Essay Questions

What is your most memorable childhood experience?Given the nature of my parents' work, we had to move a lot and we had just moved right as I was starting high school. As for all folks going to a new grade, especially those coming in without friends or knowledge of the area, it was a hardship. There wasn't any trauma, but there were the simple things like not knowing where to sit at lunch, not knowing who to be group partners with, etc. And while I, like everyone who goes through these things, did of course make friends and everything worked out fine, I always make it a priority to think of the kid sitting alone at lunch in my decision-making processes.
What immediate family member do you closely identify with and why?I identify most with my mother. She grew up in a not very loving environment, I so admire her strength and resilience, and also her ability to demonstrate empathy, love, and understanding. We both see the world in different ways, but I always appreciate discussing it with her and gain so much of an understanding of it through her eyes.
What character traits do you admire in an individual?I admire self-awareness, reflection, and the ability to know what one could do better and improve upon it in a positive and holistic way. When there is so much heartlessness and selfishness in the world, I am always refreshed by those who take the time and the effort to get out of themselves and use empathy to try to understand a bit of the complexity of other people’s experiences. I think it is imperative to have an optimistic outlook on life, which can spread positivity to those around you.
What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you?I went hiking with the new group of folks and there was a girl who I really wanted to impress. In discussing our mutual love of theatrical performances, I said my favorite was Les Misérables and she responded that her sister played Prostitute #2 in their high school play. I was, in earnest, trying to show off my knowledge of both the play and French culture of the era, I responded, "I'm glad she could bring historical accuracy to the role." I meant that it brings depth to the play to include the grittiest parts of history. She, and the rest of the group, took it as me calling her sister a whore. She did not talk to me again after that.
If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel and why?I’d love to take my time traveling around Europe! There is so much around the world I would love to see, but Europe just always keeps me coming back. Whether cultural, lingual, or gastronomic, there are very few things you can do the same twice in a row even in the same city.
When and if you ever have children, what would you like to pass on to them?I’d like to pass on a natural curiosity of and for the world. I want them to have respect for all perspectives, including and especially those that seem dramatically divergent from their own. The ability to put things in scale is also important. I hope that they will realize that the big things aren’t always as monumental as they may seem and there is no need to get upset or stressed about minor issues that don't matter in the long run. I want them to do whatever they can do to make life as enjoyable as possible.