Rutgers University is a vibrant community of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. How would you benefit from and contribute to such an environment? Consider variables such as your talents, travels, leadership activities, volunteer services, and cultural experiences. Only personal essays submitted via our website will be considered.
Though I am a white male who has grown up in the predominantly uniform communities of Englishtown and Monroe, my life experiences have been far from homogeneous or commonplace. My deep commitments to different clubs and organizations have deeply influenced the way I perceive the world; they have provided me with opportunities to cooperate with and influence a variety of people and effect positive change in the world.When I was thirteen, I began working at the Cambridge Inn restaurant in Spotswood. As a waiter and busboy, I have served and interacted with literally thousands of customers. Their demands on the wait staff and kitchen can be extremely taxing at times, and I have developed strong interpersonal and customer service skills as a result.I have also formed close ties with the Cambridge staff. The kitchen is manned almost entirely by Mexican immigrants who have taught me more about their culture than any Spanish class in high school did. Even though I am blond-haired and blue-eyed, the kitchen workers have not hesitated to share their cultural holidays with me, such as Cinco de Mayo and Mexico’s Independence Day (which, by the way, are separate occasions; equating Cinco de Mayo to Mexico’s independence is a common American misconception).My interest in politics and government motivated me to apply for the Boys State program last spring. I was one of four students chosen from my school to attend a week-long conference at Rider University during the summer. Although the program is strongly political in nature, many of the program’s attendees had no interest in governmental affairs whatsoever. The varying levels of political knowledge and the mixture of many different backgrounds in the population presented a challenge when trying to create original systems of local, municipal, and state government; consensus in the legislative process is difficult to achieve. However, as a county official in this program, I overcame these setbacks and coordinated legislative efforts among participants in the program.I spent another week this past summer at the YMCA’s Conference on National Affairs. An aspect of American politics that has always confounded me is why minority groups fight so passionately for specific rights. The conference, held on a mountaintop in North Carolina, exposed me to the thinking processes of many types of students; the delegates to this conference were politically, ethnically, and religiously diverse and came from all over the United States to engage in debates on national issues. The delegates argued for different programs and laws, and I began to understand exactly what issues inflame people to pursue actions that seem illogical and unreasonable to others. This enlightenment has changed the way I view the U.S. Government.I am excited to be attending college next year, where I plan to actively participate and create positive change in meaningful organizations, just as I have done throughout high school. I feel I could benefit the Rutgers community through the diversity of my experiences with people and my strong leadership abilities.