From Down Here

What is the one thing that you think sets you apart from other candidates applying to the University of California? Things to consider: Don’t be afraid to brag a little. Even if you don’t think you’re unique, you are — remember, there’s only one of you in the world. From your point of view, what do you feel makes you belong on one of UC’s campuses? When looking at your life, what does a stranger need to understand in order to know you? What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge, or opportunity that you think will help us know you better? We’re not necessarily looking for what makes you unique compared to others, but what makes you, YOU.

From down here, buildings seem taller. The top shelf of the cabinet is a mystery, and the shelf under is a balancing act. Being 4’10’’ has given me a different perspective, in multiple ways.

The insecurity within being inches shorter than the general population is often overlooked— literally. While puberty gave my peers growth spurts, it left me with an internal struggle of feeling inferior to everyone who stood above me. Although this notion was based only on my perception, it was obvious that I was viewed differently to some extent; I was constantly called the “cute, little girl”, making me feel as though my thoughts and beliefs were unimportant next to my appearance. These few inches I lacked intensified my typical teenager self-esteem issues, but at times, I grew tired of self-pitying. I was using my height as an excuse to be mediocre, but in reality, it was not a disadvantage that I could hide behind. I started considering it unique, rather than bad, and saw drastic changes.

Through starting a club, joining the dance team, and excelling in my classes, as well as immersing myself in yoga and advocating for vegetarianism, I gradually found comfort in my individuality, Inspired to share this concept of a positive mindset with...

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