All of these are my responses to the Tufts Supplement Essays. Please critique!Which aspects of Tufts' curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: "Why Tufts?" (Required length is 50-100 words)
I can imagine it clearly. Me, in the stands, cheering and roaring with my friends as the Jumbos score another goal in a soccer match. Or sitting in a class on "Demystifying Hipsters," exploring contemporary hipster culture. Or just drinking hot chocolate on one of the benches, enjoying the crisp Massachusetts weather. Tufts is the perfect place for me to become an innovative, bold citizen with the mental agility to face the adversities of today with enthusiasm and trajectory.There is a Quaker saying: "Let your life speak." Describe the environment in which you were raised-your family, home, neighborhood or community-and how it influenced the person you are today. (Required length is 200-250 words)
I spent the first 11 years of my life in the harbour town of Yokohama, Japan. The Bushido mentality which was central to my mother`s identity taught me good lessons. I learned to be patient with myself and others, enduring and selfless. My daily contact with nature, whether in the local park or in my grandmother`s garden, engendered a love for the environment. Today, this has grown into something more scholarly, into my passion for human and physical geography. I also fell in love with the English language in elementary school. For years I had spoken only Japanese, and now I was to learn this new, foreign tongue. I remember spending hours rolling my tongue, trying to speak like a "Disney Princess." Now, English is as native to me as Japanese.
At the age of 13, I moved to Ghana. I noticed during this period that I was not just a Japanese living in Ghana, but as a Ghanaian too, I must enact and partake in this vibrant and lively community. Living in Ghana, and being exposed to a new paradigm changed my mindset too. That unlike what social media portrays, Africa is a great place, with a deep, textured culture. That I can change the world if I tried hard enough.
My life in Japan and in Ghana also taught me this: it`s best to be yourself and to appreciate other people`s idiosyncrasies. My life has spoken.What makes you happy? (250)
As a habit, I make lists to organize my thoughts. I have a little notebook full of them, from a list of my favorite TV shows to the Top 10 words I detest. And so, here`s a list of "Things that make me happy."
1. The sound of fufu (African delicacy made of cassava, plantain and yam) being pounded in the backyard or the distinctive smell of my mother`s teriyaki chicken sends saliva running down my throat faster than usual.
2. Reading "the Master and Margarita" for the umpteenth time and roaring with laughter every single time a Muscovite is tricked by the mischievous characters.
3. Conversations. From intellectual debates on the electricity crisis in Ghana to whimsical banter about the latest episode of American Horror Story, I feel a rush from every word I exchange.
4. The smile of a child as I slip them a lollipop after a dental appointment, because she held back tears as they pulled her tooth out.
5. Belonging to a society where people accept me for who I am and do not judge me for what I believe in.
But the one thing that will always, no matter the circumstances, make me feel truly happy is the simplest of all things-to be surrounded by the people I love.