Barrett Admissions Essay

Inside and outside the classroom, Barrett is shaped in large part by its diverse faculty, staff, and students. Share a story that is so central to your intellectual identity that your application would be incomplete without it. Be sure to briefly discuss how this would inform, affect, and/or strengthen the honors college community.

In a drab little apartment- streaked gray by pollution- nestled in the dusty streets of Bogota, Colombia, my mother once asked me at the age of three years old what I wanted to be when I grew up. Surrounded by a patriarchal and heavily misogynistic society, my younger self replied, “I want to be a mom.” In less than a year, I stood at what seemed like the edge of my world-a grim, metallic sign that read, “Departures” in Spanish. Behind me, the entire collective of what I knew as truth, my dreams, and what I thought would be my future, remained in the small group of people waving my mother and me a solemn goodbye. With my small hand grasping my mother’s tightly, I took a step and plunged off of the edge of my world.

Reunited with my father in our new home in Colorado, the world finally seemed to gain color in my eyes. My memories of those first months in Denver consist of holding my father’s hand while I skipped alongside him on his way to the lab at CSM. In one special photo album currently resting on my shelf, there’s a picture of my father conducting an experiment in the laboratory; in the corner, almost jumping off of the chair in excitement and curiosity, is me. In those precious moments, I was introduced, through the diversity and the welcoming atmosphere of the entire campus, to the possibility that my gender did not limit me; it was with wide eyes that I noticed that my father had female colleagues as well as male and it was also with wide eyes that I noticed the equality that my mother was met with when she searched for a job.

One year after leaving everything I knew, my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up once more. I looked her in the eyes and said, “I want to be a paleontologist,” and that was the moment in which we both realized that I could be anything that I wanted to be; I was free of the dogma and cultural pressure that had so shaped my childhood and thus my intellectual identity was forged. While my career aspirations underwent changes over the years, the thirst for knowledge as well as the ambition that I gained has remained with me and shaped the thinking person that I have become today.

I feel that a college campus would greatly benefit from receiving a student who has the ambition to not only take advantage of all the opportunities that the college offers, but also to use the lessons learned from these opportunities and find real-world applicability within them. I also feel that my unique background will allow me to expand the borders of diversity found within the school, an effect which I feel to be beneficial to the college in that much can be learned from those who have different experiences, perspectives, and beliefs.

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