The Rockhound

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.

I collect rocks.

I promise it isn’t as lame as it sounds.

On a winter afternoon, the wet mulch crunched under my feet as I walked towards the school bus after my third-grade field trip to the Boston Science Museum. My small, calloused hands held an amethyst, my eyes lit up as I watched the light shine through the purple, making the world seem a lot more colourful amidst a flurry of snow. Growing up in an Indian household, Hindu mythology taught me that gods and goddesses were sculpted from rocks, so I was convinced that this rock was special. Sure, I got yelled at for two hours for wasting my allowance on a $5 rock, but to me, that rock was worth a lot more than those $5. Not only because I was an eight-year-old who had a slight obsession with sparkly geodes but also because that was the day I decided that I was going to pursue science. As a kid who had only just learned that there were 206 bones in the body, I didn’t know what exactly I was going to “pursue” in science, but as a child, I was fixated on the idea of making science my dream come true.

Later on that year, I learned that rocks are used to construct cairns, which in Buddhism supposedly brings good luck and used as directional markers by Inuits. Being a third-grader...

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