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? 500 words
Twice in my life, I have been shocked--culturally that is.
Entering elementary school not only marked the beginning of my academic career, but also the beginning of a new cultural era. Previously, my early childhood consisted of authentic Southeast Asian cuisines, English mixed with Chinese, and traditional silk clothing imported from China. But when I was five, I was exposed to a whole new world of vibrant cotton-blend clothes, denim overalls, and strange foods like beef dippers and corn dogs. Even then, I vividly remember how difficult it was to learn the norms of the mainstream culture. Since then, the greasy, fast food I was once appalled by is now a constant in my life and my English is perfect. But while I have adapted to the American customs, I also learned to appreciate my diverse heritage. Using my broadened sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance of my blended heritage, I am able to share my experiences with my peers and community through International Night at my high school and local cultural festivals.
Ten years down the road, I find myself in a similar position, but this time in the Galapagos Islands-- home to Charles Darwin's observations and evolutionary theory. From the moment I stepped off the small plane to the cultural immersion experience on each island, I could sense the local's culture of protectionism and conservationism. Although I was only there for two weeks, the emphasis on preserving the pristine environment had me committed to protecting the Galapagos Islands and the myriad of unique species it is home to. Taking my strong sense of protectionism that I acquired during my short trip abroad, I decided to collaborate with my school's environmental club, Go Green, to implement a community protection and preservation project that would not only positively impact our school, but also the rest of our community. My experience abroad and self-awareness, inspired me to initiated a project to improve the recycling program throughout our school, which eventually led to the development of recycling programs in several underfunded elementary schools in our county.
To Rice University, I bring a perspective eager to embrace new cultures with an open mind. I bring a perspective that values learning from her own experiences to share with others, and who takes the initiative to act. My self-awareness for my culture has made me realize that my own encounters in life will allow me to connect, build relationships, and value the experiences of others from different backgrounds through the residential college system at Rice. As I have helped my peers deepen their self-awareness, acceptance, and knowledge I have learned that my diversity can be an asset to me, my peers, and the Rice community.