This is my essay for University of Richmond's Supplement, I already had tremendous help on it, but I just want some final opinions, the prompt is: Tell us about an experience in which you left your comfort zone. How did this experience change you? Two pages double space is the limit for this prompt
I plan on sending in the application within the next hour or two, so a quick response would be great!
When my dad first traveled to the United States on a student visa, he entered with a few preconceptions. He had the preconceived notion that Black and Hispanic people were parasitic members of society undeserving of respect. Unfortunately, American movies often perpetuated these negative stereotypes by portraying Blacks and Hispanics in a negative light, which further validated his views. Although I am also considered a "minority", these movies and his daily experiences reaffirmed his belief that Asians were the model minority-ones who overcome difficulties through hard work rather than redistributive social intervention. Consequently, my dad often advised me not to play with other minorities as a child.
I heeded my dad's words with little questioning. After all, his concern for my well being was always in my best interest, and provided me with a security blanket. Yet as it is with all kids, his warnings fell to the back of my mind as I experienced the sensation of being at the playground. The playground was the usual rendezvous for all the kids in the neighborhood. It became my weekend getaway.
One day, a couple of older kids asked me to join their football game. Having previously encountered these kids, I happily obliged and joined in on their unfamiliar game. They explained the foreign rules and objectives to me, and even made the game contact free to ensure that I would have fun. All differences were put aside as we struggled to get the ball to the end zone. Not only were my new found friends competitive, they also had good sportsmanship. When a teammate failed to score a touchdown, plays were created for the offensive team and to boost everyone's morale.
Play by play passed. I became aware of the diversity of my new playmates; there were African Americans, Hispanics, Whites, and Asians. As I came to this realization, my dad's warning resurfaced. Prior to that day, I had never purposely went against my dad's words. But playing with those kids made me realize that an innocent game of football is colorblind. Not once was I treated differently even though I did not look like them.
I returned home with more than just grass stain on my clothes, but a new perspective on life. My dad had constantly professed to me the dangers of associating with the wrong people. But that day, for the first time in my life, I realized that he was, and could be, in the wrong. Buying into grossly misconstrued racializations, my dad had labeled entire races as people I needed to avoid. I heeded to his counseling, without ever questioning his rationale, in an attempt to create a sense of security for myself. It took a child's innocent game, instead of advice from a parent, for me to realize that I cannot always take a person's words for verbatim. At some point in life, I need to step outside of my comfort zone, open new doors, and see things from my own point of view in order to grow as an individual.