How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community and future?
It’s generally taken to be a sign of desperation when a girl in the science stream sacrifices precious studying time to read books just so she can discuss the themes with Humanities students, but that is precisely what I did. Not only did I read their set texts like Antony and Cleopatra and frequently intrude on my best friends’ class lunches, I was also the only student on the Literature trip to the UK who was not concentrating in the subject. Despite being the “science stowaway,” I enjoyed the performances of Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing, the lectures at Oxford and York universities on Othello and Dante’s Inferno, and the history lessons at the Roman baths as much as anyone.I love both the arts and the sciences dearly, but the A-level system has forced me to specialize. In Raffles Junior College I studied Chemistry, Economics, Mathematics and Physics, and it was fun to discuss the possibilities of black holes and laugh about puns on chemical equilibrium with my classmates, but many scientifically-inclined students did not share my passion for the arts. I began yearning for the halcyon days of secondary school, where everyone shared the same comprehensive common curriculum, and where everyone was on the same page, cracking jokes about anything at all in our syllabus.Chicago’s Common Core offers the best of all worlds for me. It is a common ground on which students of all academic proclivities can interact, and allows me to study economics with a legendary department while at the same time exploring my passions for philosophy, literature, mathematics, and the sciences. True fulfillment of one’s desire for learning involves going out there to seek the right communities. I remember the first time I was drawn into a conversation in my Economics Special paper group on whether Ricardian equivalence applied to the Singapore model: I was struck with both incredulity and exhilaration upon discovering that I could share my interests with other people who were even more knowledgeable on the subject. With the University of Chicago’s intellectual atmosphere, I am certain that any interests I may have in almost any niche can be satisfied.Furthermore, Chicago has recently placed more emphasis on intramural sports, which enable athletically-challenged students like myself to participate and simply enjoy the fun of being outdoors. As a softball player who enjoys the thrill of the game more than the pressure of the win, I believe this will contribute greatly to the recreation that is apocryphally nonexistent at Chicago.