I am applying to the Rutgers New Brunswick campus. This is my first attempt at an admission essay, and I would like any and all feedback you could provide me with, as I am not quite sure if I have done what is required. I believe I have, but...like I said, this is my first attempt at any admission essay.
Essay Prompt:Rutgers University is a vibrant community of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. How would you benefit from and contribute to such an environment? Consider variables such as your talents, travels, leadership activities, volunteer services, and cultural experiences. Only personal essays submitted via our website will be considered. You may enter a maximum of 3800 characters including spaces.
Diversity is a large part of my life, and always has been. A girl with divorced parents and no real religion, I spent the first ten years of my life in New Jersey. I lived in several different towns in the state that I do not recall, because we moved around a lot in my younger years, before finally moving into a townhouse in Dayton. The friends I had in that cul-de-sac were varied, from a Jewish boy a few years older than me three door down, to a Catholic, African American brother and sister close to my age that lived next door, to the three children from a large Christian family that lived at the end of the road. In the three years that I lived in Dayton, they were my best friends. As we got older there were frequent arguments over religion, as well as over the different likes and dislikes of my group of friends, and I was usually the one bringing my friends together and breaking up the fights.
I have been living in Ulster County, New York, since 2001. In my first few years in the state, I had become secluded. I didn't know anybody up here, and found it difficult to make friends due to a lack of a neighborhood like the ones I had been used to growing up. There was relatively little diversity in my new school, with very few African Americans. The closest thing to diversity was the abundance of Jewish students, and there my diversity beganďmy best friend from sixth to eighth grade was Jewish.
Since seventh grade, I have adapted to what was once a strange environment and I am now a well-rounded student, culturally speaking. In the high school, there is greater diversity than there had been in the middle school, and I have friends in many different 'categories' that people often place them in. I am friends with African American students, two of whom live in my neighborhood. My best friend since fifth grade is currently dating a transgender student, who is also one of my best friends. My boyfriend is the president of the school club Synthesis, which promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ, or "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning" students, as well as racial and cultural acceptance, of which I am also a member. I come from a diverse school, with a full range of different-income students, from those who can just barely get by, living in trailers and living paycheck-to-paycheck with only the barest of accommodations, to those students whose parents give them gorgeous new cars if they get in an accident in the one they had previously been given.
What will Rutgers bring to me, and what will I bring to it? To myself, Rutgers will provide an extended version of the atmosphere I am currently living in, with its great cultural diversity. It will allow me to expand my education, as well as make new friends and meet others like me. To Rutgers, I will bring knowledge of diversity beyond that which many students possess, an attitude of acceptance, as well as a determination to succeed that will, hopefully, affect others. Coming from a diverse school, and being a member of a 'category' myselfďstudents with divorced parentsďI believe that I will add to the diversity at Rutgers, and benefit from it as well.
First, some mechanical pointers. Avoid using contractions in your formal academic writings; for example, "didn't" should be "did not."
When using quotation marks, make sure you use the double (") marks and not using the apostrophe ('). For instance, 'categories' should be "categories."
I think this is a great piece. You make yourself the center of the piece rather than others, and keep that focus throughout. You did a great job explaining what you will bring and receive to/from the campus. Great work!