If anyone has the time, I'd really appreciate some feedback on my Why UChicago essay.
It all started with a book called Freakonomics. I was sailing through standard level economics, when in a casual lunchtime conversation I was introduced to the case of Norma McCorvey. She was a twenty-one-year-old pregnant woman, who'd reversed the once-seemed-inexorable rising trend of America's crime rate by asking for an abortion. Out the window flew my complacency, as promptly as I had gone to borrow the book that was the story's source. Like the physics class on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, Freakonomics hit me with the impulse of a bullet and the aftershock of a week's thought-full, sleep-less nights. But the intellectual bullet was not so much the economics-based convention-breaking assertions as the economics method of logical reasoning—economics as a way of thinking. It'd hit home, and resonated with a bang. As I transferred to higher level economics, the study of incentives and the art of regression analysis began to take on the same fascination I found in physics and mathematics. As I put down professor Levitt's book, the legendary University of Chicago had begun to take shape in my aspirations for higher education.
I've always sought to pursue the best education available to me. But throughout my studies, I've been driven by a curiosity towards the questions, "why" and "how". Thus, the resolution of my equal yet dichotomous interests in the sciences and the humanities was an amazing experience, as they came together in a blend of analytical reasoning and humanitarian application—economics. In retrospect, this blinding epiphany inspired by Freakonomics, was perhaps more result of gradual accumulation than sudden change. Research has led me to believe better place for me to pursue this subject and nature of learning than the University of Chicago, whose economics department is known not merely for theory and methodology, but for an entire Chicagoan school of thought. I have no doubt of finding the best quality education from UChicago's top notch faculty and small-sized classes. But the university's primary attraction to me lies in its education philosophy of teaching students "how to think". I hope to take advantage of a core curriculum to build a well-balanced foundation of knowledge as well as to learn the tools of inquiry. I my anticipated outcome of my undergraduate education coincides with the university's educational goals: to graduate not necessarily trained for a vocation, but at least confident in the ability to make logical arguments, communicate effectively, and make rational decisions. Furthermore, I embrace an academic environment that blurs distinctions between what others differentiate as "work" and play, where students are not motivated by competition but by intellectual curiosity.
However, my learning would not be complete without linking knowledge to its practical application. For those opportunities I look outside the university's ivory tower to the vibrant city of Chicago. Community service has always been my passion, and is a major commitment I hope to continue throughout university. The University Community Service Center at the University of Chicago provides a ready information platform to access the myriad of volunteer opportunities presented by Hyde Park and Chicago. Perhaps I might not be able to spend three years living with gangs to collect crime data, but I definitely look to make use of Chicago's wealth of urban activity to engage in field research.
Finally, I can only say that I'm a nerd at heart. As to learning, I like it, love it, and therefore seek it—in Hyde Park at the University of Chicago.
Points of Concern
1. I'm not sure if my prompt--the book Freakonomics--is a good idea or links well with the rest of my essay. Any way I can improve on that?
2. Is there any way to lighten up the formal voice of the second / third paragraph while conveying the same information?
3. Umm... any suggestions for how to end... without sounding completely lame as my ending currently is....
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!