This summer I participated in an archeological dig at a local park where I worked to uncover an old homestead. I found out about the dig through my job doing yard work for an elderly couple that lived near the park. I was skimming the dirt out from around the doorstep rock because we were going to move the rock back into place. Suddenly, I noticed a triangular piece of metal protruding from the ground which I picked up. It was just a file, like the ones that I had seen in my dad’s toolbox. Through the discovery of early settlers’ artifacts such as the file, broken ceramics, and a Victorian stovetop, I learned that the lives of the settlers were similar to our lives in some respects by the tools that they used, but very different in other ways. Just as finding the file at the dig showed a connection between the past and present, I hope my studies at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point will prepare me to make the connections between life, history, politics, art, and the environment.
Through traveling to every region of the United States as well as parts of Europe, I have learned to be more accepting of different ideas and I have developed an interest in international politics. Trips alone did not ignite my interest in politics. Reading the daily newspaper, the magazine, The Nation, and the Dune series of science fiction books, have further stoked my interest in the way governments gain and use power. Dune deals with many concepts such as it is ultimately the people who give leaders power. My work in the Wisconsin primary campaign for Barac Obama gave me additional practice in learning how government should respond to the concerns of people. At UWSP I want to learn more about the way governments operate and further understand how government can positively affect the lives of its citizens.
What we do in the world, even writing this essay, effects the environment. This fact fascinates me. In addition to many family camping trips, I attended several camps involving the outdoors. One of these camps was a Kayaking trip that took us to Voyageurs National Park. There I realized the importance of preserving the environment, which led me to sign up for Ecology and, this year, AP Environmental Sciences. I hope to continue the study of the relationship between the government and the environment at UWSP.
It would be a privilege for me to attend a university such as Stevens Point because of my passion for knowledge. After visiting campus, I was impressed by its wide range of interesting departments, many of which align with my particular areas of interest in political science and natural resources conservation. It is because of my wide range of interests, and my independent efforts to pursue these interests in high school and in my personal life, that I feel I would enrich the Stevens Point community. I will bring hard work, curiosity, and a passion for greater knowledge to college and hope to have the opportunity to attend the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.
Joining a club can be one of the most rewarding and significant things you do during your high school career. As I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered my passions and understood more of who I am. One club in particular has influenced me immensely and provided a radical and life-changing experience. The club I joined is called Best Buddies. Since my sister Jennifer has Downs Syndrome, she has been a member of Best Buddies since I was a freshman. It was through my realization of Jennifer’s true beauty that I decided to become a part of that club. The goal of Best Buddies is straightforward: create a friendship with someone who has a physical or mental disability. This simple but prevailing idea has exposed me to unimaginable experiences and some of the best times of my life. (It’s not really a value but a concept)
My best buddy Victor, is one of the most outgoing, comedic, and genuine persons I’ve ever met. From the beginning of my joining Best Buddies, I knew that we would be inseparable. In the first few weeks of our friendship, Victor and I wrote letters to each other and placed them in the mailboxes in the Best Buddies office. Soon, we began to hang out on weekends doing many fun activities such as playing basketball, going out for ice cream, watching movies and, my favorite, my beat boxing while Victor dances. After a few weeks, Victor and I saw each other on a regular basis. We had lunch together in the cafeteria on Tuesdays and hung out on Saturday afternoons. Since Victor and I are both creatures of habit, this schedule worked perfectly for us.
In mid-October, the Best Buddies board asked me to make a speech with Victor about Best Buddies at a ceremony. It turns out that we were to speak in front of 250 people at a formal banquet at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Chicago. What was so remarkable about this process was that while I was stressing over what to say and how to act, Victor didn’t even break a sweat. It was lovely because he held my hand before we made our speech and said, “I’m so excited.” That kind of confidence was just what I needed and to see that shine through Victor was a beautiful quality. As a result, the speech was a success and will be the kind of memory I will tell my children about when I grow up.
Part of what made the speech significant was that I met wonderful people, some with disabilities and some without. I also played an important role in a prominent event, making a speech about something and someone I genuinely loved and cared about. What was most memorable, however, was that this opportunity occurred simply by my being a friend. Best Buddies taught me that being a friend is one of the simplest yet powerful choices you can make in life. I look forward to continuing my friendship with Victor this year and hopefully learning better dance moves.
The shrill “cock-a-doodle-doo” alerted me every morning that I was not at home.
The Elizondas lived in Guadalupe, a town consisting of a dilapidated supermarket and a shabby soccer field. After a ten-hour trip to Costa Rica, the family members greeted me with hugs and a plate of freshly made cookies. The cookies reminded me of home, except nothing at home looked anything like Guadalupe.
“Estamos sirviendo carne para la cena” said Senora Elizonda, later that first day. I translated her words to mean “We are serving meat for dinner.”
How do you say “vegetarian” in Spanish? Apparently it would take more than charades to communicate the fact that I didn’t eat meat to my new host family. The Elizondas spoke no English while my Spanish was mediocre (at best) because I had so few opportunities to speak Spanish. I came to Costa Rica to experience a new place and new people.
The gastrointestinal distress that plagued me the entire time I was there had begun. My stomach churned as we hiked up the hill to the Elizondas’ house. While we walked, the Elizonda children peppered me with questions in a language I had barely mastered. Looking at the town below, I realized for the first time in my life that I was completely on my own. Approaching the coffee farm on which they lived, filled with cows, roosters, and mangy dogs, I had the sense that the Elizondas were poor but, as I later learned, in this underprivileged community, they were considered well off.
As I entered the house, I smelled cow manure but I would have to adjust during the next two weeks no matter how out of place I felt. There was something peaceful about their hilltop house, secluded from the rest of the town.
“You will take Maria and Catalina’s bedroom,” Senora Elizonda said.
“But where will they sleep?” I asked in my halting Spanish.
“On the floor next to our bedroom”
Their hospitality amazed me. I felt displaced, while they did everything to make me feel at home. As my stomach worsened, the family offered me tea and meat. I thought, “I haveto figure out how to say ‘vegetarian.’” Finally, I admitted to feeling sick. But going to the doctor was not a possibility. For the Elizondas, a medical visit needed to be a matter of life or death. I had to cope as best I could.
After dinner, I remembered a pack of Uno cards I brought from home. We had been encouraged to share something from our lives back home with our host family. Instantly, everyone was thrilled. Uno was easy to teach and fun! We played until I forgot all about my upset stomach. Being able to relate to them this freely made me comfortable. For the rest of my stay with the Elizondas, I was able to forget about my physical discomfort and assimilate to their culture. By the end of my stay in Guadalupe, being woken each morning by the sound of roosters felt like home.
A Woman’s Worth
Maya Angelou’s poem, Phenomenal Woman, created a bond between my mother and me. I never knew a woman with so much power yet she didn’t know her own worth. Becoming a Civil Engineer will allow me to stand out in a male dominated field doing work I love. One day I will proudly walk the stage to gain my diploma. And when that day arrives I will look at my mother and remember how she gave me a piece of her advice in that poem to becoming the type of woman she wanted me to be.
Phenomenal woman to me highlighted that the desire for all women seems to be an authentic one. They want to be Beautiful. In the definition of beautiful, we all want to be unique and to reach our full potential as woman. Many women though, such as my mother, feel they don’t have what it takes to reach that potential so fall to society’s aim for inherent beauty and accomplishment in women. Ms. Angelou though taught me that it is an unreasonable goal to reach society’s demands but that a woman builds her own uniqueness through 5 traits. Confidence, strength, drive, character, and self beauty I believe is what my Mother wanted me to embody by Maya Angelou’s definition because she was always afraid to.
Confidence, strength, drive, character, and self beauty is what will drive me the most to reach my goal in becoming a Civil Engineer. I always stood out and loved science, math, and art but I’m sure most all Civil Engineers do. To be able to bring to life these elements all in one is what astonishes me. I remember at age 11 walking through Downtown Chicago and saying to my mother, “Wow, these buildings are so big and cool!” I will never forget her response at that moment. “Well who knows, maybe one day we will come back here and you will be able to say to me, ‘I had part in creating that building Mom.’” Until I reach that goal, I will strive for that moment in my life.
Note About Changes
I think this was definitely my best essay because of how much it explained not only what I learned from this quote but how it can carry me through my life in college and beyond. I think when writing a college essay this is one time that we get to be selfish. I remember how at first this essay started out as an essay about my mother. What Ms. Moynahan told me was to make sure I am writing the essay about me. I think this is very important because the point of college essays to me is to tell the college something about yourself that makes you stand out, not just the people or things that motivates you but what out of that motivation can help you succeed in college. I what Ms. Moynahan also helped me realize was that it is also important to realize that when you’re writing that it is to relate to whatever major you do. At first I barely talked about my major. Colleges I feel don’t want you to just tell them a story about the major you picked, but what in your life experiences can you contribute to your field of study so that you will have the most success after college.
Definition of Freedom. :State of being free from control. Synonym: Power. This is what it says in thesaurus.com but I feel in relation to my life, it should be revised. Definition of Freedom. : Trying to figure out what to add into my part of the documentary. Synonym: Control.
In the summer of 2011 I had the amazing opportunity to work with a group of ten girls from all over the Chicago area on a project sponsored by Columbia College Chicago Media and Technology Department on the issue of Women in Sports. The first day I walked into the room I was greeted by Mindy Faber and Amber Mohammed, the coordinators, and 8 other girls. We were all different. We varied from race and ethnicity, to the way we dressed. Even with those differences however, we shared a unity and understanding of what it was to be women in a male dominated world. From Dr. Cooky from Purdue University teaching us the different media coverage of women through competence, sexualization, and ambivalence, to the interview we conducted with WNBA player Epiphanny Prince, each day I came with my own opinions and experiences and came out with a new mindset and lens to view the world with.
In September, we were given the task to create a short video on the topic of women in sports at our own schools. After capturing some footage I started to edit it and realized how much freedom I was given to create this video. At the same time, as I began creating the video, freedom also reminded me of how limited and controlled the video had to be, focusing on one chosen topic.
I went home that night and thought about my life so far. My grandma used to tell me that the world offers whatever I want, but it’s up to me to control what I get out of it. Whether it is my dream of becoming a Civil Engineer or being able to go to college, I control my future by taking action and I have the freedom to accomplish anything that I put my heart and mind into.
I went to school the next morning and with a new feel of understanding and confidence while I continued to edit my documentary
Notes About Changes
What I had a lot of trouble with was my grammatical structure and errors. It is very important to have some adult, specifically someone who deals with reading, writing, or English. In this case, it is important to make sure you start your essays early! I had my English teacher Mr. Schenck and Ms. Moyhanan both proofread my essays. Something I think is important is how you start your essay. When I met Ms. Moyhanan, she talked about how to start an essay. We have to remember that the people who will be reading these essays will have seen many similar essay structure and beginnings, such as a quote or a question. I thought it was different to start with a standard definition, but then a definition that related to a situation in my life. Also what I tried to do was pick something in my experience that would seem overlooked by a lot of people, and analyzing it in relation to something broader, such as college and my goals. Any experience that happens in your life does affect a part of you whether big or small.