Hey everyone if you could read this and post your comments I'd greatly appreciate it! Be harsh; i can use all of the help i can get! I knwo it's took long so let me know if you see anything to cut out.
Prompt: Considering both the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying and the unique aspects of the University of Pennsylvania, what do you hope to learn from and contribute to the Penn community?
Over the last two years I've repeatedly asked myself "where do you want to go to college?". It wasn't "what college best fits you" or "why (insert school name here) is the best place for you": two questions that every high school senior is asked several times before they officially apply somewhere. What I have come to realize is that the University of Pennsylvania satisfies my want for a well known institution and also allows for the world class academic opportunities that I need, in a city that over the years I have fallen in love with. Complement those factors with the strong tradition and values Penn holds and it becomes an ideal place for me to spend the next four years.
My academic interests have recently expanded greatly. I think this is directly as a result of understanding what college I want to attend and what type of career I want to pursue. I plan to major in political science as well as language certifications in Mandarin Chinese and possibly Arabic. The College of Arts & Sciences offer students a vast array of collaborative and unique learning opportunities. The ability to engage professors in the forefront of their fields: Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, authors and politicians demands that each student be prepared to do more than "scratch the surface". Interaction with leading thinkers from different colleges can be transformative for all and cultivate interests beyond what even students and professors originally envisioned. Beyond traditional classroom opportunities, I plan to participate in the Fels School of Government's Penn Washington Semester Program as well as the Fox Leadership program as well as study abroad opportunities.
I have learned that the University consistently pushes students to participate in learning outside of the classroom, when enhances learning in a traditional setting. This concept was mad most notably obvious to me by the Penn Compact. Engaging locally, Philadelphia has a cornucopia of experiences to offer. Although I have lived under thirty minutes from the city for my entire life, I look forward to gaining a new perspective as well as be an active part of the University's engagement in the community. Pursuing language certifications, I expect to use these tools to broaden my learning while adding value to the lives of others. Communicating with others from around the world brings the ability to understand other cultures and ideas in the hopes of integrating them with my own. I think that being able to better understand my surroundings can only benefit my knowledge and skill inside the classroom.
William Pollard once said that "it is the responsibility of leadership to provide opportunity, and the responsibility of the individuals to contribute". Since I was in elementary school I've participated in community service and as I got older it's become increasingly more important to me. Next year I'm very excited to become a "big sister" in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program. In major cities you always hear of students that don't really have a role model or someone to check up on them every once in a while. Not to say I'm the perfect role model for anyone (probably far from it) but I think it's important for school age students to know that someone cares and the ability for me to offer this is important to me. While at Penn I also plan to participate in athletics. It could be volleyball or cheerleading, since I've done both for years and enjoy them equally or maybe something new. School pride, team spirit and enthusiasm for athletics are a key theme throughout my academic career. Go Quakers!
In speaking with students and alumni, what I love about Penn is that students are expected to engage all parties of the community (students, faculty and staff) while taking advantage of every resource available. I have been fortunate that my educational experiences have encouraged me to engage others as well as challenge myself often as the opportunity presented itself. I seek opportunities to learn from and challenge others. Being a part of such a diverse and highly collaborative learning environment excites me greatly.
I have come to appreciate the importance of the "One University" idea as part of "Penn's Intellectual Mission". I look at my commitment as a student very similarly to the way University looks at the individual colleges. Each student is there for their own degree and knowledge, however without their peers there is no way to have a comprehensive, integrated education. In my path the contribute to the greater global community, I very much agree with the University that learning is transformative, continuous and that it is necessary for every student to be an actively engaged member of the community in order to be the change we seek in the world.