I just need help reading over them and making sure they don't sound too general and dumb.
What in particular about Yale has influenced your decision to apply?
Yale has many quirky yet attractive qualities. For an indecisive person like myself, Yale is a perfect match. One of the things that instantly stood out to me was that I wouldn't have to choose a major. I could test out the waters before making my decision. I can let myself wander as far as I'd like with Yale's unique "shopping" for classes. Studying abroad is also something I look forward to. I want to become a global citizen, applying my knowledge and spreading it in the world. Yale encourages this, allowing me to follow my passions while finding them.
a. You have been granted a free weekend next month. How will you spend it?
After grabbing some coffee, I would head to Chicago's Field Museum, going straight for the mummies, ready to start my excavation into Egyptian era.
b. What is something about which you have changed your mind in the last three years?
Broccoli, it's always had a bad rep and it looks like a miniature tree. Turns out, it doesn't taste all that bad, I think I'm hooked.
c. What is the best piece of advice you have received while in high school?
You have two lives, your second life begins when you realize you only have one life.
d. What do you wish you were better at being or doing?
Staying focused has always been a struggle. I'm naturally a scatter-brained person, making me an easy target for trouble.
e. What is a learning experience, in or out of the classroom, that has had a significant impact on you?
I met a girl who got married at 16 years old in Pakistan. She never got to read fairytales or live out her dreams. She inspired me to keep learning.c
In this essay, please reflect on something you would like us to know about you that we might not learn from the rest of your application, or on something about which you would like to say more. You may write about anything-from personal experiences or interests to intellectual pursuits.
Pakistan and America are two completely different worlds. However exaggerated it sounds, in many aspects, it is true. Going back to Pakistan has always been hard for me. Walking on the dirt paths in your jeans and t-shirt, while people stare at you, wondering why you're dressed like a boy, is something that takes getting used to. Immigrants often feel alienated, they don't quite belong to their countries anymore, but they don't quite belong here either. Born in America, Chicago to be specific, I never thought I would feel like I didn't belong. But boy, was I wrong.
My parents were both born and raised outside of America. Only one, out of my dad's twelve siblings, ever left Pakistan. My dad came here for the famous "American dream." After he got married to my mom, he decided to bring her over and start his family here. My parents made sure I didn't lose my Pakistani roots. We would visit our family every 2-3 years, just to make sure I knew them and understood where I came from.
The first time I went to Pakistan, I was too young to understand what was happening, two-year olds don't notice much other than how hungry they are. In 2009, my perspective changed greatly. Things started off great; we went to family dinners and were invited to a bunch of weddings. When we finally settled in at my grandparents' house, things began to turn. My uncles began asking what I wanted to be when I grew up. My answer was always the same, an archaeologist. Most of them laughed, not taking me seriously. I began to hear their comments, ranging from "that's a man's job" to "does that even count as a job?" The ideal occupation for a girl has always been becoming a doctor. At the time, I brushed their remarks off. But they continued. If I was reading, they'd ask me why. At times, they would take away my books, telling me to help my aunts cook instead. I had never seen sexism. I had never thought boys and girls were different. I never imagined that guys couldn't cook or girls couldn't drive, thoughts like these were alien to me.
The first thing I did when I got back from Pakistan was take a breath of relief. Although I respect my culture and my family, I was happy my dad didn't stay there. I had a new appreciation for the opportunities that I had living in America. I realized I shouldn't take it for granted. Living here, with Pakistani ideals, sure, was no walk in the park. There have often been times when my parents and I disagree on simple things. Persuading them to let me have friends over or going to the movies are just some examples of mundane tasks that my parents just don't understand. Being a teenager, I often thought my life was unfair, why should I not get to do what every other kid does? But since then, I've learned to pick my battles and compromise. Sure, I didn't get everything I wanted, but who does? What was important was that I had things that mattered.