Example University of Maryland Undergraduate Admission Essay
At the University of Maryland, we value a diverse community. How have your life experiences and background shaped you into an individual who will enrich the University of Maryland community?
June 11, 2004, 4:37 a.m. The sun slowly stretches its arms over the horizon getting ready for its daily routine and I am still awake from the darkness of night packing, unpacking, and repacking my bags. The weather was rainy for several days, but it had yet to weather my spirits and discourage my heart that was set on this missions trip. "What would the weather be over like over there?" I continually pondered on. As the break of day crept nearer and nearer, my anticipation, and eagerness peaked. My behavior was considered odd to some; I went from a usual countdown of days to creating checklist and pacing my bags several weeks before the trip, "just to make sure everything would fit. " My parents called me paranoid. I just wanted to be prepared; after all, I was going to live in Sells, Arizona for weeks without my family- and I packed accordingly -hoping for the best, yet preparing for the worst.
Who knew getting from point A to Point B would have so many other points in between? The first step was to let go of the starting point. My family looked at me as though they would never see me again. The worry they expressed was earnest, yet something inside me felt compelled to push away all my insecurities as we exchanged final farewells. After the missions team's 5 hour plane ride across America to Sells, we were at our final destination. Surprisingly, after the strenuous workout of dragging around heavy luggage with a combination of being sleep-deprived, one look at the few enthusiastic church members was all it took to transfer their contagious energy into my own body.
Thousands of miles away from home, I felt as though I just been abducted by aliens and my surroundings were remote and exotic. The foreign sights, exhausting heat and barren land all ticked my senses. Upon arriving at the distination, I observed carefree children playing around under decrepit shelters. Within a few minutes adjustment to the unconventional heat and rough land, I befriended the natives I will live with for the next 2 weeks. Each one of them possessed a unique characteristic, yet, like my friends at home, they all had the same quality in their smile, which never failed to persuade me to return that same genuine smile. However despite their ecstatic surface, deep inside each one of them is a harrowing whimper for help. Many are struggling to escape poverty, gangs, homelessness, drugs and hardships beyond my imagination. Soon I realizing that all our opportunities and possessions are nothing to take for granted, I eventually became more determined then ever to help give back to others.
The unforgiving sun that awoke me every morning succeeded to disturb my slumber the next morning and haul me out from under my sleeping bag like an uncontrollable magnet. An uncertain anxiety rocked my foundation as I further noticed the vastly different and challenging undertaking to come. But then, my friend Steve greeted me with utmost jubilation and optimism as we set out to tackle another day trying our best to help the children. As we engaged in the natives through conversation, activities and laughs, I couldn't help but stare in admiration for the other missionaries diligence and dynamics. After a couple days of the routine breakfast, bible study and crafts, praise and worship, I became gradually more confident in my abilities to help others. I got in the habit of waking up early and every morning became a race between the sun and me to wake before the other. One morning, upon my victory against the sun, I set out to help my pastor set up the days food and services. In return, I received a gratitude and sense of assurance expressed through my pastor and the other missionaries analogous to the comfort of home and family.
However, being on this missionary team with the abused, unfortunate and homeless revealed our purpose was nothing to take lightly. This leadership position was crucial because of the duties that I fulfill for the mission and children. But, I also realized such position holds a greater importance because I am able to be a motivator and influence others in a undertaking to make a difference in old child, an elderly, disabled, and countless others who seek help. By volunteering for this mission, I could give and help a community, and in return a sense of belonging and serving. Then and now, every time I volunteer, my prayer is that I had made even one person's day brighter. Helping the less fortunate was a humbling experience though which I have come to appreciate life and people from many diverse backgrounds.
Pushing aside my pride and worries, I committed to every helping pursuit because the smiles and the witness of improvement I get and give in return are priceless and timeless. The thank-yous that I get and the progress I see in the children made every minute of time worthwhile. No longer was I concerned about the torching sunlight, and lack of luxury found at home and difficulties. I devoted every motion and thought into the service and help to the children at hand. It is my continuing hope that children of all ages, locations and nationalities will have the experience in their lives to make a lasting impact on both themselves and those they help.
What I thought would be a simple trip of recalling the pre rendered discusses, advice and activities to the needing children extended to one of much more significance, a lesson in life. The new people I met and various profound experiences left my mind perplexed, yet it gave me motivation to view life in a new perspective and live at a new level. I did not need to travel far to apprehend this epiphany because it did not take long to realize how precious every single opportunity and help are
. The missionary team I embarked in and the children of Arizona help me realize that everything I have and own should not be taken for granted. By the end of the trip, I learned that I really was immature for thinking I was mature and well of enough to live without the despotic rules of teachers and parents. I never understood the hardships of living a life of the slightest resemblance of some of the kids I had the pleasure and benefit to help and live with. I reached a new level of acceptance and had a much greater appreciation for everyone and everything I had. The end of this journey was the beginning of a much greater one, and just as I prepared myself before enlist in this mission, I was ready to apply what I obtained from this experience to the endurance of my life.
Upon returning home, I was able to meet my parents endearing selves one more with a better understanding of the importance of family. I went to school with a greater appreciation for the teachers and their service in education. Upon realizing the importance of everything I have, I was determined to further give back to others indiscriminately. Through my continue involvement of community service, ranging from serving food and music to homeless shelters to help elders play bingo at senior centers, to tutoring elementary kids, I have realized the full truth of Martin Luther Jr.'s proclamation: " everybody can be great. because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make you subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." It is my goal to bring this statement to life for as many people as possible and to make a marked difference.
By attending University of Maryland, I firmly believe I can further complement my endeavor. Realizing the importance of picturing every opportunity as precious gift, I am confident that I will be able to my pursuit of knowledge to its highest level. I am excited to be immersed in intellectual inquiry that I seek from a college setting and will make myself be known as a disciplined person who tackles challenges and is not satisfied until the best has been achieved. I want to approach the college experience as a time during which I can make a positive contribution to the student body that appreciates the intellectual freedom and thought and captures every leverage opportunity for improvement and help on sight. Through exchange of ideas and collaboration of efforts, I wish to build a promising and fulfilling future where I can not only fulfill my dreams of impacting the lives of people I love, know and live among this world. To me, college is the best opportunity that can be given to a person; I will seize college to make it the pinnacle of my accomplishments.
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