How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania? Please answer this question given the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying. (400-650 words)
Up until February 21, 2018, I was a Prince Charming on a quest to find the school that would fit perfectly into the glass slipper. After sitting in an information session, wandering down Locust Walk, and shadowing a current student, I knew that the University of Pennsylvania was my Cinderella. Penn’s commitment to interdisciplinary studies, the array of language classes offered, and its deep involvement within the West Philadelphia community fit perfectly with the type of education I hope to pursue. I plan to major in psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences, while minoring in American Sign Language.
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At the University of Pennsylvania, I hope to conduct research on the impact that a student’s at-home life can have on their academics, answering questions such as: How much of a role does trauma actually play in learning? Why is it that some children are more affected by adverse experiences than others? What can I do, as a Penn student, to help? Specifically, I hope to work alongside Professor Sara Jaffee on a study about our aligning interests, while also taking her class, Developmental Psychology: Social and Emotional Development. Her work is both admirable and inspirational. Due to Penn’s significant involvement within the Philadelphia community, I would have the opportunity to observe, analyze, and collect data on children with varied home lives and cultural backgrounds. By joining the Community School Student Partnership, I will be able to see, first-hand, the spectrum of student experiences. Additionally, I will be the mentor that the kids from my old city needed, guiding them in the right direction and providing them with opportunities they never imagined.
While my main interest is in psychology, I look forward to diversifying my knowledge and discovering new interests with the sector requirements. Doing so would help me expand my horizons and ultimately become a well-equipped, well-rounded student. Specifically, I look forward to taking the Medicine in History course in the History and Tradition sector as well as the Introduction to Astrophysics course in the Physical World sector. While both are completely unrelated to my potential major, they are topics I’m eager to learn more about.
On my visit to the University of Pennsylvania, my tour guide, [name of tour guide], informed me of the opportunity to study American Sign Language. With the recent increase of deaf students in my high school, I have become captivated with the language, witnessing the power it has. Every week, my friend teaches me signs for different phrases, but that is not enough. I aspire to be fluent in the language and learn everything about it, from its origin, to it’s culture. Minoring in ASL and joining Penn-In-Hand would allow me to do so. With the field of psychology that I hope to pursue, communication is an essential skill, and a background in ASL would broaden the range of people with whom I can communicate.
I look forward to living “happily ever after” with my Cinderella. Aside from its academics, the University of Pennsylvania will provide opportunities to make memories, including throwing toast at football games, participating in Hey day, and singing “The Red and the Blue.” Becoming a Quaker would be my fairy tale beginning.