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'A real connection with people' - Fine Arts admissions essay

meesh 2 / 1  
Feb 26, 2008   #1
hi! Can someone please take a look at this? I'm already a student at the school and trying to transfer into FA as a major. This is the question, and I feel like I addressed it; however, need a second opinion. Thanks!!!! Copied from the application: The statement should explain how majoring in Fine Arts will help the applicant reach these goals.


"Where are you from?" I am constantly asked this; and although it sounds like a simple question, I have always found it difficult to answer. I was born in Los Angeles and spent the first 18 years of my life in the suburbs. Nevertheless, when I told people this, they would cock their heads to the side and give me a confusing stare. They look as if they are dissecting my physical features and assigning me to various countries. I now smile and say, "I'm from Los Angeles, but to answer what you really want to know: my parents are from the Philippines." Problem solved, right? Since discovering my Filipino heritage, they find it important to tell me about their Filipino friend. They soon begin naming Filipino dishes or shouting curse words they learned. I do not have any negative opinions towards this typecast; however, my identity does not fit this description. Although I was raised in a Filipino family, ate Filipino food, and heard all the Filipino curse words in an angry parent's vocabulary, I identify with the Filipino culture as I do with any other culture. I am intrigued with cultural rituals, but don't religiously practice them; I enjoy trying the unfamiliar food, but I cannot cook a dish without a kitchen fire; and on the rare occasion that I can speak a few learned words, I am still unable to hold a fluid conversation. Since I fall on the boundaries of various typecasts, I have found it hard to proudly identify myself with a specific ethnicity and cultural background.

The truth is: I have always been searching for my identity and searching for a real connection with people, a connection in which one communicates personal identity. This identity is not limited to a cultural background; rather, it describes a person's distinctive characteristics, personal life theories, and genuine emotions. The struggle to express myself has led to awkward relationships, even within my own family. My grandparents speak broken English and I never learned their native language; and although they raised me, I have experienced the hardships of language barriers within my extended family. Laughter always fills the house during family parties; however, I am usually sitting in the corner speechless because I'm too busy trying to translate the slur of words. Since childhood, I have tried to learn new ways to communicate with those around me and effectively articulate my thoughts.

After separating from the military and believing I had discovered myself, I began traveling anywhere affordable. I would stuff my bare essentials in a backpack, fly across the ocean, and I'd step off the plane without the faintest idea of where to go next. I would eventually find my way while meeting the most interesting people and I began to change my idea of "identity." I accepted that I could not identify myself amongst the typical labels of the world; and I learned to identify myself as an individual with unique, yet constantly changing, ideas. Now, I understand that we, as humans, are continuously transforming our identities because we are constantly shifting our beliefs and thoughts.

Throughout these trips, I developed a love for photography. Although I have always been fond of art, these trips helped me realize the potential of a camera's viewfinder. There was a moment of clarity in the midst of my 'train hopping, departure lounge napping, breadcrumb eating, bathroom searching' moments; and I realized, "This is what I want to do for the rest of my life." Before this moment, I was a completely 'indecisive, neurotic, daydreaming, rambling' mess, but in that moment, I no longer questioned my life. There is an obvious pattern in my past decisions, always slowly guiding me to this specific life goal. I have discovered an ability to connect with people, often behind a camera lens; and I have a found a means to finally portray my identity and articulate my complex thoughts through art.

Since transferring to this school, I have taken art classes that have taught me to express myself through various mediums. Surprised to discover that one does not need to be an art virtuoso, I have learned to effectively construe my rambling ideas. I have learned to not limit my communicative abilities to grammar and punctuation; rather, we can express raw emotions by pushing our conceptions of art. I would like to develop my art practice within this school, while continuously searching for a deeper, human connection within this world. In a world so technologically advanced, we still suffer from communication barriers. We each hold the potential to express our thoughts, ideas, emotions, beliefs, and overall identity; and my preferred means is through art.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Feb 27, 2008   #2

You have written an excellent essay! It is nearly perfect as it is. The one thing I might suggest is to remove the quotation marks around these two phrases: 'train hopping, departure lounge napping, breadcrumb eating, bathroom searching' and 'indecisive, neurotic, daydreaming, rambling' The quotation marks make one wonder "who said that? why is that in quotes?" Sometimes phrases like these, which are essentially adjective phrases, have forward slash marks dividing the words: train hopping/departure lounge napping/breadcrumb eating/etc. That is not strictly necessary, though.

Best of luck in your studies!


Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP meesh 2 / 1  
Mar 1, 2008   #3
thank you so much for the help! I really, really appreciate it!

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