Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Anyone can find beauty in ordinary things: the ivory snow falling outside a foggy window on a January morning, the rainbow that appears after a thunderstorm, or the almost formulaic pink and orange hues of a sunset over the horizon. But these things come and go; seasons change, rain clouds disappear, and night eventually comes.

Growing up, I was all too familiar with the concept of change. As a child, I moved from Budapest to Pennsylvania—when I did, everything that had felt permanent and fundamental to my daily existence was suddenly transformed. I could not speak English, and the unfamiliar clamor of sounds around me left me struggling to communicate. I was forced to alter my name, remove the accents, and abandon the true pronunciation: suddenly, I was no longer Kovács Réka but Reka Kovacs, a girl I did not know or recognize.

Surrounded by the unfamiliar, I had no option but to seek comfort in steady things, things I could depend on. I sat at my desk at school, attempting to grasp fragments of my teacher’s words. Most were undecipherable. There was one hour per day, however, when I was not confused in the least. Consumed by scribbled equations on graph paper and mazes of digits that were perfectly intertwined, this hour was a...

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