Pg.217 of My 300 Page Autobiography: My UPenn App

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Today, I’ve been backing up all the files on my computer in preparation for exams and stumbled upon my high school folder of college applications, so I’ve been reading old essays I wrote. Below is the 1-pager I wrote for UPenn’s prompt:

You have just completed your 300-page autobiography.
Please submit page 217.

Looks like I haven’t changed much, minus the vegetarianism:

 My Upenn Application Essay Submission

that my results for the “Are You Left- or Right- Brained” Test were pretty balanced, 16 to 14, much to the annoyance of my classmate, who was seeking results for a Psychology class project. The results made perfect sense to me though. I love my math class, Calculus BC, because the calculations are reliable. As long as I’ve memorized the equation and understand the concept, I can’t go wrong. I’m always either right or wrong, no middle ground. So my preference for the absolute makes me left-brained, doesn’t it?

But I also love Chinese…and for entirely different reasons. Mandarin, unlike Spanish or French, has no verb conjugation, no past tense. I can invert sentence order and still be understood, regardless of whether I say, “give me the book” or “the book give me.” The spontaneity and lack of order surrounding the Chinese language is thrilling. But wouldn’t my preference for a language without restraints categorize me as a right-brainer?

Is my balanced brain an oddity in a community obsessed with labeling students as either “arsty” or “mathy”?

Do I contradict myself? I puzzle over Sudoku, pencil in hand, the numbers 1 through 9 whirling in my head, then turn on classical music, make a pot of green tea, and write a monologue for my drama class. I fill out the cryptoquotes in the newspaper, cracking code to find the quote of the day, and then grab needle and thread to sew myself a handbag from old t-shirts.

Wouldn’t the fact that I’m in the computer programming class immediately classify me as a nerd? I can recite the correct set-up for any program written in Java. “ {public static void main (String[] args){ System.out.println (“TYPE INFO HERE.”);}” Yet I’m also vegetarian. I eat quinoa, couscous, and tofu, cook with coconut oil and agave nectar, and refuse to eat high-fructose corn syrup. So do I now fall into the class of “Artsy Earth Lover”?

And why am I bothered by a silly Psychology class survey anyways? Maybe I should take the class to

Gotta love creative prompts! To the high school prompt brainstormers out there, yes, I did get in to UPenn/Wharton. Can’t say whether that was due to this essay though!

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