The quality of Rice's academic, cultural, and social life is heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What perspective do you feel that you will contribute to life at Rice? Most applicants are able to respond successfully in two to three double-spaced pages.

I was white. I was so unbearably white. I walked into this madhouse - this dizzyingly varied place, filled with new and different sights, sounds, and even smells. I plunged into the teeming throng of diversity with apprehension. Jostling my way to my first ever high school class, I could hear snippets of strong, terse Russian, scraps of lyrical, singsong Chinese, and bits of a melodic, rapid-fire language I would later learn to identify as Hindi. Never before had I felt so out of place, never before had I been in an environment so utterly foreign. This cavernous edifice of red and white painted cinder blocks and dreary, decaying concrete enveloped me, taking me far away from the homogenous existence I had been living for the entirety of my life. I was thrust into a completely new world, a world filled with foods I'd never tasted, words I'd never heard, and viewpoints I'd never considered. And it was invigorating. It was deeply, rapturously intoxicating.

I have since made this new world my own. I quickly found that my classes at Bellaire HS were filled with the kind of diversity usually reserved for television. This was an exciting, yet intimidating prospect. I plowed ahead and busied myself by becoming involved with...

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