the beginning is just a modification of my common app essay. right now I'm around 100 words over and have no idea how to cut it down.
any input would be much appreciated! :)))
College of Arts and Sciences:
Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you. Tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences to further explore your interests, intended major, or field of study. (Maximum of 500 words)
The world was a delicate network of dirty little alleyways. Familiar accents and intonations of local Chinese dialects rang in the air as market goers chattered with each other. As a five-year-old, these dialects were the only languages I recognized, and that alleyway was the only world I knew. Naturally, I was completely stunned when my family immigrated to Toronto, one of the world's multicultural hubs.
Financial difficulty in the first few years forced us to relocate all over the city; as a result, I was exposed to a medley of cultures. When I went to my friends' houses after school, their parents offered food ranging from roti to baguettes. Being observant by nature, I noticed the differences in the interior decorations oil paintings, African sculptures, Persian carpets, scents of candles, incense and coconut milk, and distinctive handicrafts. As I grew older, I realized the significance of diversity and started appreciating Toronto's multiculturalism. My work with the Chinese Canadian National Council heightened my awareness of the cultural impacts around me, and I was fascinated by how Toronto is divided into different cultural districts. I recognized the unifying power in cultural roots, yet at the same time their potential to segregate and divide when clashed or misunderstood.
I discovered my passion for area studies extends to an interest in basic human interactions; in studying the foundation and creation of these different cultures, we are finding answers to ourselves, to who we are as individuals and as humankind. I became interested in Cornell after hearing about the graduate-level Cornell Population Program at the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center. It's an amazing opportunity unique to this college; collaboration with eminent leaders in the field on a demographic research project is not something many other universities can offer.
The opportunities in the undergraduate department at the College of Arts and Sciences are no less stimulating. The independent study projects, research projects, and the Mellon Mays Fellowship are all fieldwork options readily available to undergraduate students. Studying at the College of Arts and Sciences will provide me with the unparalleled means of weaving together my cultural and political interests, and applying them to a specific research subject. I want to draw connections between area studies, the social sciences, and physical sciences to the real world where all these play an integral role.
Specifically within cultural studies, I am particularly interested in the Asian Studies department. Living in China and Singapore has shaped a large part of my identity, and I hope to share with others my experiences and passion. The Asian Studies Department at the College of Arts and Sciences is one of the only academic units in America covering all of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia from a perspective that combines social sciences, humanities, and languages. I've also always wanted to study another East Asian language, and the one-of-a-kind FALCON (Full-Year Asian Language Concentration) program is the perfect way for me to master Japanese.
I can't think of a better place than the College of Arts and Sciences to further my passion in cultural studies and social work. Combined with research opportunities and the FALCON program, the college will pave the way to a truly outstanding educational experience. A saying goes "The steeper the mountain the harder the climb, the better the view from the finishing line." I know life on the hill will be challenging, stimulating, and perhaps sometimes even overwhelming, but that's what makes it even more rewarding. The hills in Ithaca may be hard to climb (trust me, I've tried!), but I also know the view at the top will be like no other.