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'Split South Africa' - CommonApp (Diversity Encounter/Experience)

Eigenvector 4 / 11  
Dec 28, 2011   #1
"High school is supposed to be a change," counselors and parents always tell you. For me though, the shift into high school wasn't just a change in location and a minor shuffle of the people I had gone through middle school with, it was a seismic shift in perspective. Coming from a culturally and ethnically homogenous middle school, I had been accepted into the Wheeler Magnet Science, Math, and Technology program. Instead of going to my districted high school with the people I had grown up with, I elected to go to Wheeler. My first day at there was something I'll never forget. I was amazed at the range of people I saw within five minutes of stepping off the bus the first morning. Though I had some exposure to Wheeler before the year started through the two weeks of marching band camp over the summer, I was still unprepared for the sheer range of people I met or, literally in most cases, bumped into that morning. I must confess, it took a few days for me to get used to sitting in classes with people from such diverse backgrounds. Every day though, it always surprises me how much I've come to value it and how much I've grown as a result of it. At the close of my seventh semester at Wheeler, I have to say that I can't imagine high school in any other way now. Learning from teachers and students alike with remarkable and far reaching backgrounds has been a phenomenal experience that reminds me on a daily basis how crucial diversity is to learning.

The diversity that is inherent at Wheeler has provided numerous opportunities for me to learn, both inside the classroom and out. Serving the band as a drum major this year put in me an a position that made me learn how to best work with, lead, and, above all, unify a large, extremely diverse group with a single common passion. Working with this group has helped me learn more about myself as a person, and as a leader. Over the course of the season and the fall semester, I've realized that the diversity within the band is what makes it such a remarkable experience and such a successful organization as a whole.

My life has been split in some ways between two fundamentally different societies. Having spent many summers abroad with my mother's family in South Africa, I realize more and more every year how my unique background affects my views and hopes. Seeing the abject poverty in areas of South Africa and the relative wealth of my hometown of Marietta has given me a unique world view. It's this diversity in my life that has always made me want to do something to make the world a better place and has led to me becoming who I am today.

sarahbee 1 / 49  
Dec 28, 2011   #2
Hey Xander,

Here's a few suggestions:

- My first day at thereWheeler(if you don't want to say wheeler then say "my first day at my new school..." because my first day at there doesn't seem dramatically correct was something I'll never forget.

- I like that you talk about your time with your mother's family but it seems a bit random, so maybe bring it up earlier or something?

Overall, I really like your essay. It shows a clear transformation which I think college admissions boards really like.

jebhogiaye 6 / 14  
Dec 29, 2011   #3
I'm a drum major at Walton, and I was born in South Africa!
"unify a large, extremely diverse group with a single common passion" I would reword this because it is a little redundant: unify a large, extremely diverse group with a common goal.

"Instead of going to my districted high school, I elected to go to Wheeler." This is not necessary and can be deleted
"Every day though, it always surprises me how much I have come to value it and how much I have grown as a result of it."

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