Finding Christmas

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 woke up at six that morning. My mom had left an hour earlier to work her two full-time jobs. It was a routine weekend; surrounding me was our ramshackle apartment decorated with sparse furniture, a Hindu temple in the corner, and a telephone I used to call my mom with when I was afraid. This day, however, was different. This was the day: Christmas.

My mom and I arrived in the United States as refugees from Nepal. We moved across the country until we finally found a home in Colorado. It was amidst the frigid air and festive decorations that Christmas became an enchanted time for me.

I didn’t know what Christmas entailed; I listened only to the parts I wanted to hear, and those parts were dominated by the word “presents.” While my elementary school peers brought homemade cuisine to lunch, wore luxurious light-up shoes, and engaged in an assortment of lavish activities, I led a life of free cafeteria meals, hand-me-downs, and the company of mundane apartment walls. To me, “presents” signified more than gifts. Santa’s presents offered me a way to leave my rigid, unstable home life behind for one day and finally feel like a carefree child.

Three months before celebrating my first real Christmas, I found a magnificent three foot...

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