Florida Southern College

My work area watches straight out of Mad Men. Its dark lacquered complete and calculated legs give it a 60's vibe in the midst of the tan covering and orange dividers of my lounge room. A defensive tangle, covered with Sharpie imprints and X-acto...

Arizona State University

My glistening mouth is frozen in a wide grimace; my eyes peer down into my little white book. My mother has asked me to read for her and I am determined to do so, despite my younger brother's distracting presence. This is my mother's first...

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

Thursday afternoons in Edgewood College were synonymous with several things: assessment tests, pans of limp spaghetti in the vast dining hall, and the constant whir of the gardener’s mowing machine. However, these seemed pale in comparison to the...

New York University Stern School of Business

They stand idly in rectangular packages, dull and ashy underneath the fluorescent lights of the neighbourhood shop. No one else would buy them but I do. When I am prepared to embark upon an artistic project, I unveil my unlikely tools. I begin...

Smith College

In kindergarten, I was a cyborg. At least, with wire glasses and a clanky metal leg brace, my classmates thought I was. They thought cerebral palsy was a disease that made you part robotic; mostly because I led them to believe that. For in-school...

University of Southern California

On a Wednesday afternoon in May 2020, two partners and I are preparing our AME 331 final presentation for planning roads in cold mountainous areas—a dream inspired by my memories of not having such needed roads in rural China. Together, we sit in...

University of Southern California

Run, run, run! I Ignoring the fire in my limbs and the thunder in my chest, I forged ahead at a greater speed. I remember crumbling to my knees on grassy turf. I remember my friend, Simi, emerging from the shadows of the gazebo with a look of...

University of Notre Dame

I zoomed in on my character with a few quick swipes using my drawing tablet pen. The blocky character was made out of perfect, tiny squares as if it had been built out of Lego bricks. But something was a bit off. I peered into the picture and...

University of Notre Dame

“Look!”

At the dinner table, my father presented me with a concept map. I knew that I would be his audience, listening to his idea of creating the Home of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a hub to nurture and encourage creativities.

One year...

Tufts University

I remember the large, looping curves in her handwriting. I remember them well because they are now characteristic of my own penmanship. When I attempt to draw human figures, I recall the bulbous eyes she often gave her cartoon characters when we...

Wake Forest University

“Where from?”

“United States”

“WELL-COME,” joyously declared a little kid from a Bedouin tribe in Jordan. Surrounded by ancient tombs, a sandy landscape, and locals wrapped in head scarves selling items from their tents, I felt out of place. Yet,...

Temple University

Getting to work at ten in the morning to go stand in what I charitably referred to as the Hut for eight hour stretches was probably not how most people envisioned their summer but when you live in Santa Cruz for as long as I have, working at the...

William and Mary College

In my hometown, Nanchang, China, the Gan River divides the city into two worlds. One side of the river has enjoyed much government investment: skyscrapers are adorned with beaming neon lights, and beacons are announcing the economic prosperity of...

University of Washington

My mother’s hands tell the entire world of my life. They were the first to hold me when I was first born and feed me when I cried. It was her hands that have raised me on behalf of my busy dad, patting me when I behaved well and spanking me when I...

University of Notre Dame

As I travelled to Tanzania, I realized that many people in Moshi Village suffered from unemployment and poverty. When shopping at a local fabric market, I wondered if subsidizing exports would stimulate the local economy. Standing in the middle of...

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

“Mom!” I grumbled, “these don’t fit either!” I could feel my throat closing and my eyes welling up. “Mackenzie’s fit her so well, and...and Juliana’s actually look good on her.” I stared at the streaked mirror disgusted with the pants that...

University of Virginia

I got lost.

Learning Calculus BC had been a somewhat predictable process of applying rules and formulas, until I met Taylor series. A quirky combination of X, N, derivatives, and factorials, it overwhelmed me with such a bombastic look.

Yes, I...

University of California - Santa Barbara

When the glorious makeup conceals my nerdy look, when the shiny spotlight embraces my entire body, and when I dance with my hair floating in midair, I turn into a different person.

Originally an amateur who loved to imitate dances in music...

William and Mary College

“Honey, do you mind teaching my friends and me to dance?” Asked my grandmother in a thoughtful tone.

“Ok, no problem,” I answered without a second thought. Confident in my experiences, I became a dancing instructor in her “elderly dancers’...

William and Mary College

Walk into my room and you will immediately notice blue draped across the walls and blanketed over my bed. This is not just any tone of blue; it is the Tennessee Titans’ baby blue. My infatuation with the Titans took root during my childhood....