Alright this is my essay for the following prompt:
Option 2 - Using the statement below as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world:
"Princeton in the Nation's Service" was the title of a speech given by Woodrow Wilson on the 150th anniversary of the University. It became the unofficial Princeton motto and was expanded for the University's 250th anniversary to "Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations."
- Woodrow Wilson, Princeton Class of 1879, served on the faculty and was Princeton's president from 1902 to 1910.
In 1896, Woodrow Wilson delivered a speech entitled "Princeton in the Nation's Service", in which he encouraged Princeton students to achieve the level of education required to attain a sense of purpose and duty towards the nation. Wilson was a man who valued both education and political service, having served as both president of Princeton as well as president of the United States. He consistently set high standards for himself and others, and accomplished a great deal in his lifetime. However, he did not limit his focus to the United States alone: he believed that with his power came the responsibility to work for the greater good of all. Thus, he lobbied for the creation of the League of Nations - an alliance of countries that would work towards maintaining peace and promoting prosperity around the world. He was a man of high ideals and solid values who was shaped by his experiences and education at Princeton. I too have been inspired by my academic experiences, and I share Wilson's desire to use my education and abilities for the benefit of all.
My high school experience has certainly shaped the person I am today. I have been challenged by myself and my teachers to reach my highest potential, and as a result I have developed a very strong work ethic as well as time management skills. I have achieved some significant successes - such as earning the highest overall average in my entire school last year - but I have also enjoyed a well-balanced schedule of teams, clubs, extra-curricular activities, volunteer work and paid jobs. I believe to have a successful life a person needs to know when to work and also when to play, and high school has allowed me to find that balance.
A second experience that has definitely affected me was when I attended Queen's University E=MC2 enrichment program. This week-long session was intended to introduce students to the rich opportunities available at university, and immerse us in university life. While the intended focus might have been the educational opportunities at Queen's, what we all looked forward to and remembered most was not the coursework but the rich experience of living on campus and participating fully in other aspects of university life. I have always known I would continue my studies into undergraduate and post-graduate work, but this was the first time I got a taste of the full-range of opportunities available to me. My time at Queen's taught me to value my education not only for what I can learn, but also for the people I can meet and the activities I can become involved in.
A final event that I wish to discuss is my time at the Waterloo Unlimited program, another enrichment session I was invited to. The focus at the University of Waterloo was far more academic, as the overall focus was 'research at the university level'. Here we were taught about research methodologies, the inter-disciplinary approach some collaborative research studies can take, and the far-reaching applications that research results can have - far beyond a single university or nation's borders. From this program I learned to value the purpose of research, which I believe is to benefit others and contribute to the common good. This is what Wilson alluded to in his speech: we need to use our intellect and gifts for the benefit of all, not just a few.
Woodrow Wilson, the man the world knew to be a visionary and a man of strong values, was shaped during his university years. He was set to become a minister, but his experiences at Davidson College and at Princeton changed him into a man who valued both education and political work, and set him on his path to become President. My personal experiences with education have also shaped my values: they have taught me to value hard work and organization, they have taught me to value and embrace new opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, and they have taught me to value research and higher education for the benefits that they can provide, not just to one institution, but "in the nation's service and in the service of all nations".