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Rice (Why do you want to study history, What perspective do you bring)


Vvarsha 4 / 8  
Dec 26, 2011   #1
With the understanding that the choice of academic school you indicated is not binding, explain why you are applying to that particular school of study.

History has, since childhood, filled my dreams with escapades with Marco Polo, heated discussion with leaders like Jefferson, Elizabeth I, or Louis XIV. My daydreams are vivid depictions of the Peace Paris Conference after WWI or the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. I wish to pursue history not only because of my fascination with the subject but also because it is the most inclusive of all academic quests.

Reading a history book gives me a joy like no other: it offers revelations that cannot be gained from studying any other subject. I love piecing together different eras in history and pointing out their similarities. In the sixth grade, after discovering the similarities between the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence, I spent weeks reading everything I could on the subject. The lionized lessons I received in grade school no longer satiated my hunger. My knowledge of history has developed from mere appreciation of facts into a deeper passion for analysis of historical events and their influences and impacts.

My interest in revolutions intensified when I discovered the Enlightenment; it contains many revolutionary and inspirational thinkers such as Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau. These philosophers directly influenced the Founding Fathers of America, and the leaders of the French Revolution. Discovering these connections and analyzing how certain events influenced others are one of the many joys of studying history. Eric Foner points out that "the study of the past is a constantly evolving, never-ending journey of discovery." History is a virtually limitless study, but through history I can branch out into almost any career. Whether it is politics, law, journalism, teaching, or research, I know that history is my calling. As a child I fished out my first history book, The Kingfisher Encyclopedia of History, from a clearance rack at a used book store. The pictures caught my eye, but the excellent bedtime stories kept me reading.

Characters available 2000

The quality of Rice's academic life and the Residential College System are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What perspective do you feel that you will contribute to life at Rice? (Most applicants are able to respond successfully in two to three double-spaced pages.)

Indian culture is rigid and unrelenting, but I was never hit by the full blow of it. My parents bring traditional Indian values and traditions to my everyday life, but our travels across America have made their advice unique and invaluable. Since the day of my birth my parents have tried to set up for success. I was born on a rainy night in Jamshedpur, India; in fact my name itself means "monsoon" in Sanskrit. My parents did not choose my name just because of the stormy scenery outside; they hoped that I would someday take this world by storm. My plane ride to America in 1998 was the first of many trips. "Home" has been many different places these past seventeen years, but the two consistent things are my mother and father who have constantly pushed me to set higher and higher standards for myself.

India is beautiful and rich in culture, but my Indian citizenship is only a part of me. My world is unpacking my clothes into a new closet for the third time that year. My father is assembling the bunk bed we just bought in our only bedroom, while my mother is dispersing her many pots and spices throughout our new kitchen. On our own for the first time, with only a bus pass, we roamed the streets of Worchester, Massachusetts, and realized why everyone in India raved about America.

After five different states and two siblings, my parents and I have finally gotten used to "American" life. Throughout the years, however, my parents have prevented my complete Americanization by successfully tying in their childhood lessons into mine.

My parents have a very clear policy on life: "Don't chase success, just strive for excellence and success will chase you." After a decade of my parents' so called "nagging," I stopped relying on my parents to push me and decided to start pushing myself. Striving for excellence is no simple task, but trying to do so resulted in some of the biggest risks I have ever taken. I joined Academic Decathlon, Speech and Debate, Robotics, and Junior State of America because I had become attracted to new experiments. However my challenge-seeking and enthusiastic personality was not always evident in my early years.

I used to shy away from change because of my constantly-evolving environment, but my parents kept pushing me to try new things. Today I am outgoing, talkative, sociable, and opinionated; none of these adjectives could have been applied to me had it not been for my parents' invaluable guidance. I stopped chasing everything in life and just pursued whatever pulled me. Instead of being the "new girl with the really long name," I am now known as "Varsha, who never leaves a room without giving her opinion." I never hesitate in front of a new opportunity because I finally know how to take this world by storm.

the above essay is not completely 2 pages double spaced, what can i add to make it so?
HerrTrigger 2 / 3  
Dec 26, 2011   #2
You might expand on the second essay by talking about what difficulties you and your family have encountered in America and how you have "gotten used to American life". You could also talk more about how you have retained the culture of your place of origin. After all I would think your Indian heritage would be an excellent way to show how you might bring variety to Rice, so you should really tell them more about how you are not just another average white American.
nr554 1 / 18  
Dec 26, 2011   #3
History has, since childhood, filled my dreams with escapades of Marco Polo and heated discussions with leaders like Jefferson, Elizabeth I, or Louis XIV.

In the sixth grade, after discovering the similarities between the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence, I spent weeks reading everything I could on the subject. However, the lionized lessons I received in grade school no longer satiated my hunger.

Excellent and great flow of ideas. I really couldn't point too many mistakes out!


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