Too often, such essays are formulaic and uninspiring – after all, while it’s certainly a challenge to learn a new language and culture, millions of people do it every day, so it simply isn’t something that sets a student apart.
Home is the in-between, the cusp of transition – that is where I feel most content.
In our College Essay Clichés to Avoid post, we advised students against writing about moving to America from a foreign country.
Like a captain frantically seeking port in a storm, I haul myself through the turbulent ocean of people, trying to avoid being stranded – or trampled – in the dustiest city in the world: Beijing, capital of both China and smog. It is the summer of 2012, and Shanghai isn’t to be home for much longer. Unsettled, I turn to my ever-present book for comfort.
Luckily, I board my train with seconds to spare, and without being turned into a pancake – always a plus. In another week I will cross the globe to start a new life in a foreign land called Charlotte. Today it is by Tim O’Brien, already worn and slightly crumpled.
So, don’t bother writing a statement directed at faculty members who do not care about diversity.
Write one for those faculty members who will take the time to read your statement carefully.Check out these college essay examples for inspiration!With moments to spare, I catch a glimpse of the boarding platform for my train. Like a compass with a broken magnetic strip, I can’t decide my true North.That is not an effective strategy, because it does not show a genuine commitment to diversity and equity.Of course, it is true that many faculty members overtly reject campus efforts to enhance diversity and equity.I can assure you that many faculty members truly care about diversity and equity and will read your statement closely.I have been in the room when the diversity statement of every single finalist for a job search was scrutinized.America owns my childhood, filled with pine trees, blockbuster movies, and Lake Tahoe snow; China holds my adolescence, accompanied by industrial smog, expeditious mobility, and fast-paced social scenes. My reverie isn’t at an end, but I have the answer to my question.Home is neither arrival nor departure, neither America nor China.The candidates who submitted strong statements wrote about their experiences teaching first-generation college students, their involvement with LGBTQ student groups, their experiences teaching in inner-city high schools and their awareness of how systemic inequalities affect students’ ability to excel.Applicants mentioned their teaching and activism and highlighted their commitment to diversity and equity in higher education.