Essay for penn

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: October 2003 Archive: Essay for penn
By Bubbleoh86 (Bubbleoh86) on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 12:02 am: Edit

I'm applying ED to Penn. I had to write two essays for the application; I am confident about my first one, but this one I had a lot of difficulty writing because I didn't want it to sound like a college brochure.
the question: What unique characteristics about Penn interest you/make you a good match?
I went to (X private school) for ten years of my life. Though I appreciated the quality of education, adored my teachers, and had strong grades, I felt stifled by of the lack of diversity and reluctance to accept individuality. Almost everyone fit the classic “cookie-cutter” mold that I wasn’t interested in filling. That is why, despite the unease my parents felt about the academic consequences of my decision, my junior year I switched to (Y public school). I found there excitement in an environment in which not only my Indian half, but my remaining Caucasian ethnicity made me a minority.
I realized that in choosing a college I might have to compromise much more than I wished, as most intellectual havens on the east coast lacked the community and diversity that I searched for and schools with it lacked top-notch academic credentials. I was on the fence about which one I should give more focus. My education, though a priority, would be lost if I did not have a stimulating environment. Settling for a “great” education instead of an “excellent” one seemed in my future.
That is, until I found the University of Pennsylvania. I had always known that it was strong academically, but I will admit that at first I disregarded it for its Ivy League title. I professed that Ivies lacked cultural variety, only stressed cut-throat academics, and left no time to explore an individual’s growth. But the experiences that alumnae shared with me compelled me to look closer. So I researched: I spoke to others interested in the university, who provided me with more insight, and read as much information as I could get my hands on. I was persuaded, and felt embarrassed that I had let my experience at (X) cloud my judgment on a school that turned out to be what I was searching for.
Though I left (X), I will always have a part of it with me; it instilled in me curiosity, creativity, and a continuous need for intellectual growth. At Penn I know I will thrive because of these attributes, and I will take the challenges that Penn offers with enthusiasm and energy. From (Y) I have gained perspective. I never considered myself sheltered, but I realize that at (X), I never had much interaction with people from different economic and cultural backgrounds. In college, I plan not only to learn more about my own origins, but also experience the aspects of others’. Therefore, Penn’s cultural awareness is one of its greatest appeals.
My academic reasons for choosing Penn are its boundless strengths. As a student with yet no certain career objectives, I can be assured that at Penn I will build a strong foundation no matter what I decide to study. In specific, the aspects that draw me are Penn’s science department, its student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, and its study-abroad program.
Science has always fascinated me in and outside of the classroom; even though I am not taking AP Physics, I find myself picking up my friends’ textbooks and trying to solve the problems within. Therefore, Penn's strong science department attracts me.
Writing and the English language, with all of its complexities, has also been a continuing interest in my life. I’ve always written poems, stories, books, and even had my own online magazine, Fire Angelz, that I wrote monthly for its 250 subscribers. The fact that The Daily Pennsylvanian is so well respected is a factor in my decision because it not only gives me the chance to further my writing skills, but it also represents Penn students’ ability and influence.
Lastly, I have always said I would study abroad in college. At Penn I have so many choices- I could go to France, continuing my studies of and passion for the French language; I could go to India, to develop a deeper understanding of the culture I come from, or I could go to New Zealand, which has intrigued me since I created a travel brochure for it in 8th grade.
Besides for the academic advantages that Penn offers to me, it reflects, to some affect, the diverse city in which it is located. Philadelphia is an exciting city with great historical significance to our country, but takes pride in its acceptance and infiltration of different cultures. What makes Penn different from the other schools in Philadelphia is its strong connection with the city, and active contributions to its improvement. Thereby, Penn establishes itself not as a university that is in Philadelphia, but one that is a part of it, and intertwines the ideals that not only “the city of brotherly love” represents, but that I consider most important.

--a lot of it is messy and needs transitional work (especially when I'm talking about my 3 major academic interests...), any suggestions/comments?

By Afk (Afk) on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 12:13 am: Edit

It's good for the prompt. I hope the other essay is more personal, though.

What would make it stronger is if you referenced specific professors/departments that you would like to study under. And also if you gave specific examples on your interests, other than just saying "I like this."

By Mike105 (Mike105) on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 02:33 pm: Edit

What do you mean to make it more personal?

Does that mean that on both essays (Why Penn, and p217 of your autobiography) you must speak a lot about yourself?

My autobiography, is about myself, but on the why penn essay, I wasn't sure what percentage of it should by about me and about penn. I know that the adcoms read 1,000s of essays on this topic and by writing on it, I will not say anything new or ground-breaking. I just feel like everyone who is applying will write the same thing (describing why they like penn), the only difference would be ohw much of the essay s/he devotes to this.

On my essay, I spent 3/5 of it just talking about my history and then I spoke about why penn is a goood match for about 200words. On the essay above, the author only writes 2 paragraphs on himself and the rest is on upenn... is this the right method of going about it?

By Bubbleoh86 (Bubbleoh86) on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 06:02 pm: Edit

thanks guys...I think I'm going to get rid of this essay altogether and write something more personal...My other essay is definitely more personal and much better written. I think I need to pick one major focus and go with that, I'm just not sure what yet...and I have less than week...

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