Supplement about religious diversity?

<p>For one of my supplements I am supposed to: Describe the environment in which you were raised-your family, home, neighborhood, or community-and how it influenced the person you are today.</p>

<p>Growing up, my parents always allowed my brother and I to celebrate Christmas, Halloween, and every other holiday. They wanted us to learn, understand, and experience every religion. Its made me understand people and where their morals/personalities/beliefs come from. </p>

<p>Would this be a good topic to write about or would it be too controversial to write about?</p>

<p>BUMP. Please help!</p>

<p>It definitely wouldn't be controversial. The problem is that it could easily read as "My parents didn't restrict themselves to giving us **** on Christian holidays, but also secular and Jewish/Islamic/Buddhist/Hindu ones as well! Aren't I awesome?"</p>

<p>I would avoid it. To me it sort of reeks of Californication, which isn't bad but it's not exactly something that makes you a compelling candidate. Religion in your essays shouldn't read as a weekend hobby but as a legitimate life choice you've made. Otherwise you come off exactly as you are coming off now, a little desperate. If you, for instance, actually did a bit of sacrificing or experienced these religions on an authentic level then I would write it in. For instance, write it in if your parents wanted you to experience Catholicism so you went to Mexico and travelled the missions then they got the family to go to Thailand to experience Buddhism. That, I think, would be better than some generic "we threw confetti up in the air on several more days than my peers!"</p>

<p>Maybe I didn't make it clear enough. My parents didn't allow us to celebrate other holidays that other religions celebrate to give us more things, etc. They did it to make us aware of different religions. </p>

<p>Religion is a decision that they wanted us to make on our own, and to do that, we had to experience the viewpoints and traditions of other religions. That includes celebrating their holidays for the REAL reasons that they occur, not the superficial ones in which children receive gifts and money. Doing this allowed me to choose what religion suited me the best and also allowed me to formulate my own beliefs.</p>

<p>Again, that's not a 'bad' idea. It's not morally wrong or makes you seem like an unqualified candidate. If you think you can write cogently and competently on that subject, go for it. I'm sure the essay would turn out better than if you're forcing yourself to write about something that you think is irrelevant.</p>

<p>That said, the point of the essay(s) is to get noticed or at least seem like a compelling figure. People in the United States who are anything but mainline Protestant (e.g. even non-mainline Protestants, like Mormons or Seventh-Day Adventists much less practicing Jews or Buddhists) are likely writing the same essay as you but in a more authentic manner. They have experienced what your parents have done for you, this wide selection of religious holidays, but with a distinct level of participation in the religion beyond following the calendar (e.g. as a Muslim at home but, in many ways, a Christian in civil interactions). They have skin in the game, as it were, whereas you seem sort of like a tourist. </p>

<p>Just as importantly, you have to consider whether the admissions staff even agrees with your assumption. The observation of a religious calendar is often considered a hallmark of religiosity, but is rarely considered integral to the faith. Many have made the case that you can be 'X' without observing one holiday. The fact that you have observed the days makes you, some could argue, no more qualified to discuss/tolerate/understand/experience the religion than observing Veteran's Day makes you a veteran. It shows you are open minded, of course, and respectful. Nevertheless, do you think saying 'I am especially open-minded and cognizant of others' is something admission teams don't hear day-in-day-out?</p>

<p>Depends how you celebrate them. </p>

<p>I mean, American halloween isn't religious. For that matter, neither is American Christmas. </p>

<p>Also, those are both Christian holidays (with strong pagan influences.) You do celebrate non Christian holidays, right? And you do celebrate them in religious ways, right? Like, you don't just get chocolate from the Easter Bunny, you give up something for Lent and go to Church as well? </p>

<p>If you answered yes to those questions, than, go ahead, write about this. If not, choose a new topic. Talk about how it's made you a more open minded person/how you now have interests in religion/how you now really really hate religion and are a staunch atheist and want to study evolutionary biology and become the next Richard Dawkins/how you fell in love with Zoroastrianism/how you want to do the same to your kids, etc. Talk about the awesome people you met. Talk about what you believe, and why. Sound thoughtful, smart, open minded, etc. Sound like a contribution to the school, not just someone who's been to a lot of churches/synagogues/temples/mosques etc.</p>