Academia has always been a large part of my life. I am an accomplished student and will be graduating with high honors being ranked fourth in my class. Although learning does come easily for me, I have had to work for my grades. Instead of mingling with friends, I could be found staying up late to study or putting in extra hours to make my class project pertinent and enjoyable. Through this diligent effort, I learned much about the world around me, scientifically, analytically, and metaphysically. Social gatherings allow bonds between people to grow but education allows the mind and body to flourish. In banishing ignorance and completely immersing oneself in a work of literature or connecting to ancient history, one is able to form themselves into anything.
My academic achievement has fostered a love for all cultures within me, a love that can only be quenched by travel. I've never had the opportunity to venture outside of the United States, until now. This summer, the year of 2014, I will make a great leap across "the pond" to explore Ireland with Michigan State University's Freshman Seminar Abroad program. Without my pride in academics, I would never have developed the affinity for life and the practices of those around me.
I am also proud of my empathy towards others and an ability to understand people for who they are. Though this statement may seem presumptuous, it cannot be further away from that idea. It seems I have an uncanny back to connect with the plight and misfortunes of others and feel a pain somewhat similar to their own. This quality, most unfortunate when watching movies such as Schindler's List or reading books like Marley and Me, allows me an opportunity to appreciate all people for who they are instead of formulating preemptive judgments of how they appear physically. The piece linked below is a dialogue poem I authored based on the sufferings of the Native Americans. If so inclined, feel free to take a quick read over.