Brown Essays - submitted

<p>I got accepted to Brown ED, and as I said in the Official results thread, I’m fine sharing them. One person already PM’ed me about them, so I thought I’d put them on here. Don’t copy or take any part of them, but I know before I wrote mine, I would have like to see what someone else had written to see what general type of thing was appropriate. </p>

<p>I wrote the first in August, then edited it maybe once every two weeks until I submitted my app Nov. 1st. My dad was the only other person to see it, the night before. Only helped with a few minor grammar issues. Its my main essay, for I think the fifth prompt. The second is my additional information essay. Third-rest are Brown supplements. I took out the one of where I’ve lived, because personal information. For it I literally stated where I was born, where I’ve lived, and for how long, no fancy metaphors or mumbo jumbo. I had a college counselor look at them, suggested maybe five total wording changes, of which I probably changed three.</p>


<p>Every time I read a book, a part of it stays with me. Almost without exception, each new story gives me a new perspective on the world. That doesn’t mean I have a profound revelation whenever I read, nothing that monumental tends to occur. My viewpoint simply changes a small bit. Each book acts as a different tint of glasses, a new way of looking at the world. None is ever perfectly accurate, but that’s where the multitude is helpful. All the books hammer my mind in one way or another, shaping it, providing me with additional perspective, a more holistic world view.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbury, was one of the first books during which I noticed this process happening. I read it two summers ago, on the recommendation of a friend. It is the story of a precocious young girl, Paloma, who abhors the faux-socialist, hypocritical attitudes of her family and modern French bourgeoisie society in general. She finds the world lacking meaning, and life lacking purpose. She feels everyone’s path in life is almost pre-determined, in a way, by the circumstances they are born into.
Her attitude towards society in general made an impression on me, and continues to. This comes in two parts: the hypocrisy seen between peoples’ expressed personal philosophies and their actions, and an awareness of how people’s backgrounds affect them. I still see and inwardly get annoyed at the holier-than-thou attitudes of people here, in Boulder, one of the most liberal cities in the country. There is hideous traffic and a sizable homeless population, both of which would be much diminished if the people who profess these liberal attitudes actually did something about the problems in front of them. This book helped me recognize this disconnect in other people, as well as in myself. Since then, I have become more conscious of what I do personally, and what I hope to do in the future, so that my actions advance my beliefs instead of conflicting with them.
The pre-determination aspect of Paloma’s beliefs isn’t as applicable personally, but still has become integrated into my personal philosophy. My family is supportive of me whatever I do, so while there are general societal expectations, I don’t feel forced along any specific path. The greater recognition of how people’s circumstances affect their path in life has morphed into a strong belief in the expansion of opportunity for everyone. I don’t want to tell people how to live, just give them the chance to live how they want. Opportunity encapsulates so much: education, health care, the environment, and it now plays a central role in my belief system.
After a period of depression, Paloma is exposed to a contrasting example to her belief in a set path in life. The concierge of the apartment building, Renee Michel is a woman who has cast aside all molds and forms normally dictated by society, appearing to conform to stereotypes while instead completely subverting them. She reads quality literature and cooks fine meals, all the while putting on an outward air of simplicity and unintelligence.
This part of the book caused me to reconsider a big part of my outlook on life. I feel now that I can be happy doing almost anything for a profession. I also came to realize that the activities I get the most happiness from are simple ones. These realizations, coupled with an increased desire to be less hypocritical and help others, made me reevaluate what I want to do going forward in life. The lessons from The Elegance of the Hedgehog are but a part of the impact literature has had on me. Stories don’t often have this large of an effect, but they all change me in some way.</p>

<p>Add’l Info</p>

<p>In ninth grade, I attended (unnamed school in Hawaii). There, I experienced first-hand how diverse parts of Hawaii are. The people I met had a unique perspective on that diversity, and that perspective had a significant impact on me. To start with, everyone at the school was curious about others’ backgrounds. One of the first questions people would ask me was about my ethnic background. People were interested in others’ genealogy, but only in a respectful way. The actual answer didn’t matter, other than to fulfill personal curiosity. Most people had a deep-rooted reverence for personal ancestry. Yet, they were still able to joke and make light of race and racial stereotypes in a way that would make people uncomfortable elsewhere. In Hawaiian History class, one of the projects we did was called a mo’olelo. This was a long paper with a variety of sections, and included both personal reflection and research. I had to write about myself and my experience so far in life, as well as my ancestors and who they were. This last aspect included substantial genealogical research, which I found very enjoyable. I discovered many things about my past I hadn’t previously known, and developed a greater appreciation and admiration for those who had come before me. During my time in Hawaii, I learned that respect for individuals’ backgrounds is important, though at the same time these backgrounds shouldn’t affect present interactions between people.</p>

<p>Area of Study
Ever since I took a trip to India in the summer between 10th and 11th grade, I have been interested in aiding developing countries in
some way. As my junior school year progressed, I became more intent on making a career out of this new desire. After doing more
research, I understood better how limited the effectiveness of most aid is, which pushed me to want to become personally involved
in the process. That is why I took a pre-college course at Brown this summer in Global Development. My experience there made me
comprehend how having a focus on development in my college education would be extremely beneficial to any future endeavors in
it. I want to help people, whatever I do after college, and Brown’s program seems ideally suited to my goals.</p>

<p>Communities or Groups
In the two years I have been on my Mock Trial team, it has been one of the groups I enjoy being involved with the most. There is a
cohesive spirit, and we are all good friends. Back when I was a shy sophomore and new to the school, it helped me expand my
social circle and meet new people. It also installed a comfortable sense of normalcy and routine that I didn’t have previously, as a
new student. The activity itself helped me get over some anxiety associated with public speaking, while also making me become
more comfortable at improvising in front of an audience. Last year, as a lawyer, I had more responsibility, as it affected everyone if
you were unprepared. Mock Trial has made me more independent and willing to get things done on my own, while also fostering
reliability and camaraderie.</p>

<p>Why Brown?
The freedom afforded to me at Brown in designing my education is something that I would relish. I have a large variety of interests,
and being allowed to continue to pursue these in an educational setting is important to me. The development studies program at
Brown, my top choice in concentration, is one of the best in its field. I experienced a small preview of what the material is like during
my summer program there, and it reconfirmed my interest in the area. I also had a chance to experience the campus and much of
what it has to offer. I love how the school isn’t exactly in a city, but is close enough that you can get there quickly. Brown also seems
like it has a very intelligent and globally aware student body, and I’d like to be an active part of such a community. Obviously the
professors are very knowledgeable, but more importantly, willing to provide personal attention and share their experience. Brown
has a strong program which I am very interested in, and all the tools to enable me to succeed both during and after college.</p>

<p>Edit: don’t know whats up with the weird spacing. c-p’ed from common app pdf.</p>