So are you guys saying that you wouldn't apply to Yale if that tool said you had a 20% chance of making it into Yale, not even considering your possibly soft factors. Okay sorry, that is an extreme example. A 20% chance of going to Yale is different than a 20% chance of going to USC.
Okay, maybe I should reveal my soft factors/expand on myself. I am going to include my PS. That will show some of my softs. I also went to school on a full ride. I majored in Finance. 2 minors: marketing, psychology. I was Recruitment Chairman for my fraternity (NOT a good influence on GPA).
I have something in common with both our current president and a previous commander in chief. I was born in Hawai'i and I was raised in Arkansas. Hawai'i’s mixture of many different races and ethnicities, each with its own distinct culture, has made the state somewhat of a melting pot. These include Indigenous Hawaiians, Japanese and Filipinos, among others. The close proximity and frequent interactions among people from these different groups have resulted in a true demonstration of multicultural diversity. Observing this diversity while living in Hawaii stimulated my interest and motivation to travel and discover even more cultures.
While I wasn’t able to travel much during high school in Arkansas, I still observed diversity due to the large Hispanic population of the state. In my high school summer landscaping job, I was the only English-speaking employee under our supervisor. Yet, due to studying Spanish since the eighth grade, I had the responsibility of communicating work orders to the Hispanic crew. In return, I was able to learn about their interesting Hispanic culture. This early contact with Spanish speakers and the longing to communicate with them on deeper levels led me to select Spanish as the language I wanted to continue learning. I also learned that the Hispanic population in the United States was projected to increase exponentially, which gave me hope that I would actually be able to use this skill later on in my life.
For the past year and a half, I have been living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This has given me the opportunity to live on my own and immerse myself in a completely new culture. I’m employed to teach English as a second language for a language institute as well as for my private students. My clients are typically multinational corporations whose employees need to learn English. Part of my work draws on my ability of being sensitive to the local culture, now knowing the importance behind kissing my students on the cheek before and after each and every class. I also must assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses and tailor classes to their needs. I spend my Saturday afternoons in a local neighborhood, Recoleta, walking around and speaking only English with one of my students, Marcelo. These weekly three hours allow him to improve his speaking ability, while I get to discover another part of this exciting country.
My desire to move to Buenos Aires was to expand my understanding of Latin American culture and become fluent in Spanish. Achieving Spanish fluency has allowed me to completely assimilate into the culture of Buenos Aires, just as assimilating into the city’s culture has allowed me to attain Spanish fluency. I make an effort to interact with people who solely speak Spanish, ranging from my Spanish professors to all four of the landlords I have had in Buenos Aires. The very first important word I learned was boludo, which carries the English equivalent of our colloquial “dude” or “man.” In a feeble attempt to sound more like the locals, I began using this word, without knowing its full meaning. One morning, I stepped onto the 152 bus, and recognized my bus driver from before. He had smiled until I asked him how much it cost to go a certain distance, using the word boludo in my sentence. Instantly, he gave me a disgusted look and sternly advised me not to use that word. I later found out that it can have a very offensive meaning, and should only be used between friends.
My Argentina experience has been eye opening, but it does not stand alone in influence. Perhaps the ultimate influence on my life was my father’s seven-year battle with prostate cancer, and eventual death from the disease during my senior year of high school. During this time I became more mature and developed an increased understanding of perseverance and determination. He spent his final few months in the local Hospice Center. These were very hard times for me and forced me to look more seriously at my life. I was determined to make my father proud, but more importantly; I was determined to be successful and dedicated to my studies and my future. Through the whole ordeal, I overcame hardship and did not let this situation halt my personal growth.
I was visiting my father at the Hospice Center during what we knew would be one of his final days. I asked him “Dad, do you have any advice for me?” He told me he wanted me to work hard for whatever I desired. In addition to my initial interest in exploring new cultures, my father’s hopes for me to follow my aspirations propelled my passion and lack of hesitation in moving to Argentina. Now they drive me to pursue what I desire next, a career in either international law or immigration law.
When I commit to furthering my education, whether in a language or a new course of study, I see it through to the end. I plan to use my language skills in a career in international law or immigration law. I am motivated to learn more about the dynamic processes of international law. Although my travel and immersion experiences have already broadened my scope, I know that what I have seen and done represents only a tiny portion of what our world has to offer. I am enthusiastic to participate in more of it.