Member
    Diversity isn't a stupid word--ask a biologist.

    As others have said, these essays aren't asking how you look different or what your race is. It's about what you uniquely bring to the campus in terms of life experience, perspective, and background.

    Maybe you were sick as a child and gained perspective on the contributions of medicine, or learned how important it is to have an active imagination to while away hours spent inside. Maybe you were very close to your grandparents and grew up appreciating senior citizens in a way most teens don't. Those kinds of things are meaningful.

    Believe me, an adcom isn't going to be any more impressed than you are if someone writes "I'll contribute because I'm 1/2 Iroquois." They want to know how an applicant think about the world. Incidentally, our local paper had an interesting piece on how U-M evaluates applicants, and they had a sample essay that was just about like this. The person said she was half chinese and lives in Hawaii, with very vague statements about how she was therefore "diverse." The readers said how frustrating that was; that she seemed to think her pedigree and address said it all. It didn't address the essay topic well at all.

    It's not that Universities don't get it and are writing idiotic questions. The problem is, some people are reading the term "diversity" far, far too narrowly.
  • spongebob squarepantsspongebob squarepants Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    i look weird :D
  • celebrian25celebrian25 Registered User Posts: 15,373 Senior Member
    I had to write one of these, and I didn't talk about my "blackness" at all. I basically just said how who I am is different and what I do (read: ECs) contribute to a diverse community. Diversity isn't just racial. :p
This discussion has been closed.