University of California - Berkeley
The Fundamentals of Who I Am and Who I Want to Be
Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
“I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.” (Jack Nicholson – The Departed)
When I was a child, my best friend was (wait for it) a stick.
It became an extension of my arm, a conduit for my imagination. Using it as saber, hockey stick, and countless other tools gave 7 year-old me control over a narrative far more compelling than any dinky car or action figure could offer. My thoughts exploded as I wielded it; desperate, whirling lunges could repel marauding invaders, a sweeping shot would win Pakistan the hockey World Cup. The stick was powerless until I gave it life, energy, and meaning, and playing with it awakened a desire to control my life's whole narrative, a desire that has resonated with me well beyond childhood. It offered an broad canvas where the richness of the narrative depended only on how my ideas shone through.
Creativity: As I gripped the stick in different ways, double-handed, laterally, and backwards, I created distinct personas. I had an extraordinary opportunity to experiment, weaving outlandish plotlines and character dynamics; each one had to be more daring than the last. I pictured myself as a warrior in battle, a statuesque warlock, and a hockey player...
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