Benjamin Franklin established the Union Fire Company, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania Hospital, and, of course, the charity school that evolved into the University of Pennsylvania. As they served the larger community of Philadelphia, each institution in turn formed its own community.
Which of the academic communities and social communities that now comprise the University of Pennsylvania are most interesting to you and how will you contribute to them and to the larger Penn community?
In the fall of my junior year in high school, I was introduced to the University of Pennsylvania. A representative discussed the various academic and social opportunities available at Penn and the surrounding Philadelphia area, and I was immediately hooked. As a forum of knowledge and ideas, the University of Pennsylvania would allow me to expand as a person and provide me the opportunity to interact with other creative minds.
The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences caught my attention right away. I have been a budding engineer since a young age, always trying to build "practical" items. While watching Star Wars, I would make lightsabers out of toilet paper rolls and masking tape so that I too could fight the Imperial troops who had suddenly infiltrated my living room. As I got older, the lightsabers disappeared. In their place were homemade hockey pucks, composed of stacked disks of newspaper and packaging tape, designed to work on carpet so that I could play floor hockey with my younger brother. In high school, I joined my high school's robotics team and was sure that engineering, with its incorporation of logic and creativity, was the right track for me.
While studying at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, I will bring the experience I have gained from participating in my high school's robotics team. When building a robot, we have to consider different designs for the arm and our strategy. After analyzing many strategies for competitions during high school, I have learned and practiced to approach problems from multiple angles. By bringing this ability to Penn, I will be able to provide unique insights during discussions. I am constantly asking questions (like, "What existed before the Big Bang?") in the hopes that it will inspire my peers and me to think creatively and unconventionally. As a student, however, I will not only present my ideas, but hear different opinions from other students and expand my knowledge. The knowledge I gain, from my peers and professors, will allow me to help others, both in the future and the present.
Academics are important, but being able to apply that knowledge to help others is a fulfilling feeling. The University of Pennsylvania may have many organizations that help out in the local community, but CommuniTech stood out. I have been privileged to have grown up and interacted with technology, like computers. However, others are not as fortunate. By becoming a part of CommuniTech, I would be able to share my knowledge and interest in technology to bridge the digital divide that has occurred due to technology's rapid development. Teaching middle school children how to use computers would provide them with invaluable knowledge for the future, and give CommuniTech volunteers the sense of accomplishment that comes with helping others.
The University of Pennsylvania provides the combination of academic and social opportunities in a unique urban environment. My inquisitive nature will be fostered and I will be encouraged to explore different ideas. Participation in the various student organizations at Penn allows me to utilize my knowledge to help others. Penn will provide me with an education that will help me in the long run, and in turn I will be able to express my creativity and curiosity to help others - a mutual relationship that will benefit both me and the Penn community in the present and the future.
I know that it's pretty much garbage, but I really hit writers block through the months I tried to write this. In the end, this is what I got. Thanks for any suggestions. Help on my Common App essay would be appreciated as well.