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"My Semi-Redneck Life"-Common App Diversity Essay


tanner328 2 / 7  
Nov 24, 2011   #1
A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

Hello, my name is Tanner, and I am not a redneck. I am a sophisticated, intelligent individual. I do not use smokeless tobacco products, and I wear shirts when I go to Wal-Mart. One could say that I was blessed with the gift of class. All of these things are fine, but there's one problem:

I live in small town Texas.

Texas is the hillbilly capital of the world. It has evolved since the frontier days, but the stereotype still remains. In this neck of the woods, people find it acceptable to wear their hunting camouflage to church and attach unmentionables to the trailer hitches of their pickup trucks. As a tasteful young man, I often vocalized my disgust for these corn-fed practices.

Over time, as I grew up, my resentment for my surroundings increased accordingly. I could not stand to be in this cow town, and longed for the days when I would leave. I alienated myself from these "second-class citizens", and became somewhat outcast. Even though this was my home, I never truly felt at home.

Finally, after years of being a misfit in Dixie, I realized something. I didn't feel at home here because I looked at my world from an outsider's point of view. I discovered that home is not a place where the people are exactly like me; home is a place where I'm comfortable, and it was up to me to make myself comfortable. With this in mind, I set off to reshape my view of this strange place.

As I worked to integrate myself in this foreign land, I became aware that I was not so different from these people. They may not dress the way I do, or act the way I do, but that doesn't mean we have nothing in common. As it turns out, we have a lot of similarities. Even more importantly, our competing perspectives are constantly teaching us new things and new ways of looking at the world. My peers teach me their practical wisdom and common sense and patience, and I contribute my knowledge of literature and psychology and style.

My semi-redneck life taught me an important lesson about diversity. People may be weird and vulgar and not wash their hands after skinning deer, but I probably have plenty of peculiarities in their eyes. We'll never be at home when we look at each other's differences, only when we look at what we have in common. Only then can we experience the beauty of diversity.
Jennyflower81 - / 690 96  
Nov 24, 2011   #2
Well, you have painted a good picture of the town you came from! Nice writing. You have no grammar problems. Expand on this thought: I alienated myself from these "second-class citizens", and became somewhat outcast. Even though this was my home, I never truly felt at home. I wonder, if that is how you were raised, how did you know these people around you were lower class? What exactly was it that made you think that? The media? Or perhaps you had some richer, classier relatives or friends. In your paper be sure to state that you are a person with a plan for life, because this is the whole reason for the story you wrote.
breakingRenee 5 / 11  
Nov 24, 2011   #3
um the statement "Texas is the hillbilly capital of the world" maybe you should make the statement Texas is said to be the most hillbilly capital of the world
OP tanner328 2 / 7  
Nov 25, 2011   #4
Thanks for the input guys!
desm2012 6 / 36  
Nov 25, 2011   #5
I don't think Texas is the hillbilly capital of the world. Pretty sure that honors goes to the Appalachians. You're describing Western country living.

You should be more specific about your peculiarities. What things do you do that are bizarre?
OP tanner328 2 / 7  
Nov 26, 2011   #6
I made a few changes, see if these help it out any...

I am not a redneck. I am a sophisticated intellectual. I read books, I follow current events, and I own scarves. I do not use smokeless tobacco nor do I wear flip-flops to weddings. Because of my stylish lifestyle, I am considered unusual. What's so unusual about that, you ask?

I live in small town Texas.

Texas may have evolved since its frontier days, but the hillbilly stereotype still remains. In this neck of the woods, people deem it acceptable to wear their hunting camouflage to church and attach unmentionables to the trailer hitches of their pickup trucks. As a tasteful young man, I often vocalized my disgust for these corn-fed practices. I had learned standards of what was normal from the media, and this lifestyle did not mesh with what I saw on television and wanted for myself.

Over time, as I grew up, my resentment for my surroundings increased accordingly. I longed for the days when I would leave this cow town, to start a new life in the city, in a world with paved roads. I alienated myself from these "second-class citizens", and became somewhat outcast. Even though this was my home, I never truly felt at home.

Finally, after years of being a misfit in Dixie, I realized something. I didn't feel at home here because I looked at my world from an outsider's point of view. I discovered that home is not a place where the people are exactly like me; home is a place where I'm comfortable, and it was up to me to make myself content. With this in mind, I set off to reshape my view of this strange place.

As I worked to integrate myself in this foreign land, I became aware that I was not so different from these people. They may not dress the way I do, or act the way I do, but that doesn't mean we have nothing in common. As it turns out, we have a lot of similarities. Even more importantly, our competing perspectives are constantly teaching us new things and new ways of looking at the world. My peers teach me their practical wisdom and common sense and patience, and I contribute my knowledge of literature and psychology and style.

My semi-redneck life taught me an important lesson about diversity. People may be weird and vulgar and not wash their hands after skinning deer, but I probably have plenty of peculiarities in their eyes. We'll never be at home when we look at each other's differences, only when we look at what we have in common. Only then can we experience the beauty of diversity.


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