Q)Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
This is my main essay. Kindly let me know what you think. I would really appreciate the constructive feedback. Thanks in advance for the help!
My only perspective
"What! Niger wasn't colonized by the British?" I was taken aback when my friend exclaimed that her country was colonized by French, and not British. Since my countrymen, and my neighbours, Indians, have always blamed British for looting the resources of our lands, I developed the habit of associating the word colonizer with British only. The idea of teaching World History was never entertained by my school, and thus no longer asked for. Looking back at this particular incident, I ponder what was it which made me believe that the British are the only invaders in the world. After thinking carefully, I realized that the lack of exposure to different ideas and generic views made my outlook on life naive. The fact that I had friends from more or less same cultural backgrounds, who had almost same opinions as that of mine, made me look at things from one perspective only: My perspective. My perspective was mainly defined by my own experiences. I had no talent for approaching a problem with different perspectives. If a friend would complain about his uncooperative siblings', I would always defend the accused. I couldn't accept the possibility of envy among siblings, mainly because I don't have one.
But living for two years at a UWC and from interacting at meal times, to sharing a cookie and often a flood of tears, I have found friends in people from cultural, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds completely opposite to that of mine. Every conversation made me realize that there are as many opinions as stars in the sky. Everyone has their own version of truth, and they argue hard to defend it. That is the beauty of an ethnically diverse place, that, it compels you to find your version of truth while not losing a sense of your unique identity. This is same as changing the lenses of a camera - where photographer blends their skills with different lenses- to create a magical picture. Similarly, I didn't have to lose sense of self to correlate with a Canadian friend, but I had to understand that unlike in Pakistan, for people to drink beer in Canada is no big deal. And I can't declare them wrong because drinking beer is a part of the society they come from. I had to teach myself that my opinion of someone or something isn't always correct and I have to put myself into someone else's shoes to understand their position. The ability to equate different perspectives has provided me with a superpower- people's power. And because of this ability, I can or at least I try to understand people around me. The more I interact with new people, the more I realize that, most of the human beings irrespective of their social or cultural affiliations are the same- White people can also face racism, similarly a wealthy kid may lack the social skill to harbour friendships- thus we all have problems and coming from a privileged background makes no one an exception.
Spending two years at a boarding school on a rather lonely hilltop transformed me from a naive, judgmental teenager to an understanding woman.the college life will help me to add on to what I have learned in UWC. I hope that I get to meet innumerable people, who are different than me, who challenge my ideas and compel me to think critically. I firmly believe that my best teachers are and will be the people who prove me wrong and compel me to think out of the box. Because that makes me see the world from a different perspective, which makes life interesting and worthwhile.
As I think about the interesting times at UWC, I glance at my friend's photograph. We ate butterfly pasta under the orange fairy lights, now draped around her picture in my room. She's smiling at me, probably trying to say, she wasn't colonized by the British.