We often hear the phrase “the good life.” In fact, the University of Florida’s common course required of all undergraduate students is titled “What is the Good Life?”. The concept of “the good life” can be interpreted in many different ways depending upon the experiences, values and aspirations of each individual.
In a concise narrative, describe your notion of “the good life.” How will your undergraduate experience at the University of Florida prepare you to live “the good life”?
Warm, fluffy bread — because Romanians cannot eat any meal without it. Pillowy pumpkin spinach ravioli — a recipe my mother got from a chef in Italy in exchange for her strudel recipe. And apple pie — because the U.S. makes the best. This could be dinner for any day of the week in my house. When you have lived your entire life surrounded by different cultures, it’s hard to remember what a wonderful rarity such diversity is.
My childhood was everything but normal, thankfully. Contrary to many children in similar circumstances, even though I moved around quite frequently I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life stationary: it wouldn’t be a “release” from uncertainty at all. Instead, I want to enjoy life on as many continents as I possibly can (the North and South Poles are questionable), surrounded by diverse climates, people, and ways of thinking. This desire comes from my travels; I was born in Romania, moved to Italy when I was two, and crossed the Atlantic to the United States when I was eleven. Hence, “where are you from?” is probably the most complicated question you could ask me. From my observations and experiences, I have picked up bits and pieces of what the “good life” means to different cultures and have subsequently decided what the “good life” means to me.
A life surrounded by both bustling energies and tranquil nature is precisely what I think of when defining my notion of the “good life.” I want to be busy and free; I want to be attentive and calm and, most importantly, profoundly happy. My ideal surroundings would have to be the first-ever Kiwanis community center where people raised their children to become K-Kids in elementary school, Builders Club members in middle school, Key Clubbers in high school, Circle K members in college and full-fledged “Kiwanians” after eighteen. The love and kindness that initiated the Kiwanis organization and that it is still known for were combined with the dynamism that is and always will be part of my “good life.”
My own journey as a Key Clubber has made me into the person I am today, giving me the very traits I have always admired in others. Fulfillment in whichever field I choose, whether it be international business, linguistics, or art is part of my “good life” as well.
Adding much to my background, my experience at UF will allow me to encounter an additional array of eclectic cultures, histories, and arts from which I will learn more and refine my idea of the “good life.” Undoubtedly, being a Gator will facilitate my choice of a career path and my transition from young adult to a mature community member, successfully enabling me to focus on what really matters — finding personal happiness and making a social difference.