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University of Michigan diversity essay - holiday in Indonesia

zw123 2 / 5  
Sep 8, 2009   #1
As our flight commenced boarding, I panicked. Where did our tour guide go? Are we really going to miss our flight?

Suddenly it dawn on me that our freelance tour guide might have stolen our tickets. An inquiry with the local ticketing agent who conceded that such cases were common confirmed my suspicion. My family, holidaying in Indonesia, has fallen victim to the anti-Chinese sentiments that were raging amongst discontented Indonesians.

Even though this incident happened in 1997, I can never forget how helpless I was to be discriminated upon. However, this incident also made me realised how humans tend to reject everything they do not understand. Some disillusioned Indonesians rejected the Chinese immigrants as thieves who stole their jobs but had failed to grasp that the Chinese improved their social conditions only through their hard work and diligence. This episode has made me appreciate the need for people to be able to work and improve on their lives in a safe environment where others are tolerant and accepting of cultural and social differences.

In this modern era that has offered the convenience of travel, people of different religion and culture often have to live and work together in close proximity. Consequently, we must be open and willing to accept people who are different from us in their ways of life. As an Asian student, I have a different culture and a different way of thinking. Thus,I hope to be able to add my own unique flavour and help other students assimilate into the melting pot of different cultures in the college.

Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Sep 8, 2009   #2
AreWere we really going to miss our flight?
Suddenly it dawn on me that our freelance tour guide might have stolen our tickets. An inquiry with ... ... amongst discontented Indonesians.
^That is difficult to rephrase, but it is in need of being improved.
Also, what makes you so certain that you were discriminated and that the tour guide did not just steal from you because he is a thief by nature? You never confronted him, so unless you have some proof, such claims are risky to make.

Even though this incident happened in 1997, and I canwill never forget how helpless I was to be discriminated uponthe feeling of helplessness that comes with being discriminated . However, this incident also ... their hard work and diligence. Thisepisode has made me appreciate ...

^What episode?
How did it make you appreciate? I thought such incidents tend to raise awareness instead...

In this modern era that ... different cultures in the college.[/b]
^Your ending is weak.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Sep 8, 2009   #3
Hmmm . . . what does the essay say about you?

1. You're Asian.
2. You've been to Indonesia.
3. You don't want to be discriminated against.

None of these are particularly relevant to your application, nor do they in any way show that you would make the university a better place or imply that you would be a successful student there. This makes it a very poor application essay. Decide what you want the essay to show about you. Then write an essay that shows that.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Sep 10, 2009   #4
None of these are particularly relevant to your application

I disagree. This is the diversity essay portion of the application. Relatively few applicants have experienced this level of discrimination. Fewer still have traveled or lived somewhere where racial conflict is quite so actively dangerous. Experiences like this make the concept of "diversity" a real, heartfelt, goal rather than an abstract notion.
rbz4real 1 / 7  
Sep 10, 2009   #5
Simone is right, you should concentrate on how this experience changed something about the way you think or act - and how this would be beneficial to the school or would make you a successful student there. Although you say a lot of people haven't been subjected to this kind of discrimination, you still need to add something that makes you unique.

Add another paragraph to it, if it won't exceed your word limit and also, end the essay in a different tone, it would be alright if it were a discrimination awareness essay or an essay fighting discrimination but, it doesn't quite fit the essay topic.

But if you really feel that your satisfied, then I guess you could leave it as it is after taking into consideration the comments of 'Liebe'.

Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Sep 10, 2009   #6
^It does all depend on what the writer feels most comfortable with afterall.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Sep 10, 2009   #7
I wasn't saying that the things I listed would harm your essay, only that, by themselves, they are not particularly good reasons to let you in to the university. Your essay should express a quality or set of qualities that you want the reader to know about you. You might be able to accomplish this goal by expanding on the anecdote you already have, either by elaborating on your response to it or your reflections on it, but either way, at the moment, your essay needs more.

Part of the problem is that your responses to the incidents you describe at the moment are not heartfelt. They are in fact general cliches. We must be tolerant and live in an environment where people can be safe regardless of their ethnicity. That's something anyone over the age of twelve would know enough to say. There is nothing particularly personal about it. Your reflections need to show a level of thoughtfulness that mirrors the level of specificity in your examples.
OP zw123 2 / 5  
Sep 11, 2009   #8
Ok. Thanks for all your comments. I'll work on this essay again =)
niraj /  
Sep 12, 2009   #9
Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Sep 12, 2009   #10
Niraj, does your Caps lock button not work? I have read on other threads where you have been told that caps locks, makes it appear as if you are shouting, which is just poor online etiquette.

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