Feeling I Belong

Describe the courses of study and the unique characteristics of the University of Pennsylvania that most interest you. Why do these interests make you a good match for Penn?

As a young aficionado of poetry and prose, I would love more than anything to develop my skills through a disciplined and distinguished writing program, and Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences definitely offers just that. Believing that one must be a great reader before becoming a great writer, I indulge in books of every genre to expand my range of knowledge. Literature brings me a truly indescribable joy, and I wish to carry my fondness for reading and writing into my college major. Penn’s English Department is unique in that it provides the opportunity for students to place an emphasis on studies in creative writing, and through it, I want to channel my passion for poetry into academia. As founder and president of our school’s Poetry Club, if accepted, I plan to visit the Kelly Writers House religiously as a way to satisfy my perpetual craving for remarkable literature. I can just picture myself grabbing a turkey and cheese sandwich with no mayonnaise at the 1920 Commons, then rushing off to the Kelly Writers House with an armful of books by Maya Angelou and Eric Schlosser. Gathered in a close circle of chairs, fellow literature lovers and I share professional works as well as our own daring lines of free verse, swap suggestions, compliments, and light-hearted laughs. During workshops, my very soul seeps steadily through an invisible tube from brain to ballpoint, the not-so-simple phenomenon of input-output producing painstakingly arranged ink on paper, a painting made of letters. On my way to a morning class on modern American poetry, I pass Oldenberg’s famed Split Button and acknowledge Mr. Franklin sitting upright in his chair. After the lecture, Dr. Josephine Park and I conduct research by analyzing the influence of conflicts between America and East Asia on Asian-American texts. As part of the Penn family, I converse with colleagues, sisters and brothers that destiny forgot to give. Then, I tutor secondary school students about reading and writing through the outreach program “Teaching Literature in Community.” Having been featured in a myriad of written works and publishing my own collections, I roll up my sleeves and organize literary pieces in the weekly undergraduate magazine First Call. As evening rolls in, I bike to the Van Pelt Library, sit cross-legged in my favorite armchair, and complete the finishing touches on a Second World War paper. Traveling to other parts of the City of Brotherly Love, study group friends and I order a few Philly Cheesesteaks from Pat’s King of Steaks for dinner. My roommate, with lips coated in frothy toothpaste, opens the door when I get back. After taking a shower, I dry my hair on a blue polka dot towel, sit on my bed, and chortle cheerfully while my roommate chatters about the highlights of her day. Then I read an article about the Penn Museum from The Daily Pennsylvanian. Turning off the lights and setting my alarm clock for 6:00am, I drape my jogging shorts and shirt on a chair for the morning. Before drifting off to sleep, I remember those final months of high school when I had submitted my application to Penn, and smile in the quiet of my room, happy to be here at last.

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