Many colleges ask for many essays, that is an undeniable fact. However, I have found that many colleges ask for similar essays, usually with the same underlying themes. Perhaps most important and frequent in my college application experience thus far has been the topic of education. “Why is education important to you?” “What do you plan to use your education for?” and other similar prompts.
I wrote this essay a year ago in an attempt to communicate what I love about reading, and have since transformed it to introduce what I love about learning, and the use I have had and will continue to have for it.
Leaders and members of society, in this day, must be capable of listening before they act; they must be willing to be wrong, and they must be open to learning from any idea imaginable. These skills are acquired through the process of education. In my education and experiences, I have observed leaders and peers who lack this ability, and have seen their detriment to every society they occupy.
Perhaps the most damaging thing about this all-too-common leadership flaw is the people that get disregarded. To claim authority over somebody before knowing the person you are a above is juvenile, and the ability to understand experiences outside of your own is imperative to successfully forming connections and thus effectively leading.
I first exposed myself to the concept of perspective by reading; being able to witness firsthand a world that I would otherwise not have the opportunity of knowing thrilled me. My desire to extend my knowledge of the validity of the world’s behavior only grows in the wake of immigration policies, of the Kavanaugh Hearings, of marijuana legalization. I implore my neighbors to remember the refugees, the victimized women, and the chronic pain patients, before deciding there exists only one moral action or correct solution. I crave the exposure of lives I could learn from instead of condemn, of realities I could grow from instead of fear, and of cultures that could expand my recognition of the characteristics comprising humanity. It is an education that has previously exposed me to these things, and it is an education that will continue to enrich my understanding of them.
When every friend, relative, and stranger had an opinion on gun laws, and I witnessed the differing opinions tear into my school and community, I tried to participate. I attempted to form one opinion, cite evidence of one decision, and reject any medium that differed. However, no matter what life I was determined to save—the students, or the mentally ill, or the Second Amendment—there was always an experience my judgement would discredit, a lesson that I had not yet learned that mattered to the topic.
I am determined, using my current and future education, to never assume a belief until I have heard and analyzed every story, every fact, and every prejudice involved in the decision—no matter which side it be from. This way, as a functioning member of society, I can bring empathy with me to every person I encounter, and avoid the plague of discrimination and ignorance wherever possible.