You have already told us about yourself in the Common Application, with its list of activities, Short Answer, and Personal Essay. In this required second essay, tell us something that you would like us to know about you that we might not get from the rest of your application - or something that you would like a chance to say more about. Please limit your essay to fewer than 500 words.
I, along with thousands of other first generation Americans, make up a new culture. We are the creatures of two different worlds, two different heritages, and two different ways of life. We chose to be neither one nor the other, but instead conform to portray a compromise of the two. Together, we stand as the common ground between India and America. This background of mine is what defines me. It has followed me since birth and exposed me to the values and ideologies of America and India alike. It has led me to have different perspectives, different views, and different interests. Both sides of this compromise represent various parts of my identity and both sides have influenced me in unique ways.
The first, India, holds my roots and my history. It is one that's given me my religion, my customs, and my ethnicity. It's brought me to my 7-year study of bharatanatyam dance and granted me the pleasure of learning a language probably not even heard of by Western society. It lines my home with little gold trinkets and foreign smells. It's what taught me the importance of family and tradition. It's in India I choose to spend my summers, plucking passion fruits, driving a stick shift, and climbing house the roofs of houses with native children. I look to India to in times of despair. It's strict rules and adherences are ones that comfort me. It upholds my spirit. Its lack of tension reminds me that sometimes you need to break yourself down in order to build yourself back up again.
America, on the other hand, is the basis of my now. It's here that I have the freedom to fail, the freedom to explore, and the freedom to learn. America has taught me diligence and altruism, giving me the understanding that hard work and persistence is the key path to success. It has introduced me to the people of the world, the practice of equal opportunity, and the liberal mentalities of society. America gives me confidence to chase my dreams. Whether it is the next trip to New York City or the next stop at Guitar Center, America gives me the chance to experience new interests, a characteristic that has already lead me to my passions in photography and robotics. America to me is where I establish myself.
Living a life of mixed background has never been easy. It has given me a contradictive personality by instilling me with views of two very different races. Today's society tends to calls out culture and diversity. Instead I embrace it. I take voice through my history, be it American or Indian. Together they are places I call home. Both have lent me the gift of diversity. They are how I define myself. They are who I am and who always will be.