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Topic: A Statement of purpose for UT Austin admissionsI've Been Known to Take the Scenic Route
Eighteen years ago, when I left high school with my G.E.D. in hand, I never imagined that I would someday be in a position to apply to attend the University of Texas, College of liberal Arts. At the time, I was fifteen years old and had the adolescent premonition that I, somehow, knew what was best for me. On one hand, I felt I had accomplished something; in my young mind, I felt like I had shown the adults in my life how easy it was that they had been holding me back. On the other hand, I was still really a little kid who had no idea what to do next. There would be no guidance councilors, homecoming dances, soccer games, or any of the things I should have been worrying about, at that time in my life. Instead, there were endless mountains of dirty dishes at the Olive Garden, disappointed parents, and, it seemed, very little hope of ever attending college. However, in spite of all the clichés associated with dropping out, I defied them to define me. I refused to abandon the very impulse towards inquisitiveness that had led me into this predicament in the first place. My need to understand the world in which I exist is what drives me to do more. I continued studying independently, and I read my parents college textbooks; I spent countless hours in the library of the local university reading everything I could about philosophy, art, and science. I began expressing myself through music, poetry, and writing but I never quit learning. This is how I misappropriated my youth and spent the next fifteen years meandering and squandering my time working at bookstores and coffee shops, fully immersed in the constraints of my locality, Wichita Falls, Texas.
It was in the fall of 2008 that circumstances arose, which allowed me to reconsider the possibility of going back to school when Starbucks reduced the number of mangers in our region. As one of the few store managers without a College degree, I found myself on the outside looking in despite an impeccable record. Almost simultaneously, I had also come to realize that my interests had little to do with business; I, instead, preferred to talk about Dostoevsky and argue about politics or aesthetics, rather than fuss about mission statements and expense reports. Therefore, I believe it was a combination of opportunity, realizing I was now thirty years old, and the strength I felt from being a newly married father that gave me the courage to throw myself headfirst into an academic setting with the goal of applying to the University of Texas at Austin being that sort of dreamlike what if scenario. My new focus became the resurrection of possibilities for myself, for my wife, and for my son and almost as soon as I began, I knew I was home; to be honest, it felt easy. It felt as if I should have been in this environment from all along. Suddenly, I found my interests had value; and that there are, in fact, people in the world who examine, contemplate, and encourage critical thinking. All I can say is that I adore the acquisition and sharing of knowledge. I am fascinated with epistemologies that can be found in the art and works of those who preceded us, in a few cases, those contemporary to us, and found it cathartic to examine these things in a scholarly fashion.
In what seemed like an instant, two years have passed since I have returned to school and the time came for me to make a decision about where I will transfer. While examining my grades and my desire to major in English with a minor in Philosophy, the University of Texas remained my school of choice, but what had initially seemed like a pipe dream not so long ago, was now not so entirely remote. Honestly, it is a little strange to see my goal dangling so tantalizingly close, and that it is now oddly realistic. I definitely feel a satisfaction just in earning the right to request admittance, and I believe that what I have accomplished academically is personally remarkable considering the manner in which it seemed to have been concluded so long ago in the hands of careless elders and, my own, youthful confusion. Moreover, I feel that my lifelong passion for learning, and the unique perspective derived from my experiences, will only serve to enhance my ability to contribute positively to both the University of Texas and the community of Austin, even if it took me a little time to get there.