So, I plan to transfer to UT Austin this coming Spring semester, and well, I am just horrible at these non-analytical types of essays. I would appreciate it if you could offer some tips. Also, do you think it sounds too contrived and pretentious?
Statement of Purpose Essay:
I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.
--Carl Sagan, Cosmos (1980), p.4
What I yearn for is the treasures of knowledge. What I yearn for is the ability to discover what the threads of reality consist of. What I yearn for is access to the naturalistic wonders of the vast Cosmos above me. I am a naked ape that strives to know its surroundings, as well as what lies beyond them, and to know of that which intuition fails explicitly to reveal. As an applicant for admission to the University of Texas, I am an inquisitive voyager that seeks passage.
I was born in 1990 to a short, Jewish sailor of the U.S. Navy, hailing from Long Island, and a shorter Mexican-American woman from a small town in South Texas. From then on, my life has been, at least from the perspective of the guy living it, relatively mundane. I was merely a kid of the nineties, from Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Pokemon, to Web 2.0 and MP3 digital music players.
However, being the child of a sailor and his maiden meant frequent moving and six month naval deployments that left me temporarily father-less. Although my life began on the emerald coast of Texas, I left at the age of two to the orange tropics of Florida. I made my way to the seasonal, historic ports of Maryland, then the southern coastal marshes of Mississippi, until finally establishing permanent residence back in my place of birth. Reflecting on my time as an involuntary transient, I find satisfaction in my experiences among various regional social settings and in the learned ability to adapt to new environments.
If there was one constant in the equation of my life at the time, it was that school and academic endeavor came easily to me, and I often received honorary recognition. However, by high school, merely learning for the sake of learning was no longer a valid and effective motivation. I excitedly participated in as many advanced placement classes I could, but I found myself doing only enough work to get by. By senior year, I looked with bewilderment at my future. I was lost in intention and filled with existential woe. What was I to do with my life? What was worth doing? What is it to exist?
Eventually, our narrator found solace in the laws physics and the wonders of cosmology. Reading authors such as Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, he began to perceive the universe as an incomprehensibly complex, yet beautiful, puzzle. The universe was a mystery that our species had just awoken to and begun to decipher. Inspired by the great scientists and popularizes of science of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, he identified what he wanted to pursue. He wanted to gain a fundamental understanding of the vastness in which Earth floats "like a mote of dust". He wanted to pursue physics and space science.
Now, as I imagine transcending the parameters of three-dimensional space and examining the vector that represents my life, I see ahead of my current position, an arduous, but hopefully fulfilling, journey. My goal is to change the future through scientific pursuit and to help advance man's collective understanding of the universe.
Eh, that's it.