Why Wellesley Essay

It took me eighteen years to realize what an extraordinary influence my mother has been on my life. She’s the kind of person who has thoughtful discussions about which artist she would most want to have her portrait painted by (Sargent), the kind of mother who always has time for her four children, and the kind of community leader who has a seat on the board of every major project to assist Washington’s impoverished citizens. Growing up with such a strong role model, I developed many of her enthusiasms. I not only came to love the excitement of learning simply for the sake of knowing something new, but I also came to understand the idea of giving back to the community in exchange for a new sense of life, love, and spirit.

My mothers enthusiasm for learning is most apparent in travel. I was nine years old when my family visited Greece. Every night for three weeks before the trip, my older brother Peter and I sat with my mother on her bed reading Greek myths and taking notes on the Greek Gods. Despite the fact that we were traveling with fourteen-month-old twins, we managed to be at each ruin when the site opened at sunrise. I vividly remember standing in an empty amphitheater pretending to be an ancient tragedian, picking out my favorite sculpture in the Acropolis museum, and inserting our family into modified tales of the battle at Troy. Eight years and half a dozen passport stamps later I have come to value what I have learned on these journeys about global history, politics and culture, as well as my family and myself.

While I treasure the various worlds my mother has opened to me abroad, my life has been equally transformed by what she has shown me just two miles from my house. As a ten year old, I often accompanied my mother to (name deleted), a local soup kitchen and children’s center. While she attended meetings, I helped with the Summer Program by chasing children around the building and performing magic tricks. Having finally perfected the floating paintbrush trick, I began work as a full time volunteer with the five and six year old children last June. It is here that I met Jane Doe, an exceptionally strong girl with a vigor that is contagious. At the end of the summer, I decided to continue my work at (name deleted) as Jane’ s tutor. Although the position is often difficult, the personal rewards are beyond articulation. In the seven years since I first walked through the doors of (name deleted), I have learned not only the idea of giving to others, but also of deriving from them a sense of spirit.

Everything that my mother has ever done has been overshadowed by the thought behind it. While the raw experiences I have had at home and abroad have been spectacular, I have learned to truly value them by watching my mother. She has enriched my life with her passion for learning, and changed it with her devotion to humanity. In her endless love of everything and everyone she is touched by, I have seen a hope and life that is truly exceptional. Next year, I will find a new home miles away. However, my mother will always be by my side.

 

** ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE COMMENTS **

The topic of this essay is the writer’s mother. However, the writer definitely focuses on herself, which makes this essay so strong. She manages to impress the reader with her travel experience, volunteer and community experience, and commitment to learning without ever sounding boastful or full of herself. The essay is also very well organized.

 

In my AP Chemistry class, it would be frustrating to look into a blurry, scratchy microscope, look at a computer screen to move a specimen through a pretend mass spectrometer, and share a tub of sodium chloride with the class for a lab experiment just because the school didn’t have enough. Overall, without adequate scientific equipment, Rebecca Lancefield wouldn’t have found out that group A streptococci is related to rheumatic fever and Dorothea Jameson wouldn’t have provided additional data for Hering’s opponent process color theory. Without having the right technology, many discoveries could be lost. The cures for autism, schizophrenia, and the common cold could be forgotten and never found. Two issues regarding scientific equipment are that it’s too expensive and there’s a large learning curve regarding wasted lab time. Fortunately, at Wellesley, I won’t have to worry about a lack of technology or even lack of discovery. For example, when I read that it was one of the first colleges to buy a confocal microscope, I was impressed. I know that I won’t be worried about whether Wellesley equipment is good quality.

When I was considering a duet to do with one of my best friends, I researched duet ideas and found one with David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth. Even though Peace on Earth had such a contemporary feel to it, Little Drummer Boy had such a comforting, calming feel. Curiously, I decided to look up the song, since many artists, including Josh Groban, Pentatonix, and Justin Bieber sang this song. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the writer was a Wellesley alumna. In a time where voting rights and birth control was a struggle for women to gain, the fact that a woman could compose 600+ music pieces/operas because there weren’t enough songs for women, teach music and donate music to an all-women’s school shows passion, commitment, and bravery. Many Americans who celebrate Christmas know this song very well and play it all the time from the radio or watch groups perform it on TV. Knowing that there are successful alumnae who can make huge footprints in the field shows how versatile and flexible Wellesley is in making sure someone makes a difference nationally and internationally. Realizing that there are women at Wellesley who are not afraid to step out of the comfort zone of the time and show how impactful it is to be a woman is very encouraging.

BTW, I used numbers #9 and #26.

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