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This is an essay for the Common App, and I have chosen the free topic. Any comments are welcomed.


"Why do you need the reason? Just put it on." Hari asked his sick daughter to wear a locket by a priest. She was severely sick, and it was believed that this pendant would heal her. She is not allowed to ask questions about these practices. Hari didn't ask the reason either. Why would he? He wants his daughter to be well again.

I live in the same society as her and share the same story. Due to superstitions, people in my community are still behind in terms of education and health. Many still visit shamans with the hopes of curing from disease. Some sacrifice goats to have a baby boy. I was discouraged from questioning such myths. Yet in time, I came to understand the only way to bypass these narrow streets of delusions is through scientific literacy.

As Neil deGrasse Tyson said, "Science Literacy is a vaccine against the fuzzy thinking that goes in the world." I wanted to "vaccinate" the people of my community, but it was not easy. Most students find Math and Science uninteresting, which isn't a big surprise, since these subjects are often taught in an uninspiring way. All they know about science is reciting facts making big fat notes. But I've always wanted everyone to feel the same about Math and Science as I do-energizing, inspiring, and fun.

During our junior year of high school, I made friends who bore similar thoughts. We would discuss the essence of scientific literacy over our breaks. What's more, we decided to transform our talks into actions and established "The Skeptics;" a club with a mission to encourage scientific literacy in the community

After we conducted a few science presentations at our school, it did not take much for us to expand our scope. We received extraordinary enthusiasm from participating students and began to plan events like public astronomy observations, webinars, lectures, and student counseling. We made science fun so that even students who hated it would consider the subject from a different perspective. We collaborated with local science organizations to organize activities and helped organize the first-ever "March for Science". More than two hundred people participated. This experience reshaped my notion of what I was capable of.

I discovered that I loved visiting schools and interacting with children. Last summer, we visited an orphanage home, where I did a presentation on planets and stars. The kids eagerly asked questions. I was happy, not because the kids grew fond of me, but because I inspired their curiosity and encouraged them to ask questions. Throughout the processes of teaching these students to think skeptically, I found myself galvanizing their purpose while attaining mine.

Two years back, I was a kid who had just graduated from a military hostel. Bishal who always stayed in his room doing math projects during the vacation now visits different schools to conduct science-based programs. Moreover, I was able to discover the leader inside me. In our community, it was hard to promote scientific understanding. I, however, learned to champion a cause. My weekends were spent collecting funds and working as a tutor in order to raise money for programs.

My involvement in "The Skeptics" will not stop here. I have a new goal added in my life: To promote science-based education in my country. I wish to inspire other children to question, to be curious, and to boldly wonder about the world around them. I want to give my community which I was not fortunate to receive during my own childhood: a motivation for curiosity and scientific pursuits. With a scientifically literate future, I can imagine a huge social and economic growth of my nation.

Jan 11, 2018   #2
Bishal, the anecdote at the start wasn't about you, it was about someone else so it did not really help to inform the reader about you in a significant manner about you other than you share a background with that person. Which again, is not really informative because the thing that happened did not happen to you. The quote from De Grasse Tyson is effective. However, the focus on group accomplishments in "The Skeptics" club isn't something that helps your application stand out. You focused too much on the "we" aspect of the club instead of letting the reviewer know what exemplary or noteworthy achievements you made on your own within the club. He is not interested in the accomplishments of the club as a whole but rather, what you notably accomplished as a member of the club. Sharing credit with the other club members doesn't make you stand out, it makes you just one of the followers. Either show that you performed in a manner that gained you an award or recognition or highlith a leadership ability in order to make this part of the essay work for your application. Otherwise you should drop the reference to the club because shared credit is no credit when it comes to college applications. You cannot shine as an applicant if you are always sharing the work with others without a specific and important role assigned to you that will call attention to yourself as an applicant.

Home / Undergraduate / This is an essay for the Common App, and I have chosen the free topic. Any comments are welcomed.