When I applied to all 6 of my prospective colleges I used the Common Application portal online. This essentially allowed me to fill out one application and write one essay that would be submitted to each of the institutions to which I was applying. The university which I will be attending next year, however, required me to submit an additional “personal statement” in which I underlined why I was interested in and drawn to this particular major as well as what life experiences I had that had prepared me well to study there. So here it is. It has not been edited since I first submitted it to the university. This is the essay that I used as a bargaining chip to gain entrance into the school and course of study of my dreams.
Throughout my childhood I have fostered a love of ancient history, museums, and classical culture which I fully intend to develop throughout my college and adult experiences. I hold firm the belief that ancient cultures should be preserved as they contain so much knowledge that we, as a modern civilization of the 21st century, can benefit from. Archaeology in particular has captivated my attention because of the possibility that many mysteries can be solved simply from examining a shard of broken pottery or other mundane objects that give us a glimpse into the lives of those who lived and prospered thousands of years ago. Over the course of the past several years, the extracurricular activities that I have participated in have only fostered a greater love and appreciation for the science and art that is studying ancient cultures through an examination of physical artifacts.
From the beginning of my childhood, I have always been drawn to history documentaries over superfluous cartoons. While topics ranging from the vikings to Ancient Egypt fascinated me, the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome captivated my attention in a special way. The stories of the oracles of Ancient Greece fascinated me as did the Greeks’ many developments that led to the modern realms of theatre and philosophy. By taking three years of theatre classes, I have been not only been exposed to the Greeks’ many mathematical and architectural developments, but also how they revolutionized the world of entertainment for thousands of years to come. My sophomore year in high school I elected to take a survey art history course at a college level which offered me the additional exposure that I craved to the aesthetic advancements of the Greeks and Romans. My favorite architectural feat was, by leaps and bounds, the palace at Knossos which was elaborately decorated with beautiful and ornate frescoes. In addition to taking classes that provided me with extra time and exposure to allow a childhood fascination to mature into an passion and intense intellectual curiosity, I played an integral part of running our school’s Anthropology Club by holding such leadership positions as president, vice president, and public relations officer. Our club gave the student body an outlet to foster their own curiosity when it came to the developments of other cultures throughout the world. However, the club did not focus solely on anthropology, rather we discussed evolutionary biology and archaeology as they pertained to topics of interest and recent news events that we could bring into student-led group discussions.
The summer preceding my sophomore year, I applied to and was accepted into a pre-college course at the prestigious Brown University to study intensely for two weeks in a course entitled “The Globalization of Archaeology”. Not only did that experience prepare me for university life by allowing me to develop a greater sense of self-reliance, but I also received critical time in the university’s anthropological collections that allowed me to further cement my desire to follow this passion into my college and adult years.
Throughout my four years in high school I have taken as many classes as I could in order to gain a greater education pertaining to archaeology and ancient civilization. However, I am not only a suitable candidate through my academic experiences alone. Outside of school and specifically history-related events, I participated in many community service projects such as mentoring and tutoring at a center in an urban area for four years and rebuilding decrepit homes in Appalachia. These volunteer experiences have given me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and a broader sense of empathy and compassion, both of which will be an asset in any academically rigorous setting. I have branched out athletically as well by participating in both varsity bowling and junior varsity cross country which have taught me how to succeed in a team environment and work exceedingly well with others around me. Should I receive the opportunity to attend this university, I will be an asset to both its social and academic environments by offering a unique and passionate international perspective.