Perspective-Paradoxical Mashup

Essay Prompt

Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of

human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had to help us

understand you better-perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation

or gender identity, or your family or cultural background-we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke. (250 word limit)

Sample Essay

My perspective is a pretty paradoxical mashup of parts that come from my family and cultural background, from my own experiences, and from my innate personality. My father is Colombian and from that side of the family, I got my passion for family, friends, and food, along with the encouragement to value happiness and love over material things. From my mother’s all-American side of the family, I got my enthusiasm for competition and a fierce will. Being a Catholic until 10th grade is a legacy of birth from both of my parents and their families, all of whom are devoted Catholics; but being agnostic is my own religious perspective after a period of intense reflection, investigation, and debate. Agnostic isn’t really a surprise given that I’ve always been a science type. The mad engineer in me emerged early starting with potato cannons and model rockets and progressing to solar cars. From there, I got into autocross racing and exposed the daredevil lurking within me. That daredevil probably also accounts for me being a devotee of straight razor shaving, but maybe I just have a certain fondness for the old school. That would explain why I love classic movies. But, whether or not I can explain all aspects of my paradoxical mashup of a perspective, it is the one I will bring to Duke, because it is the one that is uniquely mine.

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