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Why Northwestern (is it personal enough?)


angie127 12 / 49  
Nov 1, 2009   #1
What are the unique qualities of Northwestern-and of the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying-that make you want to attend the University? In what ways do you hope to take advantage of the qualities you have identified?

Initially I believed that I'd be a third wheel on the Northwestern campus among students majoring in business, journalism, or engineering; I expected the school's activities and events to revolve solely around those three disciplines and that interests in other concentrations were a significant minority. When I came to visit in early September, I was surprised to discover the school's diverse mix of majors, student organizations, and traditions. As I found out more about opportunities at Northwestern, I realized that it was the best place for me to pursue my passion for learning about other cultures and to continue my involvement in the community.

After growing up in a diverse city and traveling to Latin America for community service projects, I have developed an interest in exploring other cultures' traditions and beliefs. As I cheered for my community's soccer team in Costa Rica while sipping dark, sweet coffee and watched the masked dancers snap their noisemakers and bob around the plaza in Panama, I was astounded by how my foreign friends' traditions differed from my own. In my communities, I preferred that the driving force of one's daily life was the devotion for friends and family instead of consumerism and a lack of time as in the US. After both my trips to Latin America, I wondered about the origins of a people's traditions and the differences between people's interactions and values.

I hope to discover the answers to my questions by studying in the Weinberg's College of Arts and Sciences' Anthropology program. Not only will I gain an understanding of Anthropology through my small classes directed by professors experienced in the discipline, but I will also have the support I need to competently develop the skills I need to pursue a career in the field. The Northwestern Undergraduate Anthropology Society's mentorship program and information on career and internship opportunities will allow me to become more involved in the field and develop relationships that will benefit me in the future. What makes the College's Anthropology department an even better fit for me is its connections with the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program since I want to find out more about the cultures and history of Latin American countries. By minoring in this field, I will learn more about the diverse continent I have fallen in love with after being immersed in two of its many cultures.

I am the type of student who prefers to learn through experience rather than memorize facts from textbooks. As I explained arithmetic to young, perplexed students and controlled their rowdiness when baking an afternoon treat at a tutoring program, I learned about child psychology and developed more efficient ways for communicating ideas. Working on service projects in Latin America, I developed my Spanish comprehension and expanded my knowledge on the Hispanic culture.

I hope to continue learning through first-hand experiences by taking advantage of Northwestern's Ethnographic Field School and its connections with the Field Museum to go out and apply in the field the anthropologic theories I learned in the classroom. Besides developing my knowledge and appropriate skills for my major, I hope to acquire other skills by participating in extracurricular activities. I plan to participate in the OASIS and the Peer Health Exchange with other Northwestern students interested in working with younger students and helping them reach their potential.

Northwestern provides a home for many individuals passionate for their fields of study and interests. As a member of this family of driven students, I anticipate releasing my stress before finals in the infamous Primal Scream, dancing until the early morning in the philanthropic Dance Marathon, and socializing with my professors during "Coffee with a Professor". I look forward to growing personally and intellectually among other Wildcats as I volunteer in the adjacent neighborhoods of Chicago and Evanston and discover the mysteries of cultures in the Anthropology program.
Vulpix - / 71  
Nov 1, 2009   #2
You did a very good job on this essay- it's extremely specific, which the admissions officers will definitely appreciate, and you make a strong argument for the reasons you want to attend the school.

"In my communities, I preferred that the driving force of one's daily life was the devotion for friends and family instead of consumerism and a lack of time as in the US."

This sentence is extremely ambiguous- first of all, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "communities" (communities in the U.S.? Or communities in Latin America?)

"As I explained arithmetic to young, perplexed students and controlled their rowdiness when baking an afternoon treat at a tutoring program, I learned about child psychology and developed more efficient ways for communicating ideas."

Tutoring is good, but it seems completely unexpected to mention it just once in the middle of your essay, when the rest of your essay is clearly focused on your cultural interests.

Also, the ending of the essay feels a little abrupt. Perhaps you could consider reiterating some of your previous points, especially since this is such a long and complex essay.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 4, 2009   #3
You might have mixed up two expressions... I think it is "fifth wheel."

It is better, I think, not to start with not:
I will not only gain an understanding of ...

Very good, I think you can go into more detail about your specific plans for the future, and maybe even cite articles by anthropologists whom you admire. You write very well, and I bet you will do very well as a cultural anthropologist.
OP angie127 12 / 49  
Nov 4, 2009   #4
thanks for the comments!
and EF_Kevin, i googled the phrase and its a legitimate idiom :)
Ninja 3 / 9  
Nov 4, 2009   #5
Yeah.. I agree with Kevin. However I think it might be better if you just lose the "third wheel" expression :).

So you found yourself made a mistake thinking Northwestern is all about a few strong majors first, and I can tell that you liked the dynamic campus when you discovered more about the university. Good. But I think you need to be more specific about more about opportunities at Northwestern. Name a program that interests you here.

I am the type of student who prefers to learn through experience rather than memorize facts from textbooks
You are one of a kind, so just say I prefer learning through experience to memorizing facts from textbooks.

Overall it's a great essay. I hope you get into Northwestern lol.
hellohello - / 3  
Dec 4, 2009   #6
I couldn't help but notice that you have posted two Northwestern essays for this same topic. Are you using this one or the previous one? In my opinion, this essay is much better and more original.

Good Luck with your application process! I'm currently a student at Northwestern and absolutely love it here. It will be wonderful to have you join us!


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