Any critic on my essay for The University of Colorado, Boulder would be greatly appreciated! I'm about 86 words over the word limit, so any advice on what to cut would be very helpful. Also, do I come across as arrogant or boring? Should I talk more about my personality?
The University of Colorado at Boulder's Flagship 2030 strategic plan promotes exceptional teaching, research, scholarship, creative works, and service distinguishing us as a premier university. We strive to foster a diverse and inclusive community for all that engages each member in opportunities for academic excellence, leadership, and a deeper understanding of the world in which we live. Given the statement above, how do you think you could enrich our diverse and inclusive community and what are your hopes for your college experience?
I have become an international student, both on paper and at heart. Growing up in Norway, my childhood was a happy and safe one. I went to a public Norwegian school, where there was not much in terms of diversity. Instead I discovered other parts of the world through books, and sat at the grown-up table as long as I could, listening to their fascinating conversations about what was going on in the world.
It was when my parents divorced, true change took place in my life. I struggled with it for a long time, but looking back I am grateful for some of the things that have come from it. I became more independent, and less sheltered. Always having loved the English language, I decided to make a choice with great impact on my life. I wanted an academic challenge, and with a strong need to eventually study abroad, I convinced my parents to let me apply to Oslo International School.
Academically, it was a challenge. The transition went smoothly, but in subjects with new fancy words, such as biology or history, I struggled. I still remember how my friends faces dropped after I had completed my first biology exam, and asked them what an enzyme was. There were ups and downs, but luckily I found myself steadily improving.
My favorite thing about the environment I now found myself part of, was the diversity in culture. Even in such a small school, with only about 30 students in my year, I had friends with experiences and backgrounds from all over the world. During lunch, a conversation would go from the school systems in South Korea, to how the Lebanese applaud when the plane lands safely and then to how the divide of Germany after WWII is still apparent in its people. Learning about other cultures and religions, and then being able to compare it to my own, is something I never tire of. These discussions have taught so much about the world, but also about myself and my own heritage.
Although I have only ever lived in Norway, I have been fortunate to do some travels that have widened my horizons and given me insight into the world we live in. Discussing the importance of education over a chai latte with an old man in one of Asia's biggest slums Dharavi, India and the travel I made to Katete, Zambia with Habitat for Humanity are experiences that have become part of me. We were able to build two houses with Habitat for Humanity, and got to live with the locals for two weeks. Learning to master the art of bricklaying, to watch the amazing stars around a bonfire at night and to discuss Harry Potter with Daisy, a 12 year old local girl, are amongst my most treasured memories.
Although I might not offer much diversity in terms of my pale skin and blue eyes, I am certain I will with my own unique perspective and cultural background. Being a proud Scandinavian, I can tackle hardships like a viking, and have the ability to discuss the weather for hours. Although I am happy in my home country, I consider myself not just a Norwegian citizen, but a global citizen, and I couldn't be more excited to expand my horizons. At the University of Colorado, I hope to do just this. I believe that I can contribute positively to the the University of Colorado, and that it can be a place where I can grow and learn more about our world.